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Multipartner Fertility in a Disadvantaged Population: Results and Policy Implications of an Empirical Investigation of Paternity Actions in St. Joseph County, Indiana

Margaret F. Brinig & Marsha Garrison

Introduction

In this paper, we report data on multipartner fertility (MPF) in a population of children and parents for whom paternity actions were brought in 2008 or 2010 in St. Joseph County, Indiana. The computerized, court-based record system we utilized enabled us to collect information on parental characteristics and child outcomes that other MPF researchers have been unable to access. Our research thus offers a unique, data-rich window into an important—and growing—aspect of contemporary family life. It also points the way to needed shifts in family policy and law.

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