For many years the traditional American family was “mother, father and 2.5 kids.” That has changed over the years, and according to a CNN feature article there are more and more families with single parents, same-sex parents, and stay-at-home fathers then ever before.
According to the article there are currently between 1.5 million and 5 million same sex parents, compared to approximately 300,000-500,000 in 1976.
Adam Pertman, who is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, said that Americans have become a lot more accepting of same-sex families in recent years. “As support for legal gay marriage has grown, along with the body of research that shows same-sex parents to be just as committed, so, too, has the acceptance of gay parenthood,” Pertman said in the article.
The article also looked into single-parent-adoption. Pertman said that one reason there has been a rise in single-parent-adoption is that as women “find good careers and their earnings grow, there’s less need to find a partner to make having a family feasible.”
The article interviewed Jo Trizila, who adopted her daughter Kate two years ago, and she said that while there are times she wishes she had someone else to ask ‘am I doing this right,’ that her family and friends have been a big help in raising her daughter. She also questions if being a single-parent is that out of the ordinary in today’s culture. “”Are Kate and I that unusual?” Trizila asks in the article. “Look at the divorce statistics. There are a lot of single moms — they just didn’t adopt.” Trizila is right, as the article states that about 25 percent of all kids are raised by single parents.
The third type of parent the article looks into is the stay-at-home-dad. According to the article many fathers have found themselves staying at home to take care of the children after losing their job. The article said that 70 percent of the jobs lost during the recent recession belonged to men. The troubling economic times have pushed more men into stay-at-home-parent roles, and according to Scott Haltzman, M.D., who co-wrote the book “The Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happy Families,” this has begun to change people’s opinion on gender roles in the family. “We’re slowly rejecting the old stigma that if a guy is home with the kids, there’s something wrong with him,” Haltzman said in the article.
While there are now more stay-at-home-fathers, Haltzman said in the article that there are still challenges these men will face. “many men find themselves shut out of the social infrastructure that surrounds at-home parents, since they’re still mostly female,”Haltzman said.
The view of “the traditional family” is ever-changing, and it is great to see that there are now more viable options then ever-before for children to have forever families.
CNN recently posted a feature story on the plight of adoptees from the World War II-era, who were born to white German mothers and African American male soldiers who were in Germany on military duty. According to the article, “couples were often split apart by disapproving military officers…and the single mothers of the African American babies struggled to find support in a mostly white Germany and were encouraged to give their kids up.”
According to the article, many of these romances occurred because “many women German women perceived the black soldiers to be kinder than their white counterparts.” While the African American soldiers “wanted to seize the advantages of being away from Jim Crow America.”
The article said that between 1945-1955, about 5,000 “Brown Babies” were born, and as of 1968 “Americans had adopted about 7,000 of these German children.” Many were not told they were adopted until they were adults. One of the main reasons that these children were placed in America, according to the article, was Germany’s “national identity was strongly tied to white German heritage.”
One of these adoptees was Daniel Cardwell, who has been searching for most of his adult life for his biological roots. According to the article, Cardwell was adopted at the age of four by an African-American family in Washington DC. He has gone to great lengths to find out more about his birth family including traveling “the country in search of aging documents, hypnotism therapy,build(ing) relationships with distant family members and visit(ing) Germany several times.”
The article said that time may be running our for Cartwell and other “Brown Babies” to find their birth parents.
“People’s mothers are passing away, their fathers are passing away, and people are starting to wonder who they are,” Henrietta Cain, a “Brown Baby,” said in the article. “Now even we are passing away, and it’s a story that needs to be told.”
While many have been unable to track their roots, Cain said she has been able to find her biological sister and mother and now has a close relationship with both. She said that her birth father passed away before they could meet. She now devotes her life to helping other “Brown Babies” find their birth families according to the article.
The article said that there has recently been two documentaries on this topic. “Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story” was released in the summer of 2011 and “Brown Babies: Germany’s Lost Children” was shown on German Television in the fall.
Good Morning everyone, we’re halfway to the long weekend!
The current state of the economy has affected many personal decisions such as where and when to go on vacation, whether to get a new car, and now according to this MSNBC article, whether or not to have a child.
The article interviewed several families who are ready to have children, but have pushed back the decision due to financial hardship. These stories are not just a fad either, as according to the article “The U.S. Fertility rate fell 4 percent from 2007-09,” The Federal Centers for Disease Control said this was the largest drop in 30 years. The article relates the drop in fertility rate from 2007-09 with the recession, saying that those two years were the worst recession years of the past 30 years.
While it is true that having a baby either biologically or through the adoption process can be expensive, CNN recently did a profile on Becky Fawcett and her not-for-profit group “helpusadopt.org.” The profile said that “Since 2007, the group has awarded over $300,000 in financial assistance toward adoption expenses.”
According to the article approved couples can receive grants ranging from $500-$15,000, which can be used to help offset expenses for “domestic, international, foster care and special needs adoption.”