This Essay's focus on the relative disadvantages experienced by the children of privileged--college educated African-American single mothers--might seem trivial given the significant poverty, family instability, and risk of poor outcomes faced by the much larger number of African-American children in fragile families. However, racial inequality affecting one child is still one too many. Further, the stigmatization of single-parent families, especially if African-American, negatively impacts all children in non-marital families regardless of their parents' income and education. A Healthy Families Initiative would benefit the children of college-educated single mothers by signaling that their families are no less normative than marital families. It would also direct resources to the families that need them most to secure their children's well-being rather than making support dependent on marriage.
Joseph M. Lynch Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law.