Universal Definition Of The Family Essay

1851 Words Nov 24th, 2016 8 Pages
It is not unusual for people to think of a family in its basic form as a mother and a father and the child or children they conceive together. But a genetic connection between parents and children is not necessary for a family to exist. New families are often created by remarriage after a divorce or the death of a spouse, so that only one parent is genetically related to the child or children. Also, the practice of adoption is long-standing and creates families where neither parent is genetically related to the child or children. There are many single-parent families in the United States, and some of these may be families where the parents live together but are not married (Coontz
147). Couples that consist of two men or two women are also increasingly common, and more of these couples now also have or want children (Buchanan). Although there is no universal definition of the family, in recent years scholars have established that the
“normative” definition in most societies is “at least one parent and one child.” This definition goes on to say that a child does not have to be genetically related to the parent, and “children conceived through artificial insemination or a surrogate mother” count (Munro and Munro 553). Though we may accept the idea that the definition of the
“normative” family is a broad one and that no biological relationship is needed for a parent and child to form a family, for many people genetic heritage remains an important factor in describing who they…

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