Report: Births to Single Moms Up in Michigan

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Adella Gary is a single mother of 12 kids. Five are grown and seven she's still raising. Her youngest child is only five months old. Between working, going to school and helping her kids with homework, Gary says being a single mom is tough.

"It's a struggle every day but I'm not one to let things get me down," Gary said.

According to a new report released by the Michigan League for Public Policy, about two of every five newborns are born to a single mom, an 18% jump from 2005.

"We're living in really unstable economic times," said Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count Project Director at the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Zehnder-Merrell says that could be one of the reasons why parents are delaying or even rejecting marriage.The report calls on lawmakers to implement policy aimed at helping single moms.

"It's very difficult for low-income women who are single to balance the demands of employment and the demands of being a parent," said Zehnder-Merrell.

They're pushing for more job training opportunities and expanding Medicaid --- something supported by Gov.Snyder, but House Republicans are stil unsure about the cost.

As for Gary, she's currently relying heavily on welfare and says it's hard to make ends meet, but she has no regrets.

"My kids keep me going, if it weren't for my kids, I would've gave up a long time ago," Gary said.

Gary says she is close to getting her college degree and hopes to get a job as a paralegal by next year.

Meanwhile, the number of teen births in Michigan is going down. Click on the link below to see more of the report.


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  • by Anyone on May 13, 2013 at 01:46 PM
    But not too disabled to keep having babies! By the way, are we also paying for your college education while trying to figure out how to pay for our children to go to school?
  • by Heywood Location: Location on May 13, 2013 at 08:20 AM
    Jane, while she may not reflect the "average case", the fact that we can have ANYONE like this on the taxpayers' backs is an absolute crime. I'm sure like to compare her "struggle" to what my wife and I have to deal with to raise our 3 legitimate children. Sure would be easier if we didn't have her 12 to help carry at the same time!
  • by Adella on May 13, 2013 at 07:39 AM
    Hello everyone just to clarify I have not always been on welfare. I got my first job at 15 and worked many years including a plant. A disability is the reason I ended up on welfare. I am going to school and will be of soon and I will give back all I received from the state.
  • by Cap'n Rita Location: Lansing on May 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
    Well, Happy Mother's Day to YOU, Ms. Gary and all of the other cash assisted single mothers. I only have 3 children, 1 husband and I had to work today.
  • by Taxpayer Location: Michigan on May 10, 2013 at 08:42 PM
    Why wouldn't this baby making factory keep putting out kids? She gets more welfare with each one. When is this going to end? At some point we are going to have more people taking from the system than we have paying into the system. I can't believe that she brags about having twelve illegitimate children and isn't married. We must be the stupidest society in the history of the world. What kind of morals is she teaching the children of her twelve studs? When is number thirteen due?
  • by Name Location: Location on May 10, 2013 at 05:35 AM
    That's great, she is going to become a paralegal. $15/hr. is going to fix everything. It's hard to support a family of 3 in a modest appartment on that wage.
  • by Anyone on May 9, 2013 at 04:09 PM
    To paraphrase: It is very difficult for a single parent to balance the demands of gainful employment and the demands of being a parent. In reality: It is very difficult today for ANY parent to balance the demands of employment with the demands of parenthood. In most families, both parents are working just to pay the bills and put food on the table. Add to that their frustration in having their hard earned money being used to support single parents on welfare, and we have some really stressed parents and kids out there who are trying to do the right thing. Why should they be working so hard and having limited time with their children while these welfare mothers have all the time in the world to spend with their kids while collecting someone else's money? This whole situation is just so unfair to so many good parents who are working hard for their families.
  • by Janice Neuville Location: Holt on May 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM
    It's is very sad. It says a lot about the lack of education in young people, not just sex education but far more important financial education. These excess children have no future but poverty and homelessness. Jobs are becoming extinct in the USA as computers take over the work and more corporations prefer to ship work overseas. Both of those options lead to higher profits. We know at least three highly talented college grads who have not found any work except part time in the service industry. Those with no education will need to turn to their families only as taxpayers will soon realize that funding children because they had stupid parents is not a good idea.
  • by ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! Location: Lansing on May 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM
    It's plain and simple.... If you don't have the money or support to have a child then don't! We tax payers are sick and tired of dead beat losers getting more help to make ends meet when its got to a point that we are having trouble making ends meet. Makes me sick to hear this story. My husband and I work hard to raise our 3 children. Its maddening to see so much of our hard earned money going to people who have no morals, values, ammbition or common sense. STOP HAVING KIDS if you can't swing it, its not our responsibility!!!!! Take responsibility for your own actions and quit thinking someone else always has to bail you out of your own stupid decisions.
  • by Jane Zehnder Merrell Location: Lansing on May 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM
    The particular family featured in this story certainly does not reflect the average case. The average single mother family on cash assistance in Michigan has no more than two children, and, as of 2011, the average length of time on the program was 15 months.
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