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Single American mothers live in poverty 5 times more often than married parents.
(National Women's Law Center, Poverty & Income Among Women & Families, 2000-2013) The topic is less contentious in Western European countries where all families enjoy more robust state-sponsored social benefits.
A single parent is a parent that parents alone without the other parent's support, meaning this particular parent is the only parent to the child, responsible for all financial, material, and emotional needs.
It means there is an absence of the other parent as opposed to a co-parent, meaning that the parent is not the only parent regardless of whether or not they are a couple. There is no true definition of what "single parent" means and is more based on opinions.
With respect to this, recent public policy debates have centered on whether or not government should give aid to single parent households, which some believe will reduce poverty and improve their situation, or instead focus on wider issues like protecting employment.
There is some debate among experts as to what the important component of the family structure is, particularly in the US, centering on whether or not a complete family or the love and affection of the children's parents is more important.
The 1980 United States Census reported that 19.5% were single parent households.
From 1980 to 2009, the percentage of single-parent households jumped to 29.5%.
Single parenting has become a norm in the United States and is a trend found in many other countries.
The morality and advisability of single motherhood has long been debated in the US.