Single parent in the USA

A meaningful family

Marriage and family are inextricably linked and are the two most important social elements in the human civilization. The two-parent and marriage-basedfamily is the foundation and the building block of society. Marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman and is intended to be life-long. Over the past two decades, there has been rapidly increasing of single-mom and single-dad families with children.

Single-parent families are families with children under age 18 headed by a parent, who is widowed or divorced and not remarried, or by a parent who has never married, or same sex marriages, or by choice through artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization.

Same-sex marriages' issue

"Most states have shown caution in changing the status quo. But Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And in June 2011, New York lawmakers voted to legalize same sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples are able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born. Days later, the Rhode Island State Senate approved a bill allowing civil unions, despite fierce opposition from gay rights advocates who called the legislation discriminatory."

The reasons for single-parent families have also changed. In the mid-twentieth century, most single-parent families came about because of the death of a spouse. In the 1970s and 1980s, most single-parent families were the result of divorce. In the early 2000s, more and more single parents have never married.

Since 1950, the number of one-parent families has increased substantially. In 1970, about 11 percent of children lived in single-parent families. During the 1970s, divorce became much more common, and the number of families headed by one parent increased rapidly. The number peaked in the 1980s and then declined slightly in the 1990s. By 1996, 31 percent of children lived in single-parent families.

In 2002, the number was 28 percent, about 20 million children, more than one-fourth of all children in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).

Many other children have lived in single-parent families for a time before their biological parent remarried, when they moved into a two-parent family with one biological parent and one step parent.

Single- parent and children

Single-parent families face special challenges. First of all, being a single parent can be hard and lonely. There is often no other adult with whom to share decision-making, discipline and financial responsibilities. Moreover, family is an important life setting where much of young children’s care and socialization takes place. For older children and adolescents, family environment and resources also establish a whole component of their quality of life directly affecting their social relationship experiences and life opportunities. In theory, single-parent family cannot compete with two-parent family in terms of social, economic, and psychological resources. The lack of social, economic, and psychological resources associated with single parenthood may result in limiting children’s social development and negatively affect children’s school activities, engagement, and performance. Social scientists have found that children growing up in single-parent families are disadvantaged in other ways when compared to two-biological-parent families. Many of these problems are directly related to the poor economic condition of single-parent families, not just to parenting style. These children are at risk for the following: health risk behaviors, including smoking, drinking, violence, unsafe sexual activity, and suicide attempts. The impact of being raised by a single parent on child’s health can be lasting and far-reaching into various aspects of life. It is clear that these mentally and physically disadvantaged children would have a harder time landing a successful adulthood.


It is vital to protect families against the trend trying to break down these fundamental social elements and re-build them in the name of freedom and multi culture. When marriages and families are healthy and strong, the communities thrive.