Are you at a place in your life where you are considering becoming a single parent? Perhaps you did not find Mr. or Ms. Right. Or, perhaps you have been scared by past relationships and you would just rather go it alone. Whatever the reason, you are in good company. Recent research statistics demonstrate that this group is a growing force in the U.S. and around the world. Whatever the circumstances are that led you to the choice point of considering single parenthood, know that you are not alone.
According to a Huffington Post Canada article by Eleanore Wells, When ‘Married’ Is No Longer The Norm, (March 2013), single person households have increased by 30% worldwide in the last ten years. It is only now that the sea change from a traditional nuclear family to a single household will occur and impact us culturally. In fact, here in the United States, it is estimated that there will be 36.3 million single households worldwide followed by Japan and China. Laws, culture, economics, and religions will need to adapt to this new core of who makes up a household because it is no longer a father, mother and two kids. Pew Research (May 29, 2013), reported that in the last 50 years, the share of never married mothers among all families with children has increased from less than 1% to 11%. Further, Pew reports that the share of births from unmarried women has increased to approximately 41% in 2010. Moreover, the share of single mothers never married reached to 44% in 2011.
The economic realities of single parenthood, however, are daunting. The sad fact is that the United States does far less than many of its peer countries in supporting single parents through federal financial aid, health care, and paid time off policies. Statistically, the poverty rate for children of single parent families is more than triple the rate for those children of two parent families.
There are several support groups that you can utilize to help you along your journey. One of the pioneers in single parenthood is Jane Mattes, founded of Single Mothers By Choice in 1981. The site ishttp://www.singlemothersbychoice.org/. Another noted resource is parentswithoutpartners.org andhttp://www.dcnetwork.org. Or check out your local Meetup.org groups by doing a simple search for single parenting groups. For those who need more medically oriented groups, contact RESOVE.ORG or ASRM.ORG. Finally, LEGAL MOMENTUM. ORG is one of the oldest public policy and advocacy groups protecting the rights of women and children and offers a lot of case law and insightful research about single parents.