47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock.

47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock. [Link].

I think this indicates that their society has learnt to respect all citizens irrespective of the parents’ marital status. I hope we see India do the same.

Then news like this would not be so common,

Abandoned newborn girl dies in Gurgaon (six days ago)

Eight-day-old baby boy found abandoned in Gurgaon

If she was born somewhere else.

But it seems some people don’t see it this way. It is assumed that the parents not being married to each other automatically indicates that the child would not know who the father is, and that is seen as the worse thing that could happen to a child. Perhaps, worse than being abandoned near a garbage heap.

Wonder how common is this mindset.

“Country of Bastards….soon father will marry his daughter and brother will marry his sister as child born out of marriage lock have high probability of marrying mistakenly to their own siblings….”

And,

“wow then future generations can marry their siblings without knowing it. going back to beginning of mankind”

Related Posts:

Pregnant at fifteen? No moral issues. Unmarried and pregnant at fifteen. Degeneration of society.

An email: Child out of wedlock

What would Taliban say to Juno?

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

When life ends at 12.

No second chances for an Indian daughter.

Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

A clandestine affair may prove dangerous, a city girl learnt it the hard way.

64 thoughts on “47% of children being born in UK were out of wedlock.

      • I dont think that a child out of wedlock has anything to do with honor or culture. I have a different view of this. Since we are so concerned about respecting each individual’s rights irrespective of their marital status, do we care that a child has his rights too ? Shouldnt a child have a right to have both a mom and dad instead of being forced to grow up with a single parent all the while comparing himself of fellow kids who have happily married parents ? Just because the parents dont get along well with each other, why should the child suffer the loss of either one of them ? I’m not talking about cases where one parent doesnt want the child or is abusive. An example of what can happen to such a child can be seen in this clip.

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        • Just because the parents are not married doesn’t mean they’re not living together. For all we know, there could be hundreds of thousands of happy couples who just don’t want the headache of getting married.

          Also, sad but true – the answer is no. Kids don’t have the “right” to grow up with two parents. Desirable yes. A right? No. If the parents are unhappy together, they can’t be force to stay together and pretend to be happy. In my opinion this is FAR worse for the kid to stay in such a home.

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        • The parents don’t have to be married for the child to have both mom and dad. As Bhagwad, they could be living together in a stable happy family unit without marriage too.

          Besides, since you have posted a video of what can happen to a child of a broken home, please also read up about what can happen to a child whose parents are in a unhappy marriage: http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/tag/child-rights/.

          Making people stay together in an unhealthy negative relationship helps no one, not even the child.

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        • Your statement automatically assumes that having a mom and dad means that the kid has a good environment to grow up in. There are lots of kids with both mom and dad that are happy married to each other, but are terrible parents. And then, think about parents who do not want to be with each other but are forced to because of the kid. Do you think every day animosity and resentment is a great environment for the kid to grow up in?

          I think every kid has the right to a nurturing environment to grow up in. I think it is very limiting to say that only the traditional family can provide that environment. There are lot of gay couples out there who are excellent parents. There are lot of divorced parents who are excellent parents who put the kid ahead of their negative feelings for each other. There are lot of single parents out there who are excellent parents.

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        • You completely missed the point. I didnt say parents need to be married. I meant a child should have the right to be with both his parents married or not. How can either or both the parents make a choice for the child on his behalf that he will grow up with a single parent ? I am not talking about children whose parents split after their birth. I am taking of when a parent (usually the father) does not want the child to be born and the mother decides to give birth and decide for the child to grow up with a single parent. Its not about forcing the child to be with parents who dont get along well with each other. Its about forcing a child to grow with a single parent. Isnt it hypocritical that just because children cant demand and fight for their rights, they shouldnt have any ?

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        • To add to what Bhagwad has said, there is also (apparently) an unhealthy trend for people to ‘legally separate’ in order to claim various benefits, but actually still live together!!!

