When dads and children reconnect, it can be beautiful, painful o - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

When dads and children reconnect, it can be beautiful, painful or both

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Louis Steptoe, 18, is shown as his recent high school graduation with his godfather William Ford, Ford's son Jabari Fod who Steptoe calls his "godbrother." Louis Steptoe, 18, is shown as his recent high school graduation with his godfather William Ford, Ford's son Jabari Fod who Steptoe calls his "godbrother."

Boys and girls - both big and small - who don't have a father in their lives often describe a longing that can be reduced but never erased.

Fatherlessness during childhood has become a major part of American life due to divorce and the rise of having children outside marriage. Overwhelmingly, these one-parent households are led by women.

But there is new momentum to reconnect fathers with their children - and much of that push has come from the African American community, where black fathers are twice as likely to live separately from their children as white fathers, according to research in 2011 by The Pew Research Center.

USA TODAY is joining the effort by soliciting photos of dads who have reconnected with their daughters and sons after some period of distance, whether it's months, years or a lifetime. Send your photos - with or without fathers or children - and short descriptions to jodonnell@usatoday.com.

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