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Broken to Blended: Expanding the Definition of Family
The divorce rate in the U.S. has fallen considerably since 1992. The marriage rate, which has also decreased since the 1990s, was still higher than the divorce rate in 2019. It seems that fewer marriages are ending in divorce than before, yet fewer people choose to marry. As modern times have seen more and more people forgo the traditional setting, unconventional family structures have become more common.
The number of children growing up in a single-parent family has been increasing. The vast majority of children living with a single mother overshadows the number of children living with a single father. While before the 20th-century, the single-parent family was quite common, it wasn’t until more recent years that this family structure became more accepted.
There are 1.1 million same-sex families in the US alone. LGBTQ+ rights have seen an increase in acceptance with same-sex marriage becoming legal in more countries around the world. This has led to the number of children growing up in this family structure increasing, too.
One in ten US children lives with their grandparents. The more recent financial crisis has seen an increase in children being raised or cared for by their grandparents. President Barack Obama was raised by his grandparents from age 10 – 17% of children in the US live in a similar setting, too.
More and more couples are choosing to forgo marriage and instead cohabit. In fact, cohabiting couples are now more common than married ones.
40% of families in the US are blended, making this structure one of the most common. Children from black, white or Hispanic backgrounds are equally likely to be raised in this type of family.
This UK article observed 10000 schoolchildren and concluded one thing – the family structure is irrelevant provided the home is stable. Children from stable families are better off than their counterparts. So, on this positive note, remember that we live in an exciting era. Our society is ever-evolving, and what we perceive as normal is also morphing and expanding.