Friday, April 17, 2009

Birthing trends

A couple of weeks ago, a CNN article caught my eye "Out-of-wedlock births hit record high." It's not surprising, especially given the increased media coverage on some unmarried moms, like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie, Jamie Lynn Spears, Bristol Palin, Nadya "Octomom" Suleman... I'd be interested to see the figures for Taiwan as well. So many people tell me that nowadays, the most common reason for couples to marry is because of an unplanned pregnancy.

Honestly, this news bugs me a lot. Not because I'm a traditionalist in the strictest sense - I'm fine with gay marriage, gay couples adopting children, and single women with the means to provide for children having children (whether adopted or biologically, so a "yes" to Angelina Jolie, a "no" to the Octomom). But I really feel that bringing life into this world and becoming a parent is such a huge privilege and responsibility, the action of doing so really requires some reflection. Not that people with unplanned pregnancies can't be and aren't great parents - I'm sure there are many, and I know of several.

But really, this isn't some got-a-great-deal-on-priceline-let's-go-on-a-getaway moment. This is 18-years, nay, a lifetime, of responsibility. Or as this one blogger so eloquently put it, "to be a really good parent...she would have to happily put aside her girlhood. To become the woman her body is convinced she is." Sometimes that needs a little thinking through beforehand. And with all the birth control options available nowadays (this isn't 1952), you could argue that it isn't an old-fashioned belief to be disappointed by unplanned pregnancies, but rather a very modern belief.

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