January 04, 2011


Growing up in a stable, two-parent family is the exception, not the rule, for Oklahoma teenagers.

Using 2008 Census data to measure the proportion of children who have grown up in an intact married family, Patrick Fagan finds that the parents of 6 in 10 Oklahoma teenagers have rejected each other.
  • Only 40 percent of Oklahoma teenagers have spent their childhood with an intact family, with both their birth mother and their biological father legally married to one another since before or around the time of the teenager’s birth.
  • 60 percent of teenagers live in families where their biological parents have rejected each other. The families with a history of rejection include single-parent families, stepfamilies, and children who no longer live with either birth parent but with adoptive or foster parents.


  1. Certainly an explanation but not an excuse for where our society is headed...or where we are! UGH!

  2. hmmm, never thought as adoption as rejection. A wise choice if you are an unwed teen with no income and no skills, but not rejection of the child. Usually in a very high percentage of adoptions the adopted child comes out with a loving family. As an adoptive parent I find being included in these statistics disturbing.

  3. I think everyone agrees adoptive parents are heroes. I think what the study's author means is that a child's biological parents have rejected each other.

  4. Correct: Adoption is not rejection but the opposite and even is heroic love on the part of the biological mother.(See
    www.frc.org/researchsynthesis/adoption-works-well-a-synthesis-of-the-literature )

    We could not disaggregate the adoption data hence it got included (by default). However the % is so small it does not change the overall picture for OK. If Census data permits in the future we will take adopted children out of the sample.
    Pat Fagan, Ph.D. (author of study)


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