A rise in the number of “domino dads”

A new study suggests there is a rise in the number of fathers who have children with multiple mothers:

More than a quarter of all U.S. mothers with more than one child had some of those kids with different men, according to a new study.

Among African-American women with several children, that figure rises to more than half; among Hispanics, it’s more than a third, and among whites it’s 22%.

Multiple partner fertility, as the phenomenon is called in academic circles, is a cause of concern among many sociologists, since studies have shown that growing up in a home in which different men cycle in and out is not good for a child’s health or well being. Think of these families as having domino dads, with each one’s departure putting pressure on the next.

The articles goes on to discuss some of the negative impact this might have on children. But more broadly, this hints at a way of life for many that is quite different from the image of the nuclear family or even single-parenthood: families where multiple fathers are in and out of the picture.

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