Dougherty Co. leads in unwed mothers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. leads in unwed mothers

March 5, 2003

ALBANY - Tanzanika Thomas and Lakeisha Richardson represent the vast majority of black women in Dougherty County who give birth. They are unmarried.

"Never regret having my kids, but it's always a struggle," single parent Lakeisha Richardson said.

"Between school, working, then come home and take care of a child, it was tiresome," Tanzineka Thomas, a single parent said.

One in five white babies is born to an unmarried mother, while a staggering 77 percent of black women, or more than 3 of every 4 who give birth in Dougherty County are unmarried.

The 24-year-old Thomas and 22-year-old Richardson, part of that group, each picking up their children today at a subsidized income nursery.

"It's very expensive these days to raise a child," Pat Thomas, DFACS Program Director said. 

It's expensive to everyone. These mothers and most others like them depend on your tax money to help raise these children. Added expenses and less time to work, means these women rely on government assistance.

"Perhaps majority will come at one point through our doors." But these two mothers have no regrets. "They can be troublesome at times, but I love them."

And Thomas says her daughter Deyanla changed her life, "I'll do whatever it takes to take care of her, three or four jobs I'll do it, first priority."

Because there's nobody else to take care of the three year old, but her.  One third of Georgia children born out of wedlock are born to teenage mothers.

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