Is it true that half of all babies in France are born to unmarried parents?
Among the 753,000 babies born in France in 2019, 6 out of 10 children were born to unmarried parents, compared with only 6% in 1970. In 2015, the fathers of 86% of these children had officially recognized them.
In 1970, births outside marriage were rare and contrary to social norms. They were qualified as "illegitimate". But the norm has changed, and babies born outside marriage outnumber those born within marriage. This is the case for first babies : in 2009, 63% were born to unmarried parents. Since 1972, the rights of legitimate and illegitimate children have been identical under French law. And as of July 2006, the type of birth – legitimate or otherwise – is no longer stated on the birth certificate. Today, most births outside marriage are to couples in a stable union, and 95% of these babies are recognized by their father, generally just before or after birth.