[Congressional Record Volume 159, Number 85 (Friday, June 14, 2013)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E878]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. JOHN L. MICA

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, June 14, 2013

  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, as we recognize Father's Day 2013, probably 
never before has fatherhood been so challenged. Some sobering facts 
reveal a crisis that cannot and should not be ignored. Today, 29% of 
Caucasian, 53% Hispanic and 73% African-American children are born out 
of wedlock. The traditional position of fathers in American society and 
in the family as an institution is in serious trouble.
  The U.S. Census Bureau reported there are an estimated 70.1 million 
fathers across the nation; 24.7 million of those fathers have children 
under the age of 18 whom are living in single parent homes. Not having 
a father has serious economic consequences. Fatherless households 
account for 47% of our poverty rate and 90% of all homeless and runaway 
children are from fatherless homes according to the U.S. Census Bureau 
Reports. With no father present, 85% of children possess behavioral 
problems, which is twenty times the national average, Center for 
Disease Control reported. Additionally, 71% of all high school dropouts 
come from fatherless homes, a National Principals Association Report 
found. Today, 63% of youth suicides come from fatherless homes, the 
U.S. Department of Health observed. As we reflect on the state of 
fatherhood in America, these troubling figures indicate the importance 
of fathers for children's development, well-being and stability in 
  While white males face a challenging role, the fatherhood role of 
their African-American counterparts has been dramatically eroded. A 
recent examination by the National Fatherhood Initiative revealed that 
African-American newborns today are seriously disadvantaged. White men 
have a less than 6% lifetime chance of going to prison; African-
American men have a 32% chance, according to 2001 figures from the U.S. 
Department of Justice. Today, half of all children and 80% of African-
American children can expect to spend at least part of their childhood 
living apart from their fathers.
  These staggering figures portray a role model absence in our society 
that is detrimental to our nation's youth. We must understand the 
consequences that result from denying our children a proper upbringing. 
Although Father's Day is a time to celebrate and rejoice with our loved 
ones, we cannot forget about the increasing number of our children that 
are being raised without a father. Children growing up without a father 
are more likely to have behavioral problems and be incarcerated. Those 
children are less likely to attend college, become married and form 
healthy relationships.
  Unfortunately this trend has become prevalent in our communities. As 
a result, this problem has become repetitive through generations at an 
alarming rate. We must work to raise awareness of the effects 
fatherhood has on a child's life. We must also find ways to stem the 
decline of meaningful relationships between a father and his child in 
our society.
  In a commentary on The Importance of a Loving Father by Dr. Walter E. 
Barker, a Florida licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dr. Barker 
stated, ``Fathers are very important to their sons'' and daughters' 
development. A mother gives the child unconditional love and acceptance 
and the father's love is more conditional on the child's finding 
success and accomplishment out in the larger world. He wants his 
children to find what makes them happy and then take that gift and 
talent to make a contribution to the larger society. Fathers want their 
children to have a strong work ethic and to be willing to assert 
themselves in the world.
  By supporting the family structure, better education and job 
training, we can begin to reverse the diminished role of fathers in our 
country. We must all work to help raise awareness on the pressing 
issue. The importance of fatherhood should not be overlooked by our 
society if we are to insure a promising future for the children in