Morehouse School of Medicine and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has been focusing on disease in children as it relates to the absence of a father.

25% of all fathers are missing in action by the time an infant is born. What are the implications of such father absence? Incredibly, infants born without an identified father on the birth certificate were 2.3 times more likely to die in the first year of their lives. The study even considered other factors – the age of the mother, available medical care and infant risks.

The study involved more than 217,000 children born over a two-year period. No small sampling, it was an extraordinary discovery. No one believes that the outcomes were related to inkstains on birth certificates or the lack thereof. The absence of the father’s signature was predictive of the absence of fatherly involvement in the early care and nurture of the child. The study concluded that a father’s involvement in providing for and caring for his child was “relevant for infant survival.”

Source: American Family Journal, “The Family in America” (Feb., 2000, page 7)