Barack Obama's Growing Up Years:
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii to a mother from Kansas and a father who was from Kenya who came to Hawaii on a scholarship. Barack Obama, Sr. married Ann Dunham, from Wichita, Kansas while they were both enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. When little Barack was two years old, his father and mother divorced and his father moved on to Connecticut to continue his education and then eventually back to Kenya.
Obama's Own Family:
Barack married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in October of 1992. When they met, Michelle was working for a law firm in downtown Chicago where Obama was a summer associate. She was his advisor in the firm for the summer experience.
Michelle and Barack have two children:
- Malia Ann Obama was born in 1999.
- Natasha Obama was born in 2001.
Prior to his election to the United States Senate, Barack was a civil rights lawyer and community organizer in Chicago. Until May of 2007, Michelle was Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
Obama on Fatherhood:
"We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child -- it's the courage to raise one....
"When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me -- how do I make my way in the world, and how do I become successful and how do I get the things that I want.
"But now, my life revolves around my two little girls. And what I think about is what kind of world I'm leaving them... Are they living in a country that is still divided by race? A country where, because they're girls, they don't have as much opportunity as boys do? ..."
"And what I've realized is that life doesn't count for much unless you're willing to do your small part to leave our children -- all of our children -- a better world. Even if it's difficult. Even if the work seems great. Even if we don't get very far in our lifetime."
Now, I can’t legislate fatherhood — I can’t force anybody to love a child. But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there is no excuse for failing to meet their obligations. What we can do is make it easier for fathers who make responsible choices and harder for those who avoid those choices. What we can do is come together and support fathers who are willing to step up and be good partners and parents and providers."
Obama on Family Issues:Barack Obama sponsored the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2007 in the United States Senate. According to Obama's campaign website, this bill is designed to "remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, ensure that support payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies, fund support services for fathers and their families, and support domestic violence prevention efforts. As president, Obama will sign this bill into law and continue to implement innovative measures to strengthen families."
Obama also supports expanded tax credits for college education expenses, living wage, expanded Earned Income Tax Credits, and universal health care.