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Fathers who aren’t living with their children are, she says, “overwhelmingly the target of the current system’s narrow focus on collection and enforcement”.In America, she writes, almost a third of all children of single parents are in households below the poverty line and their fathers, too, are poor.
There are now single-parent and same-sex-parented families, extended, reconstituted or blended families, stepfamilies and grandparent families.
On hearing this, we may instinctively think of divorced parents who share parental authority over their child.
However, this type of parenting can also refer to two single persons or to two couples who have decided to team up in order to become parents, without being in a romantic relationship.
A complex, thoughtful article by Ruth Graham in the Boston Globe recently dug deep questions into this ethos.
Showing that the present official set-up and our social attitudes date from 40 years ago – when most mothers stayed at home all the time and most men went out to work – Graham argues that “the system needs an update, not only to be fair to adults but to avoid hurting the children whose interests it is supposed to serve”.
Co-parenting enables people who cannot have a child the traditional way, to become parents.