Single Parents by Choice: A Growing Trend in Family Life

Synopsis

"With almost one child in four currently living with a single parent, one-parent families have become a significant and growing presence in America today. Naomi Miller, Ph. D., a clinician and expert in family relations, looks at a new and emerging group of single parents, namely, those who, not unlike couples, came to their decision for single parenthood intentionally. In contrast to teenage mothers, these men and women are, for the most part, older, educated, professionally successful, and financially secure. By offering relevant demographic, research, and sociocultural data, as well as a series of intensely personal and revealing interviews, Single Parents by Choice investigates what led these people to make such a decision. These new family constellations involve the following four separate groups: single biological mothers; single adoptive mothers or fathers (including those who have adopted older children as well as infants); divorced parents (i.e., the active parent who has decided not to remarry); and gay and lesbian parents (a relatively "new" category of alternative parenting). Listening to the poignant stories of those who have chosen single parenthood, we learn about their family backgrounds and how these played a significant role in shaping the hopes and aspirations for creating their own families. We hear about their ambitions, social lives, and love relationships, and what ultimately led them to decide to take on the responsibilities of parenthood outside the bonds of marriage. They talk about their experiences as parents and what impact their single status as parents and what impact their single status has had on their children, as well what kinds of responses they have received from family, friends, and society at large. Some important questions are raised, namely, what are the psychological implications for the children, and how do they compare to children of two-parent families? In reviewing similar trends in Sweden, England, and Israel, the author asks to what extent can we expect these new family forms to be viewed as normative alternatives to the two-parent family. Single Parents by Choice offers significant new insights into the struggles, frustrations, and joys of raising a child independently and will be of enormous interest to all those involved in or considering this option, as well as psychologists, sociologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, those in women's studies programs, and gay and lesbian rights advocates." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1992