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      • For all those misinterpreting my comment, I do NOT mean a couple should be married to have a baby. Also I do NOT mean a couple should be forced to live together in an unhappy marriage after having a baby. As the title of the post suggests, it is about the attitude of the society towards children of unwed parents. And I agree that marital status should have nothing to do with one’s choice to have a baby. All I wanted to convey was that it is wrong on the part of either parent to have a baby if they can not or would not take up the responsibility of the child. Since one is taking a decision as big as giving birth, one should be aware of their responsibility towards the baby after birth. Again, it has nothing to do with being married or not. I will quote a few lines from some links. The following are not my thoughts. Just copying and pasting.

        http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/1996/08/childrenfamilies-akerlof

        Today women are more free to choose, but men have afforded themselves the comparable option. “If she is not willing to have an abortion or use contraception,” the man can reason, “why should I sacrifice myself to get married?” By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father.

        “Since the decision to have the child is solely up to the mother, I don’t see how both parents have responsibility to that child.” That attitude, of course, makes it far less likely that the man will offer marriage as a solution to a couple’s pregnancy quandary, leaving the mother either to raise the child or to give it up for adoption.

        http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty

        The U.S. is steadily separating into a two-caste system with marriage and education as the dividing line. In the high-income third of the population, children are raised by married parents with a college education; in the bottom-income third, children are raised by single parents with a high school degree or less.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-silberberg/legal-ramifications-of-ha_b_854172.html

        (a commentator writes)

        When you have a child it is no longer *just* about what YOU wanna or don’t wanna do. If you have any maturity at all you realize that another person, one who is relatively small and helpless, has been added to the equasion and the needs of that person should enter into a decision that YOU make.

        Elsewhere, a person comments,

        The real reason for this is bc these women are living with their baby daddy’s and collecting welfare, claiming to be a single mom. I know at least 30 people doing this. I dont understand how no one investigates.

        So my basic point is that each parent should be aware and be ready to take responsibility of a life he or she is creating. One cannot just not want a baby and move away. I care the least whether or not they are married or accepted in the society.

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        • Let me point out a few incorrect assumptions you have made:

          1, Single parents , especially ones with just high school diplomas are bad parents.

          2. If a mom and her baby daddy are living together, the baby daddy must be somehow providing for the expenses of the mother. It is possible that they might be living together without having any financial dependencies.

          3. “why should I sacrifice myself to get married?” – that all men think getting married means making some kind of sacrifice. If that is how every man feels, then please please don’t get married and save yourself the trouble.

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        • I get what you are trying to say Harish, but I don not agree with you. You seem to think that a child MUST have two parents. No one can dispute that having both parents (provided that both love and care for the child) is better.
          However, I have a few points of my own to make.
          1. A child needs a happy home, not a ‘broken’ home. A broken OR happy home can be one in which the parents are married/divorced/separated/single. You seem to be accepting of the first three but not the last- the single parent home- why? After all, the environment is the key here, and the attitude of the persons(s) raising the child determine the nature of that environment,and not their relationship statuses.
          2. I will agree that many single parent homes are what you would consider ‘broken’- but the reasons for that are multifactorial- poverty, low income, low education – and not JUST the singleness of the parent. Again, with these confounding factors, it would still would be just as hard (or easy!) to raise a child even with both parents around.

          In asking why some people do not want responsibility for the children that they have created, you are talking about unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, which is a tricky topic all by itself.
          I do agree with you that it is now far more acceptable for men (at least in the west) to evade responsibility for their sexual choices. It is unfortunate.

          A child ideally needs a stable environment. I am not so sure about it being the ‘right’ of the child. Also, in your opinion, if that environment is not provided by the parents, what should then happen?

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  1. A father’s name is of utmost importance in all male-centric systems and it is also one of the many means to make the men superior in the social hierarchy. It is not a bad idea to have children within a wedlock but do both parents share equal responsibility of parenting is the question to ask?
    having a child outside the wedlock is a choice that a parent makes but he/she must remember that the consequences of such a decision would be shared by the child so as a parent can you provide such a child a completely non-discriminatory status is what needs to be asked.

