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Rise In Single Fathers Defies Historic Trend
[Excerpt from The Baltimore Sun]

After he and his wife separated in 2007, Bruce Jordan, 37, entered a long custody battle for one of their children, Matthew, an active 7-year-old who loves watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" and other cartoons.

The father of seven children in all, Jordan, who lives in East Baltimore, says he felt he had been too absent from the lives of his other kids.

"As far as my son, I wanted to make a difference," Jordan said on a recent afternoon, clutching a water bottle and looking relaxed in a Nike t-shirt and jeans. "I didn't just want to be a father with seven children and not have any of them with me."

In taking over the day-to-day care and supervision of his child, Jordan has joined the increasingly large ranks of single fathers in Maryland.  According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the rise in the number of Maryland families led by single fathers in the past decade outpaced the rise in single-mother families for the first time since 1970, as far back as state data is available.

There are now about 47,000 single-parent households in the state, an increase of nearly 6,000 over 2000, or 14 percent. The number of families led by single mothers increaded by about 5,000 over the past 10 years, or 3.2 percent.

Though just 22 percent of single-parent households in Maryland are led by men, the data suggest more parity than ever before. Experts attribute the change to a more flexible court system where joint-custody arrangements are far more common, and to broader career options for women.  

Read the rest of the story here »
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