Chapter 5.docx

10 Pages
Unlock Document

Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Tuuli Kukkonen

COUPLE & FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: CHAPTER 5 1 Enlarging the Family Circle The Social Script  Myth of motherhood – motherhood is an instinct that will fulfill a woman  Women who do not have children are often considered antisocial or psychologically defective  Myth that you need a boy and girl to have a well-rounded family  Structural-functional concept – without all four the family is left incomplete  Women in their 30s and 40s seek to have a child while they still can either with a partner or artificially Childfree Through Choice  7-8% of Canadians remain childless  By age 40, more than 10% intend to remain childless  Fear that their relationship will be damaged  Women fear giving up the equality in their relationship  Some don’t want to sacrifice their career  Want to keep their options open to new experiences  Want to learn about the world  Don’t have a partner that they want to have children with  Face disadvantages: priority given to those with children in the workplace The Shrinking Family  People used to need to have a large family because some would die and they needed their support  Men’s power over women’s sexuality and the resulting children were the price women paid for economic security  The birth rate for women born in the 20 century showed a drop from almost 4 children to 2.5 for those born in 1943 and completing child-bearing in the 1980’s  More women in their 30s are having children and more are reaching their 20s before having children  In order to replace the population, each woman must have 2.1 children – Canada has been below this level since 1977  The number of children a woman is expected to have has been stable since 1993 – 1.54 children  The sharpest decline is women aged 20-24, followed by those later in their 20s  By 2005 the teenage pregnancy rate dropped to 13.3 per 1000, less than any other under 40 group  The majority of children “born out of wedlock” have both parents present  Quebec – in 2001-2003, over half of children were born to unmarried parents Why is the Family Shrinking? Medical Advances  Infant mortality rate has declined steadily since 1960  It is no longer necessary to have a number of children to ensure survival  Contraception is more convenient and effective Changes in Law  Birth control was thought as obscene and would corrupt morals  Family-planning clinics opened illegally  Women relied on folk recipes and illegal abortion  The birth rate showed its sharpest drop after the legalization of birth control  Availability of abortion when the woman’s life or health (mental health included) was at risk, was legalized in 1969  1988 – considered the procedure required to obtain an abortion unconstitutional  Canadian married couples where the wife is over 35 – 2/3 are protected through sterilization Economic Trends  Children were required for labour on the family farm  Provided cheap labour and contributed to the family income  Cheap immigrant labour, better technology, and school-attendance laws made it difficult for them to participate in manufacturing  Decline during the Depression  1926 – man left his estate to the woman with the most children in Toronto  After WWII – baby boom  1970s and 80s – decline as more women worked  Many individuals put off having children now that education is more important to employment  Children are expensive – families spend 10-15% of their income on their first child Psychosocial Reasons  Large families puts stress on the husband-wife relationship  Having children is more acceptable – yet there is pressure for grandchildren and ticking biological clock  Children born close together may result in one at a disadvantage  Providing children with the same opportunities as those in small families is difficult Unwanted Children COUPLE & FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: CHAPTER 5 3  An expectant mother has 3 options: o Not having the baby o Giving the baby up for adoption o Raising the baby herself  Until the 70s – those who were unmarried and pregnant were labeled promiscuous  Abortion was illegal and they were stigmatized  Adoption was seen as a rescue for both mother and child Not Having the Baby  Infanticide - mothers killing their babies after birth  Only a mother can commit infanticide, seen as the result of a mental disturbance  An abortion is the medical termination of a pregnancy  Mid-1990s – there was one abortion for every three or four live births  Yukon – more than 2 abortions for every 5 births, the highest in Canada  The time gap between the last date an abortion can be performed safely and the date at which a fetus could survive is becoming shorter  Chromosomal disorders are being diagnosed through amniocentesis Giving the Child to Someone Else  In the 19 century – children in orphanages were placed in foster homes where the children were expected to help out  Usually families were not well screened and unfortunate placements were made  Large group sent