The swift rise in nonmarital childbearing in the United States over the past fifty years has given rise to a new family form: fragile families, defined as couples who are unmarried when their children are born. Compared with more traditional families, these fragile families face greater risks in terms both of family stability and of economic security—risks that can imperil child well-being. In this volume experts explore the ramifications of this new reality and fashion policy recommendations that will both reduce the number of children born into fragile families in the first place and ensure that children born into fragile families receive the support they need to grow into healthy, productive adults.
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The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. For more information, please visit The Future of Children. The Future of Children thanks the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for providing generous support for this volume.