There is a growing population of single parents-those who choose to become single parents-on purpose. The average demographics of this rising group of single parents are women in their mid to late 30’s who have at least a four year college education. These women decided that while they may have an entire lifetime to find a marriage partner, their childbearing years are limited, and instead of waiting for marriage first, the majority of the by choice mothers have decided to have a child through aftificial means or adoption without waiting for a husband.
I think that a child of a single parent by choice would not have to deal with the hurt and rejection of knowing that one of the parents is not interested in maintaining a relationship with him or her after a divorce or relationship breakup. I might be off base here, but I think the rejection and emotional turmoil that many children of divorce feel could be avoided by children of choice because obviously their mothers gave careful consideration and thought before and while going through the insemination and/or adoption process. In addition, mothers by choice will probably, at least initially, have more economic and emotional resources to give to her child than women going through the turmoil of a relationship breakup.
Grandparents raising their grandchildren are also a growing part of the single parent population. Their own children who are imprisoned, or involved in a drug using lifestyle that cripples their parenting abilities are often causes for grandparents raising yet another generation of children. These grandparents may not be parenting again by choice(although part of me thinks they are since they could have said-NO!), but I think there should be some kind of medal of honor for these men and women who lovingly fill in for their children when they are unable to raise their own kids.
I will be interested to see some longitudinal studies in about 10 to 15 more years to see if there is any difference in the way children by choice are doing compared to other single parent families. I wonder if they will be more well-adjusted than children of divorce. What do you think? Will there be a difference? If so, what do you think the major differences will be?