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    • I don’t agree. Parents alone can’t take the responsibility for the failings of society.

      Short men are more often bullied: should short men decide not to have kids ? And should women make it a policy to reject short men ?

      Children who wear glasses, have red hair or uneven teeth are also at increased risk for discrimination: is it irresponsible for parents who have some of these traits to have children ?

      Our policy should be to put the blame where it belongs. If women are harassed on the street we should put the blame on the harassers — not on the women. And if children born outside marriage are discriminated, we should put the blame on those guilty of discrimination — and not on the parents.

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      • I do not intend to imply that parents be blamed but they are the first support system for a child and in any kind of discriminatory situation would they stand by their child and support her/him is the question.

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        • That’s better, but I still don’t get your actual point. Do you imagine there exists people who are thinking: I’ll go ahead and have a child – but I will not stand by the child, and I will not support the child.

          Furthermore, why should such thinking be more common among non-marrieds?

          I agree with you that one should only have a child if one is prepared to support it, but this issue is completely unrelated to marriage. There’s married parents who provide poor support, and unmarried parents who provide excellent support.

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        • stereotyping is never a solution you are right about so many non-married or single parents who do a wonderful job at parenting and so many married parents who mess it.
          However referring to the original article the obsession we have with the father’s name being given to a child, this would not go till the stigma attached to ” bin-byahi maa” or “adopted kids” or “banjh women” or ” parityakta” all concepts that are so derogatory and so related is done away.

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  2. The article you link to gives answers to this puzzle: “The proportion of births registered to cohabiting parents has increased in recent years (…) 31% of all births, compared with 25% in 2001 and 10% in 1986 It adds that this trend is consistent with increases in the number of couples cohabiting rather than entering into marriage or civil partnership. (…) the percentage of births registered solely by the mother has fallen very slightly over the last 10 years to 6% in 2011 and 2010 from 7% in 2001.”

    So there’s no growth in children being registered only by mother, infact there’s a slight decline. What is happening is something else: marriage in Europe is changing.

    It’s no longer something people do when they fall in love. Or something they do when they want to attempt life together. Instead, it’s something people do years later, as a confirmation of love. A confirmation that they want to spend their life together. A celebration.

    Essentially *everyone* who marries in western Europe these days have lived together for several months or even several years before the marriage.

    This has become the norm to such a degree that people would even consider it irresponsible and foolish to marry someone WITHOUT having lived with them for a while. They’ll ask: How can you possibly know if daily life with him will bring you happiness, when you’ve never tried it ? Have you considered that everyday life and stress is very different from weekend-dating ? How can you know if you’re compatible, with zero experience ?

    The normal way of doing things is: Start out as girlfriend/boyfriend. If that works well, and both wants to try for more, move in together as cohabitators. If *that* works well, and both feel that this is the relationship they want, *then* move on to marriage or registered partnership.

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  3. I don’t even understand this concept of marriage? It is a relic of our past. In a liberal society, I totally fail to understand the meaning of this institution.

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    • There’s two distinct meanings to marriage in liberal society.

      One is as a celebration of comittment to love. I don’t know about you, but I think that finding a person you want to spend your life with is a pretty awesome thing, well worth a hell of a party !

      The second, is as a legal framework. A “standard agreement” if you like for how to arrange legal matters in a relationship. Marriage-law has rules about what happens in divorce, about inheritance if one dies, about consent from both being required prior to mortgaging or selling their shared home and many other things. These rules are useful. (but sure, in principle you could have the same rules in a contract, and not marry)

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  4. Agree with agrajag. The meaning of marriage in Europe and India is very very different. People here in Europe marry after years living together, having a baby, buying a house etc. It’s not a frivolous thing to do. In fact it is considered frivolous and risky here to marry in your early twenties, without having lived together for a few years. I work in science with very ‘serious’ type people. Everyone has lived together and many have had babies and houses together before they married, if they even did.

    The indian commenters mentioned in this article simply do not realise that living together is not a ‘casual sex’ type of arrangement in the west, with babies happening accidentally. It is a sign of a committed relationship as you can have causal sex without being bound by living together.

