Is it wrong to have children outside of marriage? | The Tylt
More and more people are having children outside of wedlock, despite the historical stigma. People are increasingly skeptical of marriage as an institution. Instead of following the traditional path, people are figuring out what makes sense for their personal situation—and skipping marriage altogether. Some traditionalists say marriage is the cornerstone of a family; kids need stability while growing up. Others say loving parents is all you need, and their romantic situation is irrelevant. What do you think? 👶
Is it wrong to have children outside of marriage?
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, 57 percent of millennials are having children outside of marriage. The traditional path of graduating, getting a job, getting married, and then having children no longer exists.
Some experts say it's the result of a combination of economic factors and changes to American attitudes about marriage. Women are playing a larger role in the workplace and that's having an impact on how Americans think families should be structured, and whether marriage is even really necessary.
Our timelines are different now. "Most professional young women today say they're still looking for marriage, kids, and career," says Coontz, "just not necessarily in that order." Much like cohabitation before marriage enjoyed a dramatic rebranding from "living in sin" to status quo, there's a growing acceptance of the decision to follow an alternative route when it comes to offspring. And with women kicking ass in the workforce like never before, we can quite literally afford to call the shots on when and how to procreate.
What really matters is whether or not the parents are willing to commit and put in the work to raise a child. Rings on fingers, tax breaks and a piece of paper does nothing to determine that.
One thing is for sure: The level of commitment between two people can't be gauged merely by their status at the county clerk's office. But coparenting is another story. When you're willing to climb into the trenches together at 4 a.m. to calm a wailing infant, do it again the next night, and not wring each other's neck in the process? For my money, that's about as all-in, no-going-back, Forever with a capital F as it gets.
Others say it's better to be married before having children, because marriages provide a larger degree of stability. Studies have found that couples in marriages tend to last longer than couples who are only cohabiting. In the big picture, this means children who are born in marriages are more likely to have both parents around full-time, and that's connected to better outcomes. To be clear, it's not marriage that makes the difference, but the stability a successful marriage brings that helps the child.
Sasha Brown Worsham writes for the Huffington Post:
But I wouldn’t have had kids that way. No way. No how. I wanted the legal protection of marriage and I wanted the stability for my children. My kids look at our wedding photos and smile, secure in the knowledge that their parents made a lifetime commitment four years before either of them showed up.
But at least with marriage, there is stability. There is some kind of legal documentation of your union. It won’t protect you from divorce, but it will bring respect and a certain measure of comfort to future children.
Personally I would want to be married before having children, but if you prefer it the other way then that's your business— Amina (@MinahhSosa) May 2, 2017