Father’s Day is a day dads across the world are celebrated and children and moms give gifts to dad, eat and go out in family. A joyous day, Father’s Day is exploited by the media all over the world. For children and adults, for those without a father, it can be an awkward day that occurs annually among the other holidays where emotions run high from the constant reminder that the family is incomplete. If unresolved emotions exist, it may be time to seek counseling or even medical and psychiatric intervention.
According to GroundSpark (formerly Women’s Educational Media) which company has produced and distributed films, educational resources and campaigns on issues ranging from environmental concerns to affordable housing to preventing prejudice, the following is what American families look like today:
- Single parents account for 27 percent of family households with children under 18.
- More than two million fathers are the primary caregivers of children under 18, a 62 percent increase since 1990.
- One in two children will live in a single-parent family at some point in childhood.
- One in three children is born to unmarried parents.
- Between 1978 and 1996, the number of babies born to unmarried women per year quadrupled from 500,000 to more than two million.
- The number of single mothers increased from three million to 10 million between 1970 and 2000.
- Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.
- More than one million children have parents who separate or divorce each year. More than half of Americans today have been, are or will be in one or more stepfamily situations.
- One child out of 25 lives with neither parent.
- An estimated 550,000 children were in foster care as of March 31, 1999, a 35 percent increase since 1990. About 120,000 of these children were waiting for permanent adoptive families.
- The number of children in foster care who are being cared for by members of their extended family—grandparents, aunts, uncles—continues to increase. In 1993 (the last year national statistics are available), kinship providers cared for about a third of the foster children in New York, 40 percent of foster children in California and nearly half of foster children in Illinois.
- In 1999, adoptions were finalized for more than 17,000 foster children; another 18,000 children were living in foster homes, waiting for adoptions to be completed, and about 20,000 foster children were legally available for adoption but had not yet been placed in their new homes.
- The 2000 US Census found that 2.4 million grandparents are the primary caregivers for the children in their families.
- In the United States, 1.6 million children under the age of 18 live with their adoptive parents.
- More than 100,000 children are adopted each year.
- From 1992 to 1999, the number of children adopted from abroad more than doubled from 6,720 to 16,396.
- In 1996, more than 5.2 million children lived with one biological parent and either a stepparent or adoptive parent, up from 4.5 million in 1991.
- Interracial families are an ever-growing part of our national landscape. The 2000 Census showed that 2.8 million children under age 18 and nearly 7 million Americans of all ages identify as more than one race.
- There are more than 4.5 million married and unmarried couples in the United States who are mixed racially or ethnically.
Gay-and Lesbian-Headed/Unmarried Partner Households
- Estimates show that approximately 2 million American children under the age of 18 are being raised by their lesbian and gay parents
- The number of unmarried partner households has increased by 72 percent in the last decade from three million in 1990 to more than five million in 2000. These figures include both same-sex and different-sex couples.
- One-third of lesbian households and one-fifth of gay male households have children.
- The Census Bureau reports that New York has 46,490 same-sex households, Ohio has 18,937 same-sex households and Missouri has 9,428 same-sex households.During the past decade, the number of same-sex households “grew significantly” in 10 states for which figures have been released: more than 700 percent in Delaware and Nevada; more than 400 percent in Vermont, Indiana, Louisiana and Nebraska; and more than 200 percent in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and Montana.”
People without fathers, for whatever reason (this author’s included who was lost to metastatic abdominal cancer), the numbers evidence the need for a Happy No Father’s Day. As such, may we celebrate ourselves, our differences and may we overcome and understand our feelings. “HAPPY NO FATHER’S DAY.”
[This article can also be found at allvoices.com.]