Baby Before Marriage? Study Says It's Totally OK

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We've all heard the old-timey playground rhyme that lays out the expected order of life: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. But as many couples know first-hand, it doesn't always work out this way. A number of people become parents before they decide to swap vows—much to the chagrin of supposed "family-focused" groups and individuals who denounce the idea of having kids before solidifying a commitment with church and/or state. And, luckily for these couples, new research shows that starting a family before marriage is really NBD: A baby before marriage won't cause divorce, as stigmas against doing so have long suggested.
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"Couples who tie the knot after their first baby now stay together at the same rate as those who were married before their first child, according to research released today by the non-profit group, Council on Contemporary Families," reports USA Today. These statistics are a departure from earlier numbers, taken between 1985 and 1995, finding that couples who had a baby first and married after were 60 percent more likely to divorce than couples who married before they had a child. Back then, only 17 percent of couples had a child before marriage, compared to 35 percent of couples from data collected between 1997 and 2010. These major changes in divorce rates and pre-martial parenting suggest that having a "nontraditional" family is less and less of a concern and that doing things "out of order" is totally okay. What matters is that couples, and their children, are happy—not that their lives follow a socially-prescribed mandate. Plus, how special would it be to have your own child as your flower girl or ring bearer? Planning a wedding while expecting? What to Expect When You're Planning a Wedding While Expecting Bridal Baby Bumps: Maternity Wedding Dresses for Brides, Bridesmaids, & Guests
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Natasha Burton
About The Author
Writer living in Santa Barbara, CA.