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Lone Mothers

  • By: Gill Gillespie
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

A lone mother (also known as a single parent), is a mother who cares for one or more children without the assistance of another parent in the home. The legal definition of lone parenthood or lone motherhood can vary internationally and occur for a variety of reasons. It can be voluntary for the parent, such as through divorce, adoption, or artificial insemination; or involuntary, such as through separation, death of a spouse, or a divorce that was not the lone parent's instigation. Fifty-five percent of lone mothers were once married, but statistics are more difficult to obtain for those who have cohabited or never lived together. Lone motherhood tends to be temporary, with four out of five lone mothers partnering, marrying, repartnering, or remarrying within ...

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