Single-parent families are formed by one adult (mother or father) who is in charge of one or several biological or adopted children.
Therefore, this type of family includes:
- Men or women that face parenthood alone following a natural pregnancy, assisted reproduction, adoption, or, in specific cases, surrogacy in another country (as it is illegal in Spain).
- Families formed by a widower or widow and their children (the family is also considered a large family if there are two or more children).
- Families formed by a separated or divorced mother or father who remains in charge of their children without shared custody.
Nowadays, single-parent families are an increasingly common family model led predominantly by single mothers. According to the “Employed women with non-shared family responsibilities” report issued by the Adecco Foundation, single-parent families have increased by 78% in recent years, and 9 out of 10 are led by women.
The most difficult issue for single parents is balancing their work and family life since they have to look after their children by themselves and only have one source of income. However, working part-time or requesting a leave of absence only further reduces their level of income.