Some of the news articles about single parents 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 email@example.com and I’ll send PDFs of them to you.
Nearly 10 percent of children younger than 5 years of age in the United States were not counted in the 2010 Census. That should alarm everyone. Sadly, this population typically gets overlooked with each census. And that should really alarm everyone. A census expert suggested that young children have young parents who are more likely to experience housing and financial insecurity, making the completion of census forms a low priority. He also indicated that single parents with these vulnerabilities tend to live a transient lifestyle that may contribute to the inaccurate count. They may board with their grandparents or other family members on a temporary basis and are not considered members of the household — even though they are. This undercount affects the distribution of federal funding to various public assistance programs that serve these vulnerable communities. Officials have noted the uptick in uncounted children since 1980.
In an effort to eliminate extreme poverty, Gen. Augusto Pinochet adopted a brutal strong-arm approach — stealing children from their mothers — during his savage military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990. These children — some pulled from their mothers while breastfeeding — were removed to adopted parents in countries overseas. To pull off this elaborate campaign, social workers, nuns, doctors, lawyers and international adoption agencies were enlisted, according to nonprofit Children and Mothers of Silence. Mainly single mothers were targeted and told they were too poor to care for their children. In some ways, this situation is similar to the Baby Scoop Era in the United States. The article provides several compelling interviews of mothers and children searching for each other after years of forced separation.
I selected this post for this aggregation because a teenage girl wrote about her understanding of this issue. If you can get past the choppy translation at times, she touches on several universal factors that contribute to teen pregnancy, one of which is single parenting. However, she does not take the stance that single parents are irresponsible and inattentive; rather, she describes teens sneaking sex at each other’s houses and lying to their parents, which could happen to married parents as well. She stresses that teenagers are vulnerable because of financial insecurity and lack of education and parental involvement. Her solutions? Parents must take care of their children and keep them safe. Teenagers must receive sex education. And rapists and those who force girls into marriage should be punished. Such insights from out of the mouths of babes.
A woman sold into the sex trade as a teenager is speaking out against human trafficking nearly four decades later. Traffickers lure people who are poor and desperate into the sex trade with the lie of providing them with a better life and a well-paying job. The Uruguayan became a prostitute when her mother “sold” her, resulting in her sexual exploitation in Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Europe. She would have sex with up to 30 men a day.
“Human trafficking happens every day, but people don’t want to see it. We are seen as numbers,” said activist Sandra Ferrini.
Unfortunately, Uruguay has a ways to go in combatting sex trafficking, according to the US State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons report (details on page 492).
Despite a move to fight it, critics say Israel pays benefits to ‘single moms’ in a polygamous marriage
Yes, you read the headline correctly. Apparently, Muslim women are registering as “independent parents” who are raising one or more children without a partner and receiving a higher amount of benefits from the National Insurance Institute in Israel. However, some of these women are believed to be in polygamous marriages, which are illegal in Israel. Because polygamous marriages are not registered with the state, little has been done to track them, and minimal progress has been made to address the legality of the situation.
The social isolation and burdensome responsibilities that single parents shoulder alone can be overwhelming. In times of trouble, many people turn to religion or spirituality for strength and solace; however, this is not the case for single mothers, the overwhelming majority of single parents in the United States. Apparently, about one-third of single moms attend church. Hoping to address this spiritual void, a Georgia woman created a ministry for single moms, Beloved. The organization seeks to provide a space where single moms can meet and have a sense of community while helping the women and their children develop a strong relationship with God. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.
Transgender parenting took a legal blow in the United Kingdom. The High Court ruled that Freddy McConnell, a transgender man, could not be registered as “father” or “parent.” Instead, he is to remain identified as “mother” on the birth certificate, because he gave birth to the child before he was legally recognized as a man. His journey to single parenthood is chronicled in the movie, “Seahorse.”
Two Indian government departments are mapping the locations of orphans and children of single parents so they can benefit from state-run programs. Among these services are childcare institutions and adoption agencies. The survey’s motivation was to place these children within the “protective network” of government programs in order to save them from poverty, lack of education and child marriage.
Vulnerable children are being offered friendship and fast food in exchange for a life of crime in drug dealing. Gangs in the United Kingdom are enslaving these children through grooming, coercion and control.
“‘Children are coerced with money, ‘gifts’ such as food and alcohol, or simply friendship,’ said Javed Khan, chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, adding that gangs may then use sexual exploitation and violence as methods of control.”
The number of slaves has more than doubled from 676 in 2017 to 1,421 in 2018.
For many people, divorce can be devastating as they lose themselves in addictions, denial and loneliness. When children are part of this upheaval, most single parents recalibrate their needs and focus their attention on their sons and daughters. However, this process is not without its challenges, requiring a self-determination like no other. A single mother from Bombay, India, Sayuri Dalvi, caught global attention when she turned to running after her marriage collapsed. She had neglected herself, gaining more than 50 pounds, or 25 kilograms, as she cared for her son who has autism. Her transformation began when she joined a gym; when it was not open one day, she hit the pavement — and ran. Her story can be found on Facebook and at Humans of Bombay.
On Thursdays, I share a blog about a day in the actual life of a single parent. Every fourth Thursday, instead of a personal post, I 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also on Twitter @parentsonurown and can be found by searching #singleparentandstrong.