Paternity Leave for Unwed Soldiers
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The U.S. Department of Defense provides 10 days non-chargeable leave to active duty soldiers after the birth of a child. This leave is not available to soldiers whose children are born outside of wedlock. Not only is this policy discriminatory, it has negative impacts on the soldiers and their families. The policy encourages "shotgun" weddings, which could be adding to the divorce rate amongst active duty soldier. Divorce is costly and stressful. This policy makes it impossible for new parents to bond with their newborn. Soldiers whose children are born out of wedlock miss out on bonding with a parent due to an archaic view by DoD as to what constitutes a family. In short, leave for the birth of a child should not be based on the parents marital status. Instead, the soldiers should provide paternity paperwork to their unit upon their return or be charged the 10 days of leave.
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