Danville Ranks 5th In Country For Unwed Mothers

Danville, VA - Shantel Carter has a lot to look forward to. She is 20 years old and expects to have her first child in just two months.

For Carter, however, marriage is not yet in the picture.

"I'm only 20. I'm not thinking about getting married no time soon," Carter said.

While Carter and her boyfriend may tie the knot sometime down the road, she says now is just not the right time.

"It's just a ring to me. I have a child. I'm not worried about a ring," Carter said.

Little Life Pregnancy Center Executive Director Carol Slaughter has seen the statistics.

"As long as she can find that support that she needs, I have no doubt that she can go in the right direction," Slaughter said.

Slaughter says 78% of their clients are single.

"If they get pregnant outside of wedlock, it's more accepted," said Slaughter. "A lot of times they don't see it as a crisis. They don't understand that not having a support system, not having the financial back up is a crisis."

Slaughter says two parent households are still generally the best.

Carter says she understands the extra challenges of not being married and is ready to face them.

"Me not being married doesn't mean I am not going to do what I have to do for my child, doesn't mean I'm not going to work, doesn't mean he is not going to be you know in school or anything just because I'm not married," Carter said.

Slaughter at Little Life says another factor could be playing a role in these numbers. Some of the single mothers are on government assistance and would lose their benefits if they got married, she said.