from England to Canada – praised for providing opportunities but they were exploited  New France in 1700s – many women gave their babies to Aboriginal people to raise  Homes for abandoned children had mortality rates of 85-90%  Most states in the U.S. have “safe haven” laws, naming places where babies can be abandoned, with the hope they will live  “Baby farmers” – took unwanted children for a fee and would try to place them up for adoption  Nova Scotia – “butter box babies”, sold some babies and let others die  Foster parents were compensated for children who were hard to place – the young, sickly, those with mental and physical challenges  Adoption – legal rights and responsibilities are transferred from the birth parents to the adoptive parents  Single mothers – experience some pressure from their peers to raise the child  Those who give a child up for adoption are less likely to be from single-parent homes, have professional parents, see adoption as giving their baby a better life  Various degrees of openness in adoption  Some children are raised by extended family members – more common in ethnic families Raising the Child Oneself  Any child born within a marriage is assumed to be wanted although this is not always true  Married women do have abortions and place children up for adoption  Unplanned or unwanted children often become loved  Many unmarried women choose to have a child with no desire to marry  Many lesbians have children and don’t consider this to not be an option  The real decision is how to become pregnant since it is not as easy as heterosexual women  Until 1970, fathers had virtually no rights  2006 – nearly one-fifth of lone-parent families were headed by men  Unmarried fathers receive little support  Gay men have fewer options than women  Some adopt, father a lesbian’s child and become actively involved, use a surrogate mother  The unwanted child is at risk for physical or emotional abuse “Desperately Seeking Baby”  Infertile couples may have a sense of being defective  Sex may lose spontaneity as the couple plans intercourse around when the woman is most likely to conceive  If treatment is successful, the woman may experience an anxious pregnancy  If it is unsuccessful, the couple mourns not being able to have children  People around them may not be supportive because they don’t understand the severity of the loss  Women often feel the lack of children more than men  Men see their infertility as an assault to their manhood  Fertile partners may feel that if they married someone else they would have children  They have many more options now than they used to Foster Care  Fostering provided a long-term home for a child  The foster family would receive support payments  With advances in medical science and benefits for single parents, children are less likely to enter foster care because of their parent’s deaths or poverty  They are more likely to be in foster care for behavioural problems or because they are victims of neglect or abuse  Foster parents are required to have special therapeutic and child-management skills COUPLE & FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: CHAPTER 5 5  Contact between the children and their birth parents is encouraged so that the move home will be smoother  If they want the child to stay, foster parents may have to adopt the child themselves Adoption th  Early 20 century North America – adoption was regarded with suspicion  Adopting children that were older was seen as safer because you could better judge their character  1873 New Brunswick – first Canadian province to pass adoption legislation  1896 – Nova Scotia  Before this time, parents could sign an indenture of adoption but this was not binding and the child could be returned to their biological parents if they proved unsatisfactory to the adoptive parents  1930’s adoption became more respectable  Matched children to parents on race, religion, hair, and eye colour  1980 – most provinces considered adoptive children became the children of their adoptive parents  Original birth records and court orders were sealed to protect confidentiality  Agencies tried to place “guaranteed babies” with “ideal” adopting couples  If there was a defect the child could be returned  Parents came to love their adoptive child before discovering health problems  Agencies began placing children with minor correctable physical problems, then those with severe difficulties  1995 – Ontario became the first province to allow adoption by same-sex couples  Adoption was advocated as a way of reducing overpopulation  1960 – reduced supply of white babies to adopt  Temptation to buy a baby illegally in a black-market adoption  1950s and 60s – intercountry adoptions gained popularity  Foreign adoptions increased  The largest number in 2008 came from China, about 2/3 were girls and the majority were placed in Ontario and Quebec  The adoptive parents are responsible for all costs such as travel, medical expenses, and agency
More Less

Related notes for FRHD 1020

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.