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The Father Factor

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Why is Daniel Murphy's Paternity Leave a Story?

I realize that there's some inherent level of stupidity in "viral" discussions, but still, what seems to be behind the latest argument is surprisingly anti-fatherhood.

Why no paid paternity leave?

The U.S. is the only western country that does not mandate paid parental leave (for neither moms nor dads) upon the birth of a child. On top of that, only about 15% of U.S. companies voluntarily offer paid paternity leave.

What this results in are a lot of dads who would like to take time off at the birth of their child, but who do not have the ability to do so. (We of course can take unpaid leave through FMLA, but not everyone is able to pull this off financially).

This is problematic. Much research has shown that there is a "magic moment" around the birth of a child when dads are most receptive to learning about and engaging in fatherhood. If you can get dads involved at these earliest stages, it is more likely they will stay involved for the long run.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has a policy (or lack thereof) that is interfering with new fathers' ability to connect with their children from birth.

There has been some movement in Congress to change this, but the bad economy has stalled those efforts. The Family Leave Insurance Act and the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act are two bills that would guarantee paid leave.

Were you unable to take paternity leave when your child was born because your company wouldn't pay for it? Let us know.

The Father Factor Blog: News, tips, and tools for dads and those helping dads.

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