Non-Marital Childbearing in Suriname

Dominique Meekers, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Katherine Andrinopoulos, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Emily Blake, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Suriname has experienced a major fertility decline, but adolescent fertility remains high. In Suriname, childbearing may not always be a prelude to marriage. Unmarried women account for a substantial share of all children born, and many single women have more than one child. Although unmarried motherhood is well accepted, and children born out-of-wedlock are legally protected, the abortion rate among young women is believed to be high and there is considerable concern about teenage pregnancies. Considerably less attention is paid to unmarried childbearing among adult women, who may need to make do with limited support from the child's father. This paper analyzes the 2000 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey to describe socio-economic and demographic differences in the prevalence of non-marital childbearing in Suriname. Non-marital fertility is estimated using parity progression ratios. The Singulate Mean Age at Marriage and at First Birth are used to examine variations in timing of family formation.

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Presented in Poster Session 7