Thursday, April 16, 2009

It Takes Two

Had she been born a generation earlier, Kim Hoffman might have had a shotgun wedding. As it turned out, she and Steve Miller took the time to plan their dream nuptials -- outdoors, on an organic farm, and with their 10-month-old daughter in tow. Along with magazine-cover grabbers like Angelina Jolie and Bristol Palin, Hoffman, today a 39-year-old mother of three, is part of a now record-breaking trend of women who give birth outside of wedlock. Nearly 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, according to data released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births, of 4.3 million total births, marked a more than 25 percent jump from five years before. Statistics such as these, which include for the second year in a row a bump in teen pregnancies, after a 14-year decline, leave Sarah Brown concerned. She worries about the children born to unwed parents -- about the disadvantages they often face, including increased likelihood of poverty and greater high school dropout rates.


There are entirely too many children growing up in single parent homes. I know a number of people who grew up in single parent homes and they had it rough. Luckily, these people were raised by strong hardworking women who sacrificed a lot so that their kids could have what they needed. It disgusts me when I see men and women who take parenthood lightly. Raising a child is one of the most important things you can ever do. Granted, a child can have a loving and fulfilling upbringing in a single parent home. Statistics have shown, however, that the likelihood of that happening is minimal.

There are a few caveats to my stance on this issue. I don't think a couple should stay together if their relationship is abusive or stagnant. A child should not grow up in an environment where the parents clearly don't like each other. I understand that some people are single parents because of untimely deaths. My heart goes out to those people and their families. I also understand that there are single people who adopt children. I think adopting a child is a beautiful thing. I take issue with the people who choose to be single parents because they are selfish and those who regularly have unprotected sex. Honestly, I don't care if a couple is married. I just want both parents to be actively involved in their child's life. Pink's "Family Portrait" details her experience in a broken home. The message is powerful...

Mama please stop cryin'
I can't stand the sound
Your pain is painful
And it's tearin' me down
I hear glasses breakin'
As I sit up in my bed
I told Dad you didn't mean
Those nasty things you said


SalemPinay said...

Good blog. I liked how you kept it gender netural :) lol

Kelly said...

Nice. I don't like the idea (per Ann Coulter---sp??) that single paretns are crazies who totally fuck up their kids lives and make them go to jail.

I think the question lies in how to prevent these scenarios from happening. Better sex education? Teaching abstinence in schools isn't working. It's stupid. I will never tell my son NOT to have sex. I will have a real, akward conversation with him about protection, how to get it, and urge him to speak with me when he's thinking of becoming sexually active. This is what my Mom did, and it totally worked. For the most part. Shut your mouth, Jabari.

I love your writing. And you.