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Childbearing after separation

Collection : Documents de travail

155, 2008

Today, the childbearing process is no longer completed in one unique union but has to be analysed in terms of a succession of family steps since more and more people experience several partnerships in their life. This article aims to study fertility behaviour after the first union in terms of total fertility and also the timing of this fertility, by taking into account the fact that individuals in second unions may be racing against the biological clock since they form their union later. Using a French "onepercent" survey of Family History in 1999, results show that completed fertility in case of separation is generally reduced by 0.1 children for men and 0.15 for women. However, in the event of repartnering, men’s fertility makes up for fertility of never separated men. Growing sterility with age affects step-fertility especially for women. The acceleration of the birth process for second unions in the hypothetical scenario of absence of sterility may be a proof of the couple’s anticipation of fecundability decline with age.

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