Some of the news articles described and linked to in this post are clearly inspiring but others may surprise and alarm you. They aspire to broaden our perspective and understanding of single parents and their experiences worldwide.
If you have trouble getting to these links, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send PDFs of them to you.
Breastfeeding is gradually overcoming a manufactured social stigma as more women assert their position in the workplace and their responsibility to feeding their babies. This victory in the Western Australian Parliament for breastfeeding advocates and breastfeeding mothers is to be applauded. However, bottle-feeding on the floor has been banned. The ban’s opponents indicated that parents — men and women — should not be discriminated against if they want to bottle-feed their children on the floor. In either case, the parent was required to leave the floor when feeding their children and have a person stand in for them for a vote when the parent was not present.
Quezon City in the Philippines distributed an ID card to several single mothers that allows them to enjoy substantial benefits. These privileges are part of the Single Parent Act of 2000, which helps single mothers and fathers. The headline is a bit misleading — the article was featured in a women’s magazine — because single fathers can enjoy these benefits as well. The law defines a single parent, which appears to be used interchangeably with the term “solo parent” in this article. The definition includes the following qualifiers:
- “A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender, provided that mother keeps and raises the child;”
- “A man or woman left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood” because of the death, imprisonment and mental incapacity of the spouse and a legal separation or annulment in which custody of the children is entrusted;
- “Unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or giving them up to a welfare institution;”
- “Family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance, or prolonged absence of the parents.”
This definition seems to recognize the many circumstances that lead to being a single parent. I actually found it rather refreshing and validating. Now, the perks … they appear to be quite substantial: education, health and housing services; parental leave and restaurant specials. Talk about a club card!
Single-parent households in the United States are on the rise. As of 2017, we make up 10.6 million households with children younger than 18, a ginormous increase from the 1.5 million in 1950, according to census data. In fact, we are fast approaching becoming 40 percent of the child-rearing population in the US. This article addresses our racial diversity, employment and income levels and how those factor in where we live and thrive. And we are everywhere! The reporter breaks down the overall percentage of single parents into single mothers and fathers who live in several cities as well as the rate of poverty and unemployment in our population. The latter two are very disturbing. In all of the cities cited with the most single-parent households, unemployment among single parents was above the average, in many cases by a substantial margin. Hartford, CT, had the highest rate at 12.8 percent. The lowest at 4.2 percent was Beaumont, TX.
This article examines birth citizenship when one parent is a US citizen and the other one isn’t. The Fourteenth Amendment states that a person who is born in the US is a citizen even if their parents are not. Congress and federal law have expounded on additional requirements, particularly for a person born outside of the United States to married parents who are US citizens or one of whom is a US citizen. For children born to unmarried parents outside the US, the rules are different and acquiring citizenship for them is more arduous. A mother who is a US citizen can transfer that citizenship to her child if she has been “physically present in the United States for at least one year prior to the child’s birth.” For fathers, the federal requirements for transferring US citizenship are multiple. Among them are the following:
- “A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
- “The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth;
- “The father [unless deceased] has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years;
- “While the person is under the age of 18 years — the person is legitimated under the law of the person’s residence or domicile, the father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or the paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.”
These requirements suggest how complicated citizenship has become.
On Thursdays, I will be sharing a blog about a day in the actual life of a single parent. Every fourth Thursday, instead of a personal post, I will put together one where I assemble news on and about single parents nationally and globally.
I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send any comments and questions to me at email@example.com. I am also on Twitter @parentsonurown and can be found by searching #singleparentandstrong.