For a while, subway cars were plastered end-to-end with photos of crying babies and the line: "Honestly, Mum, chances are he WON'T stay with you."Now that's the sort of ad MSD/WINZ should be funding and running in New Zealand trains and buses. (I was going to say on the backs of buses but the targeted demographic is more likely to be inside. Then again best put them everywhere lest the politically correct take offence.)
That one was an ad for family planning services. What cheerier way to start the morning commute?
Strictly speaking the odds are with the mother in the first year. But with one in five NZ babies ending up on welfare - usually Sole Parent Support - by the end of their birth year, the chances he won't stay are pretty high. And they increase with time.
According to the Families Commission, nearly one in two mothers in New Zealand will experience solo parenthood and up to 40 per cent of children will live in a sole-parent family for a period of time.
And if you don't believe the poor need targeting have a look at this just-published report from the Brookings Institute:
A poor woman is about five times as likely as an affluent woman to have an unintended birth, which further deepens the divides in income, family stability, and child outcomes.