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Single Mothers Struggle With Out-of-Wedlock Births

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RALEIGH — The traditional nuclear family is becoming harder to find. New statistics prove the family structure in North Carolina is not what it used to be.

According to theNorth Carolina Center for Health Statistics, the illegitimacy rate in Wake County is 22 percent. In Durham County, the rate is about 38 percent. In Wilson County, the illegitimacy rate is a 47 percent.

Aneesah Evans has her hands full as a single mother of three daughters, just a year apart. Evans is 22 years old.

The children all have the same father; Evans says she thought she loved him. However, the young mother does not make any excuses. Instead, she does what she can to take responsibility for her actions.

"Now I try my hardest to be independent, but it's hard, it's a real hard thing to deal with, and it does affect a lot more people than people having children think," Evans says.

Max Fitz-Gerald -- a member of Citizens for a Healthier Wilson County -- believes the problem is one of community-wide concern and that part of the solution lies in education and dialogue.

"If we can't talk about sexuality issues, we can't do a whole lot about addressing the problem," he says.

Evans agrees. She thinks if more young people knew how tough it is to be a single parent, they would think twice about their actions. She says at some point she would like to speak to young girls about her experience in the hopes that it would make a difference in their lives.

The Wilson County group is looking into several projects to tackle the issue.

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Julia Lewis, Reporter
Ken Bodine, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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