CONCEPTS

What is an assembled family?

We explain what an assembled family is and some of its characteristics. In addition, single parent and homoparental family.

  1. What is an assembled family?

It is known as an assembled family, mixed family or rebuilt family to a family nucleus in which one or both parents have descendants resulting from a previous union. That is, it is a family formed by one or two divorced parents, widowers or single parents.

The origin of this term goes back to Argentina in 1987, when the divorce law was promulgated , officially recognizing this figure in that country, where it was already an important demographic. And although it is assumed that they are also in the rest of the western world, the figures regarding  assembled families are very diverse.

This is because, depending on the legislation , the second non-legalized unions, very frequent in Latin America, or single mothers and fathers who later marry for the first time may not be considered as such .

However, both in Europe and in the US divorce rates are significant (30% and 50% respectively), but of the divorced a very high percentage (75%) decides to try again with a new partner.

The use of these terms in Spanish has been defended to combat the pejorative connotation that the suffix – astro gives to a stepfather or a stepmother , figures that in the imaginary of the children’s fable are also linked to evil or selfishness. This connotation does not exist in the English term: step- (like  stepfather  or  stepmother ).

  1. Single parent family

When talking about a single parent family, it means that it is guided by a single parent, either father or mother . This is the case of widowers and widows, single fathers and mothers, and divorced fathers or mothers who do not rebuild a fixed partner.

This term is used only when there are children to care for, and contrary to what is often thought, these homes are not incomplete, nor are they therefore dysfunctional , but simply the father or mother occupies the guardian role alone.

At most, and depending on the case, they may face greater economic difficulties than a home in which both parents contribute money to the home, which is not always the case in households where there are two parents.

  1. Homoparental family

The homoparental family is one whose parents are a same-sex couple , that is, a homosexual couple, and have children from previous relationships or acquired through adoption, surrogacy or artificial insemination (in the case of female partners).

Legal recognition of these types of families has been possible only in those countries that recognize gay legal union (in some cases referred to as equal marriage or gay marriage) and allow them access to adoption.

This issue can be controversial, since there are numerous religious and moral positions against it; but it is a general trend, at least in the West, the normalization of homosexuality and homosexual relations, thus providing spouses with the just protection of the law and the benefits of life officially as a couple.

Equal marriage is currently recognized in 25 countries : Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Spain, United States (in some states), Finland, France, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden and Uruguay.

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