    Rather, Indian commenters are typically imagining scores of single young moms who have had one night stands, rejected by families, babies unaware of who their dads are, no families. That is not what all of the 47% of this story reflects at all (even if there may be some such cases). Even with young parents who have broken up since having a child, the child usually knows it’s father. It is more like a divorced indian couple, I suppose.

    This is a society that places much less importance on marriage now and does not attach shame or honour to have babies outside a marriage. The community supports people with children whether or not they are married. I think that’s very positive. It reflects a higher emphasis on individual well-being and moving away from victorian patriarchal attitudes.

    Also, no offence, but I think that as a society, holding sex ransom until someone is married can force irresponsible decisions. It’s essentially forcing people to make hasty decisions about who and when to marry and then bolting the door saying ‘now stay together forever’.

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    • Thanks for the good description of how live-in relationships work in the west and mis-conceptions many Indians have about Western women simply having casual s*x. My college roommate who is American lived together with her boyfriend for 3 years, bought a house, engaged for 1 more year and then got married. My parents who live in India were absolutely shocked that I was friends with such lowly women . I was beyond disbelief when I heard my parent’s attitude, they even demanded I not go to her wedding as it is not respectable. She is my very good friend, I went to the wedding anyway. Live-in relationships are taken very very seriously here, it is the next step on way to marriage for most couples and is definitely monogamous. Sure some people breakup after living together, but it is less messy/costly than a full flown divorce. You really find out what it is like to live with someone every single day and if that is something you can do for rest of your life. Marriage is essentially putting a state approved legal stamp on an already deeply committed relationship between two individuals and then throwing a great party for your friends and family. My non-Indians friends/co-workers are actually shocked at how lightly Indians take marriage, they go to India for a week long vacation and come back with a fully wedded wife after seeing her only once ! Yep happened to numerous US-educated Indian guys that I know here.

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        • Indians take marriage seriously once they are into it while westerners take it seriously until they get into it :))))))
          I am wondering if marriage is such a thoughtful process and decision in western culture then why such a very high number of divorces and broken families? Yeah, it does not automatically prove that low divorce rate means more happy & successful long lasting mariiages/ families (particularly in the context of India) but many would jump to say (or estimate) that low divore rate automatically means suppressed/ docile women (or even rush to discount the fact that India has large number of successful long lasting marriage)
          In India ,if you have 1 or 2 divorces in your credit..then you automatically qualifies for the trophy of progressive/ independent/ empowered woman. If you are making your marriage to work then there must be some trace of slavery instict within you. =>(more/less)Women empowerment = more/less divorces !!! Good mathematics, isn’t it?

          Finland, a country in northern Europe with a population of around 5 million is considered as the most developed and peaceful country in the world and the 2nd best after Sweden for women. It has got the best eduaction system and health system in the world/ Europe. It also has a very high divorce rate (>50%). There are substantially high number of adults leading their life as singleton. Certainly the marriage is NOT a complusion, forced upon or viewed as care giving institution in a country like Finland unlike we in India. In a recent survey in Finland found out that the married people have a healthier life comapred to the singles. It makes me to believe that there is something deeper than just social/ cultural/ legal reasoning behind formation of the institution called marriage. May be evolutionary biology has better explanaation to offer.

          A very recent survey done in India on happiness and other things has interesting outcomes….
          “And contrary to popular perception, our survey shows, the average homemaker does not really lead a life of drudgery. A vast majority said they are quite happy with the level of appreciation they receive for the work they do for their households” – a survey done on 5400 people by MaRS and published in The Hindustan Times, Delhi edition (15-Jan-2013).

          In NO way I am judging what is good and what is bad. I am just offering a set of arguments to those who are jumping to some conclusion or perpetuating a perception or creating a perception.

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        • About the survey, it seems lack of daily beatings, not being blamed for giving birth to a girl child, and being allowed to meet their parents once in a while is seen as fortunate by many… So not sure if such surveys can be relied upon.

