Changing view of the “Traditional American Family”

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.

If you would like to read the full CNN article, please click here.