Fewer teens are having babies. Instead the majority of unmarried women having babies are women over 35. In fact, the number of unmarried older women having babies has reached a record high, according to a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase was seen across all racial groups, with nearly 4 in 10 babies last year being born to unmarried older moms.
One reason for the increase is the growing number of women who delay marriage and family for their career. When they hear the familiar tick-tick-ticking of their biological clock, some women want to become mothers but not wives. With so many so-called famous unmarried mothers of all ages, the stigma of being an unwed mother that once existed is no longer relevant.
Older married women are also having babies later in life according to the researchers. In 2005, more than a quarter of the 4.1 million babies born in the U.S. were born to women between the ages of 30 and 54. But the researches also noted that single mothers are helping to redefine what the typical American family looks like. The “Ozzie and Harriet” marriage of the 1950s is no more. Half of marriages end in divorce, more couples are in non-traditional relationships and married couples are fast becoming the minority, making up just 49.7% of U.S. households, according to the Census Bureau.
Many pregnancies in older women are unexpected but just as many women are turning to IVF using sperm banks or donors so that they can become mothers. Some women have not found the right man and others simply aren’t looking for Mr. Right.
Unfortunately when some people hear the term “single mother” they still think of teenagers or divorced moms. They think of women struggling, perhaps on welfare. This simply isn’t the case in many instances. Most older moms are well-educated and financially sound and they choose to become single moms.