          About marriages – being able to choose, if, when, to whom, and also when to call it quits, is what is the biggest difference. Low divorce rate does not indicate happily married people, many people would rather be single, it should be their choice.

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      • Except for the fact that at least in the US more than 50% of marriages end in divorce!!!! its nearly the same in the UK (depending on the study between 43 and 47%) And what are the divorce rates in India? …some studies say as low as 1.1% so tell me again who takes marriage lightly?????? Really, freedom does come at a price, so think about the consequences of the freedom you seek before you try to attain it for future generations. (BTW, I do not believe in abortion but abortion and the right to have sex with someone without consequence are not mutually exclusive)

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        • About Indian Low Divorce Rate:

          1. I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy… [ http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/i-could-not-sing-after-my-marriage-and-i-am-really-sad-about-it-but-women-have-to-adjust-to-see-their-family-happy/ ]
          2. Feminism has gone to women’s heads. Divorce has become like selling onions. [ http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/feminism-has-gone-to-womens-head-divorce-has-become-like-selling-onions/ ]
          3. Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India? [ http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/are-happily-married-daughters-a-status-symbol-in-india/ ]
          4. Get Married and Stay Married. – How important is it for an Indian woman to get married, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/how-important-is-it-for-a-girl-to-get-married/

          5. Take a look at this woman who regrets it now at 60. Too late. http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/sixty-and-nowhere-to-go/

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        • What exactly does a low divorce rate mean? How many women (or even men) in rural/poor India even have access to divorce?

          Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate estimated that between 40% – 80% of married women in India suffer domestic violence. So does the 1% the divorce rate indicate happy marriages? I could also quote many statistics about dowry harassment, dowry burnings, killing/ abandoning if the woman delivers a girl, forced arranged marriages or simply dead relationships, none of which figure into the ‘divorce rate’. Almost every maid I ever had in India was beaten by her alcoholic (and usually jobless) husband. Yet, they never considered divorce. The social stigma and fear psychosis of “you will be ostracised, raped, killed, or die old alone if you leave your husband” is just too strong.

          All that this low divorce rate indicates is that our society puts more emphasis on the perceived virtue of staying married, rather than individual well being.

          If the price of freedom is letting people get out of an abusive/ dead relationship, then I don’t see what’s so horrible about.

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        • IHM,

          After reading your first link, I wonder if women in India can really complain of being victimized for being ‘forced’ to adjust. In that post you wrote about an article in Deccan Herald as shared by bhagwad. But in bhagwad’s own words :

          “I believe that “force” should only mean physical force. Everything else is a choice. How else can someone be forced to do something? If a woman is “forced” into an abortion by say her husband, she’s choosing to follow her husband – that is not force. That is persuasion. Unless he threatens to use violence against her in which case it become and issue of physical force all over again.”… “It’s like saying many adult women are “forced” into marriage by their parents. No they’re not. They choose to obey their parents.”… “It’s up to the woman who is an adult to decide whether she wants to be “forced” or not.”

          So, going by that argument, if the divorce rate is low in India, shouldn’t it be so because Indian women “choose” to adjust in a marriage ? If women don’t want a divorce even after a physically abusive marriage, shouldn’t it be because they “choose” to remain married ? If abused women are told to stay married by their own parents, shouldn’t it be because they “choose” to obey their parents ? How can a woman be ‘forced’ to stop singing or pursuing her career after marriage ? It is just persuasion.

          As an adult, a woman has absolute rights to refuse to suffer any abuse and walk out of an abusive marriage ? So, if we agree to what bhagwad says, how can we assume that an adult woman is ‘forced’ into anything against her will ?

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        • Karan I had left a comment in response to that post, Indian women who disobey societal norms that control their lives and choices are at very real risk of being killed, burnt, or put in situations that put them at real risks. Leaving home is not an option when it means not having anywhere else to go. Walking out is not a real option when one has been taught/raised/brainwashed to depend in the name of protection/culture/honor etc. a All the reactions that blame the victim for sexual or other assaults on them are also a means to warn (threaten) Indian women to not cross the patriarchal Lakshman Rekha. Let me blog about this.

