Cherlin adds a crucial remark regarding public families: "The family members typically dwell in the same household, although this is not required." The message is that even single people who live alone can have public families. So the crucial issue becomes, how involved are singles in the care of dependents?
If a single person owns a home and lives there by himself or herself, then we can say that he or she has a private family. However many people in such homes usually have other responsibilities outside of just being parents, so they cannot treat their family as a private matter. For example, if a single person works at another location and does not have any help from anyone else, then he or she cannot be considered to have a private family.
In conclusion, someone can have a private family despite not being married or having a partner. But it is difficult for such a person to have a public family too. As long as he or she is not able to take care of all of his or her family's needs, then he or she cannot treat them as a group.
Children who live with one parent in a lone-parent household are either raised by a female lone parent or raised by a male lone parent. For children who do not live with their parents, there are three types of family circumstances. About 10 to 20 percent of children are in single-parent families where the parent is living alone but has another adult in the house - a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or a nonrelative caregiver. Around 70 percent of children are in two-parent families, and about 10 percent are in other types of families such as solo motherhood or single fatherhood.
Which category does your child fall into? The best way to figure this out is with the help of a statistic called the "lone parent ratio." It's the percentage of children in a country who live with just one parent. In Canada, it's about half; in America, it's about a third. So if you divide the number of lone parents in Canada or America by the number of children under 18, you get a figure that tells you how many males live alone with young kids. There are more females than males because women live longer than men.
In any case, here are the main people who live with children in a lone-parent family: first, the mother; second, the mother and father together; third, someone else (grandparents, other relatives, friends).
Single-parent families consist of a parent or caregiver and one or more dependent children who do not have the presence and support of a spouse or adult partner who shares parental responsibilities. The absence of the other parent from a single-parent family unit often leads to changes including but not limited to increased responsibility for the child or children, an increase in age-inappropriate behaviors, and decreased ability to form positive relationships with peers and teachers.
There are several different types of single parents: adoptive parents, biological parents, foster parents, and legal guardians. Each type is discussed below.
Adoptive parents are parents who have chosen to take on the role of providing care for another person's child. This choice may be based on their desire to provide love and stability for a young person who might not otherwise find this experience with his or her birth parents, or it may be because they are able to afford such opportunities. Legal adoption is when a non-relative wishes to adopt someone else's child; they must go through a lengthy approval process with many agencies involved before they can finalize the adoption. In most states, legal adoption requires that the prospective adoptive parent(s) be approved by the agency who placed the child into their home and also by a judge.
A single-person household is one in which just one person lives alone. The single-person home is a rising demographic in a culture that values family and marriage as part of the American Dream. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2007:
• 1 in 7 Americans lived in a single parent home where at least one of the parents was absent for part or all of their child's life.
• 1 in 33 Americans lived in a home that had been owned by only one family—not including homes rented out or otherwise occupied.
• 6 in 10 people over 65 were living in single-person households.
• One third of all children under 5 lived with just one parent as did half of all children between the ages of 5 and 14.
• Black and Hispanic children were about twice as likely as white children to live in single-parent homes.
• Women still dominated among those living with just one parent. They made up more than 9 in 10 (92%) of those living with just their husband or wife. Men comprised about 2 in 10 (18%) of those living with just one parent; almost always the male partner.
Same-sex couples, single-parent families, adopting persons, and extended family systems living together are examples of this. In addition, the nuclear family is opting to have fewer children than in the past. Increasing numbers of women are returning to work, which means they cannot be with their children all the time. Also, more older people are staying in nursing homes instead of moving into community housing, so there aren't as many young people to look after them.
There are different types of families in the United States. Here are the most common ones:
Nuclear Family: This is the traditional family structure. It consists of a married couple with children from previous marriages or relationships who live under the same roof. If the wife returns to school or gets a job far away from home, then she may have her own apartment but still see her kids frequently because of day care facilities. At the end of the week or month, she sends money home.
Single Parent Family: This type of family consists of at least one parent who is not married to the other parent. If the non-married parent does not have any other relatives or friends who can help out with the child, then he/she will need to find someone who can take care of him/herself while they work.