§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of total births and live births are illegitimate; what are the perinatal, neonatal, post neonatal and infant mortality rates for illegitimate babies according to the latest available figures; and whether he has any plans to modify the basis on which the social class of babies is categorised so as to include within such categorisation babies born to single mothers.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The table shows rates based upon births occurring in England and Wales during 1983.
Number Illegitimate live and still births per 1,000 live and still births 158 Illegitimate live births per 1.000 live births 158 Perinatal deaths per 1,000 illegitimate live and still births 13.1 Neonatal deaths per 1,000 illegitimate live births 7.4 Post-neonatal deaths per 1,000 illegitimate live births 5.9 Infant deaths per 1,000 illegitimate live births 13.3
Illegitimate births which are registered jointly by both parents are already classified by the father's social class. Illegitimate births registered by the mother alone are, where possible, classified by the mother's social class, but for nearly three quarters of such cases the information on occupation needed to do this is not, or cannot, be supplied. There are no plans at present to modify the existing basis on which births are analysed by social class of parents, but consideration is being given to obtaining more information on the occupation of mothers when births are registered.