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        • Low divorce rates in India is nothing to be proud of. So many Indian women and men remain married simply due to enormous societal pressure, stigma associated with divorce, little economic independence for women. I would choose 50% divorce rate in US/UK + respect/independence/equality/opportunity for women any day over 1% divorce rate in India coupled with misogynist Indian culture that disrespects and devalues women at every life stage.

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        • Once again, I don’t see my comment which I made earlier here. And this time I’m sure my comment was relevant to the discussion going on. …????

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        • Divorce-rates are mostly a reflection on the status of divorced women. It’s easy to get near-zero divorce-rates, even with unhappy marriages and many women married reluctantly or even against their will. All you have to do is make it *REALLY* hard to be a divorced woman. Some societies treat women who are divorced as outcasts, as worthless and with few or no rights. These societies gets essentially zero divorces: the women choose to put up with nearly anything, rather than suffer a divorce.

          Divorce-rates are higher in the west because of two things. First, you can lead a normal, attractive life as a full human being without anyone treating you badly, even if you’re divorced. Infact you can even be considered attractive as a partner and potential future wife/husband.

          Second, because expectations from marriage are *high* here. People expect not only company and cooperation, but also love, passion and magic.

          I know Indians whose parents have had separate bedrooms for a decade, and who’s never affectionate, seldom even friendly with oneanother, but who nevertheless remain married.

          Divorce-rates are not a good indicator for how marriages are faring. They’re only an indicator for how sucky it is to be a divorcee.

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        • In the US more than 50 % of marriages end in divorce because women have been empowered nowadays, they don’t need to stay with a man who’s not making them happy to survive. In India the divorce rate is around 1.1% because they don’t have a CHOICE ! They are brainwashed since childhood that someday they’ll HAVE TO marry, if they are lucky enough they can choose who they will sleep with for the rest of their life, How creepy is that? and once they are married there is no way out because of what PEOPLE WILL SAY…If they are so unhappy in their marriage they’ll just have to swallow it …and spread their legs! (talking for women) Healthy society ? Don’t think so !

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    • Standing ovations, Carvaka, you hit the nail on the head. I am European and we regard it as outright careless to marry someone head over heels without having lived with him or her at first. I read it so often here that “after marriage he changed and became abusive”. If you live with the partner before marriage, you will find out their dark sides very quickly and can make an informed decision whether you really want to spend the rest of your life with them. And – can’t stress that point enough – live-in relationships here are a sign of commitment and absolutely monogamous. It is a huge step and a huge sign of trust here to move in with someone else and shows the rest of the world that this relationship is serious and not just a casual fling.

      I lived with my boyfriend for two years before we got married, i.e. we stayed in a flat together, paid the rents and the bills together, battled everyday life together, did the chores together. In other words, we did what married couples do as well. Still my family was anxious when after those two years we decided to get married. They worried whether two years were even long enough to get to know each other well enough to stay together for life! Some of our friends lived together for more than seven years and had babies before they got married. Nobody here would dream of calling them low or claim they just stay together to have sex.
      (Though I find it amusing that people who claim such things are often also advocates of only having sex in wedlock. So marriage is not about having sex at all, eh? :-P )

      Bring on the thumbs down, then, dear bashers of “everything western” and call me a low woman. That will really make my day. :-D *rubs hands gleefully*

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      • Ah no no. For Indians, marriage is not about sex at all. Eeks, only “low” Western people have sex. We Indians? We hold hands and pray on our wedding nights. The babies? Well, that’s what happens when you pray so much. ;)

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  5. Men have no rights in western liberal democracies, only responsibilities. Women enjoy all the rights and men are forever under their mercy. Marriages are on their way out probably because men are too scared to get married.

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    • May be we are different worlds , but all the single people I know are girls who dnt want to and men who can’t wait to get married .. Marriages are way out probably people think they don’t need a seal from society to live together :):)

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    • Yeah generalizing too much. Is this what you convince yourselves of, why you think you are better off in Indian society?

