Single Parents by Choice: A Growing Trend in Family Life

By Naomi Miller | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Single Parents by Divorce

For the first time in our history, two people entering marriage are just as likely to be parted by divorce as by death.

Lenore J. Weitzman 1

Although most Americans continue to marry, the number of couples getting divorced has gone up exponentially in recent decades. These figures started to climb in 1963, reaching an all-time high in 1979. In that year, 1.21 million marriages, or more than 2 marriages in 100, were terminated by divorce. 2 This proportion constituted twice as many than at the peak of the baby boom years, when divorce affected fewer than 1 in 100. 3

Recent statistics indicate that 10.1 percent, or 14 million, of all ever-married Americans alive today have been divorced, at least once. This means that anyone getting married today has only a 50-50 chance of staying married "until death do us part." 4

Although people in the past were more likely to stay in an unsatisfying marriage "for the sake of the children," this no longer appears to be the case. During the 1980s, approximately 61 percent of all households with dependent children included both biological mother and biological fa

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Single Parents by Choice: A Growing Trend in Family Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Why Single Mothers by Choice? 11
  • Chapter 2 - The Mothers Themselves 21
  • Chapter 3 - Single Parents by Adoption 53
  • Chapter 4 - Single Adoption: the Parents 71
  • Chapter 5 - Single Parents by Divorce 103
  • Chapter 6 - Divorce: the Children 127
  • Chapter 7 - Homosexuality and Parenthood 147
  • Chapter 8 - Gay Fathers and Lesbian Mothers 159
  • Chapter 9 - Families around the World 183
  • Chapter 10 - W(H)Ither the Family? 191
  • Select Directory of Resources 209
  • Notes 215
  • Index 229
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