Georgia State Legitimation, Father Engagement and Youth Academic Outcomes

Traditional research suggests that fatherlessness and, therefore, lack of presence in the home is largely the result of couples not marrying – perhaps indicating a distance in relationship.

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However, decreasing marriage rates or the increase of divorce among couples may have little to do with the disunity of Black men and women but the results of policies that disincentives marriage and creates a dependence on public assistance and child support. Such dependence has resulted in a predominant family structure – particularly in the Black community – where fathers live separately from their children and mothers tend to head most households. 

There are organizations, like Fathers Incorporated, that are including programs geared toward teaching fathers about legitimation. Fathers Incorporated (FI) is a national, non-profit organization working to build stronger families and communities through the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood. Through their “Fatherhood is Brotherhood” program, FI teaches fathers about the legitimation process and offers free legitimation services to fathers who need them.

Programs like these are incredibly important, not only for fathers, but to assist fathers in making informed decisions and, thereby, fostering father/child relationships.