      This is like all women are desperate to marry and men do not want to marry at all. Ha

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      • “Ha ha so Indians take marriages with little thought and less seriousness than westerners. So very true.”

        That’s your quote. Isn’t that generalizing? Are you trying to convince yourself of something?Ha?

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  6. Well, I love ur views in there…an interesting topic too…though, I guess it.has it own both positives n negatives…yaa but as u said its grt dey’re out of dis my blood n ur blood thing, but den too there r imbalances in d final output..though, again d best part is at.least dey r not abandoned,dey dont go hungry…

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  7. If people are so ashamed of bearing children out of wedlock, why don’t they simply get an abortion done instead of abandoning an infant in garbage and where not. It sound pathetically stupid to undergo all the pain and discomfort of labor only to leave the baby to die. Else, people should have the courage to accept their baby ir-respective of being married or otherwise.

    Even if the society doesn’t respect unmarried parents doesn’t mean parents succumb to the mindset and abandon their newborns. To hell with whether a society respects and/or accepts an unmarried parent and his/her child. It is the individual who needs to respect and accept himself/herself first. And until that happens, society can never change. It is futile to wait and expect the society to change first.

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    • i thought that was simple.. once they have unprotected sex, (pretty easy) and get pregnant, they cannot afford to get an illegal abortion. they dont have the money to spend, so they kill/abandon the child after it is born.. .. if the girl’s family has money, they do commit abortions.. spending huge amounts..

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  8. I think your conclusion from the statistic is oversimplified. There may be some element of what you’re saying, but another statistic in that article (that these babies are generally born to women under 20) reminds me of another trend friends from the UK mentioned – of young women choosing to get pregnant to increase their likelihood of getting a council house. That indicates other social problems. I don’t think it’s fair to extrapolate this statistic in the way you’ve done.

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  9. I have never been able to understand how a child can possibly be “illegitimate” or “illegal”. What does that even mean? Does the law treat them any differently?

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    • In some countries yes, the law does treat, or at least used to treat them differently. I think, most of it related to whether they had rights to their father’s property and name, but yes, the “legitimacy” of a child did have an impact on her or his legal rights. Some countries have now abolished this distinction, and rightly so, recognizing both parents’ responsibilities towards ALL their children.

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    • Yes, in some countries the law does (or at least did) treat them differently. A large part of it is related to whether or not “illegitimate” children have a right to their father’s name and property. Although, some countries have now done away with this distinction, recognizing that parents owe a responsibility to ALL their children, regardless of whether or not she or he is born within a marriage.

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  10. Excerpt from a related 2011/2012 article about marriages in the US:
    “The most dramatic decline in marriage occurred among those 18-29. Just 20 percent of them are now married; 59 percent were married in 1960. In the minds of Americans, getting married and becoming parents are two different things,” he said. “Their top priority is being a parent, second to having a successful marriage. People have separated the two things. Years ago, they were closely linked to one another.”
    Full article:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/marriage-rate-falls-to-record-low-in-u-s-pew-says/

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    • In the same article
      “The bottom line is that kids are experiencing more instability and more hardship because the adults are less likely to get and stay married,” Wilcox said.

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    • Why did you miss the next paragraph in the same article?

      “The bottom line is that kids are experiencing more instability and more hardship because the adults are less likely to get and stay married,” Wilcox said.

      From what i hear marriage rate is going up in USA for college graduates and dropping for the less educated.

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      • That is why I included a link to the entire article – which contains both sides of the issue – people’s changing attitudes to marriage and the author’s views on the effect on kids. I think the trend is interesting – I’m sure this will affect some kids negatively – on the other hand there are so many ‘stable’ bad marriages where kids suffer or even good marriages where the partners are compatible but have poor parenting skills that kids suffer. So the bottom line is that kids will benefit with parents who are responsible, loving to their kids, whether they’re married or not.

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        • Why do consider only some parts of the article as views and it seems like the other part as facts?Everything in the article,including the quotes that both you i reproduced here, seem to be coming from the same source.

