By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
After last night's episode of "Teen Mom 3," many questions come up. Is Devoin officially out of Briana's and Nova's lives? Will the courts (and Alex) ever let Matt spend time with Arabella? If Katie and Joey break up, what kind of relationship will Molli have with him? And if Josh gets seriously injured, how much harder will it be for Mackenzie to raise Gannon?
Father absence is a recurring theme in the lives of teen moms and their children. The day-to-day drama it can cause is one thing, but the long-term effects can be pretty serious. According to the Fatherhood Initiative, 24 million children in America (that's one out of every three) live apart from their biological father. Those children are more likely to be poor, more likely to show higher levels of aggressive behavior, more likely to suffer abuse, more likely to use drugs, more likely to become teen parents and more likely to be incarcerated later in life.
Now that doesn't mean it's a done deal. There are kids in single mom families who have wonderful, productive lives and thrive in every way, just as there are kids in two-parent families who don't. But the odds of poverty, aggression, abuse, drug use, teen parenthood and jail are greater for kids who don't have dads at home.
If you're sexually active, and you and your partner aren't ready for the lifelong responsibility of parenthood, then using birth control is critical. Learn about all the different methods and find the one that best fits your lifestyle at itsyoursexlife.com. The best time to have a child is when you and your partner are committed to parenthood and each other.
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