For Immediate Release

Seventh Annual Candlelight Vigil for Fatherless Children

BOSTON, Dec. 21, 2002 – The Fatherhood Coalition will hold it's seventh annual Candlelight Vigil for children separated from their fathers today, Saturday, Dec. 21 from 4 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Tremont corner of the Boston Commons.

The Vigil seeks to draw attention to the many children who are forcibly separated from their non-custodial parents due to hostile actions of courts and custodial parents, which can be especially painful during the holiday season. Fatherhood Coalition spokesmen will be on hand to discuss the plight of non-custodial fathers and their children.

The Fatherhood Coalition call on the state legislature to enact shared parenting legislation and legislation reforming the domestic abuse prevention statute, and ask Governor-elect Mitt Romney to establish the protection of fatherhood as a high priority issue in his new administration.

Growing awareness of the importance of fatherhood

According to David Blankenhorn, author of Fatherless America, never in history have so many men lived apart from their children, and what is at stake is nothing less than the survival of a "free and ordered society." Speaking in a High School auditorium in Kansas City in 1998, Blankenhorn said that about 40 percent of American children will live apart from their fathers at some time before they are 18. Even more distressing, Blankenhorn said, is that "as a society, we are losing belief in the necessity of fathers."

According to a 1997 report from the Census Bureau, Children with single parents - how they fare, in 1995, 48.3 million of the 70.3 million children under 18 lived with two parents (69 percent); 18.9 million lived with only one parent (27 percent); and 3.0 million lived with neither parent (4 percent). The report states "Children living with a divorced parent typically have a big edge over those living with a parent who has never married—an even bigger edge if that parent is the father."

A 1998 study examined the relation between family structure and serious crime using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth as a database. Cynthia Harper from UC San Francisco and Princeton's Sara McLanahann, one of the nation's top family scholars, studied records of 6,403 boys who were between 14 and 22 in 1979. Controlling for variables such as mother's education, race, family income and number of siblings, and unemployment rates and income in the communities, the researches found:

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For further information, contact:

Mark Charalambous

CPF Spokesman

John Flaherty

Event coordinator

Mike Franco

CPF Co-Chairman

Rinaldo Del Gallo

Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition






CPF / The Fatherhood Coalition

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994