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        • For some reason, I can’t use the ‘reply’ option on the comment below, hence I’m replying above it. The part about the % of young people opting out of marriage is a statistic – a fact. The author’s comments about the effect on children – that’s an opinion. I quoted the fact, included the entire article, then commented that I thought the fact was interesting, and expressed my views on the author’s opinion. The author’s opinion is not a fact and hence can be debated.

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        • So this is a view too.

          “‘In the minds of Americans, getting married and becoming parents are two different things,’ he said. ‘Their top priority is being a parent, second to having a successful marriage. People have separated the two things. Years ago, they were closely linked to one another.’”

          The only fact being “The most dramatic decline in marriage occurred among those 18-29. Just 20 percent of them are now married; 59 percent were married in 1960″

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        • Yes it is. I agree with the author on his view that Americans are separating the two issues in their mind. I disagree with the author on his view that it’s negatively impacting children. You can agree with some views and disagree with some views coming from the same person – I’m sure you don’t agree with every single thing a person says. You anon, are also free to agree or disagree with parts or whole of this author’s views. Not sure what we’re arguing about here :) My last response on this.

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  11. When I was working in UK, one of my client was living with his girlfriend. They had no intention of getting married or have children. I think it is a very personal decision and the society in UK accepts and respects it.
    Then there was another client who was a live-in partner to a divorcee with three grown up kids.
    And they were very normal people. As normal as married Indians with kids.

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  12. Hey,
    I stumbled up on your blog and boy am I glad to be reading this sane voice amidst all the cacophony on the internet ( I live in Iceland and therefore, internet being my source of/ connection to all things Indian) .
    I am married to an Icelander, and having lived here and getting to know my new family and a new society and culture, I cannot stress the importance of family enough. We, as Indians need to broaden the definition. A married couple, children and their dogs and their neighbours do not a family make!
    My closest friends are all happy parents, happy families and the children are thriving! My daughter is a bundle of joy, a little cute bomb who wouldn’t have had a chance at being born if not for the constant support of my then boyfriend, now husband and his family. My own family, to state the obvious and put it mildly, had cut off all ties, until recently.
    I know this seems off topic, but the truth is I only see happy ‘families’and happy children all around me. Whether a couple is married or not, together or not does not come up, simply because the interests of the child and his/her well being is always central. People here are fiercely protective of their children, and I have been fortunate to witness and be a part of this gender equal society, wherein the whole village does come together for a child.
    Its time we Indians got off our ‘çustom’ and ‘tradition’ high horses and put our children at the forefront, right where they belong.
    How can any child not be a cause of celebration? And who are we to judge people’s choices?

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  13. IHM, my comment (reply) isn’t visible yet. I posted it at around 1pm several minutes before your recent published comment.

    Kindly track it & I hope it would be visible shortly.

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  14. the conclusions reached here dont match the content of the articles. children born out of wedlock don’t make baby abandonments not happen. In the UK, as in Europe, babies do get abandoned for various reasons and some of them might be similar to the reasons why babies get abandoned in india. for that matter baby hatches and boxes are installed in European countries and in some places of india as well.I think that is a whole topic in itself.

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    • @Anna – There are people who believe in creating or/and perpetuating perceptions (the ones which suits them) – would tend to jump on coclusions like the one you are indicating to ( You are not jumping to the conclusion). They would pretend that they are not judgemental but in reality they are very judgemental. Some would cite some statistics from western countries to prove that the cultures are degrading/ have degraded while other set of people would/ may cite some/ same statistics to prove that the same western cultures are liberating/ have liberated. Few would add some anecdotal evidences to drive the point they like to side with. Everyone examines data for evidence that their side is right. Correlation does not imply causation.
      There are people who are fixated on freedom/liberty and liberal values and there are people who are fixated on orthodox/ conservative values. Both are in minority – there are very large number of people who are in between ofthese 2 extremes.

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  15. Pingback: “See – UNICEF has figured it out. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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