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German History in Documents and Images
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Baby Stroller Get-Together at a Playground in Frankfurt am Main (1954)
As family and living conditions stabilized in the Federal Republic, the number of children born out of wedlock dropped from 116,310 in 1946 to 65,101 in 1953. At the same time, the number of children born to married couples increased from 593,249 in 1946 to 694,712 in 1953. Divorces fell from a peak of 87,013 in 1948 to 47,383 in 1953. After extensive discussions among the various West German political parties, a law was passed in November 1954 to promote families and encourage births. It provided for the payment of a child benefit – to begin on January 1, 1955 – for families with three or more children. Qualifying families received their first payments on January 31, 1955.