Latest posts by Magdalene Agbajama (see all)
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Three years ago, 21-year-old Aliyah Addison was raped, which led to her having a child out of wedlock. She is just one of many women who have had children out of wedlock— this act was uncommon to our culture until three decades ago. However, her pregnancy is due to an unfortunate circumstance.
Some women who have not been raped have embraced the concept of having children out of wedlock. Their main belief is founded on the feminist view that a man (or father) is not needed in the life of a child. This view and other views were uncovered in an attempt to answer the question of why having children out of wedlock is starting to become a norm in society and also what struggles do these people face, if any.
Addison’s religious views (Christianity) informed her decision to have the baby rather than go the route of abortion. “As a Christian, I do not believe in the concept the abortion,” said Aliyah, holding her son who is about to turn 2-years-old.
“The struggle of having a child out of wedlock is the worst traumatic experience of my everyday life,” said Aliyah, when asked if the event affected her life. She chose to have the baby, even though having a child out of wedlock conflicts with her religion and can have a negative backlash in her religious circle.
The Christian view on this event was boldly stated by Pastor Victor Hambolu, who said, “Biblically, a child begotten out of wedlock shall not enter the kingdom of God,” quoting from Deuteronomy 23:2. Hambolu is an Assistant Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Windsor. He further said, “this does not mean that an illegitimate person cannot be saved or be used greatly by God. His mercy is sufficient to all.” This means being pregnant and having children out of wedlock does not dictate God’s will for individuals. He says the biblical view on having children out wedlock stems from its view on fornication or adultery, which are sins.
Historically, having a child out of wedlock was a serious social offense, and such children were called bastards in most cultures. Until recently, illegitimacy had penalties that related mainly to the child’s right of inheritance and the child’s right to bear the father’s name or title. Therefore, “bastards” were not acknowledged by their father.
Most cross-cultural views on having children out of wedlock seem to frown on the event. Some of these views even condone huge consequences to the mother, such as being shamed or killed. “Having children out of wedlock is against my culture and tradition; I have witnessed people being killed for this,” said Navpunet Sadhu, a Punjabi India. This remains even more culturally controversial. In fact, it used to be a crime in India to have children out of wedlock.
In India up to twelve years ago, women who became pregnant out of wedlock were killed, an action which some considered as “Honor Killing.” Then, it was seen as a means to protect the dignity of the family she is from, notwithstanding whether or not the situation that led to the pregnancy was intentional.
More so, as stated by Global Research, Honour Killing is still acknowledged in most cultures influenced by Islam, such as most Arab countries. It is seen as a way to prevent disgrace on their culture.
However, not everyone intentionally has children out of wedlock. Different circumstances can lead to this, just like Aliyah’s case, a student at the University of Windsor, full of ambition, who never believed in having children out of wedlock, but painfully, is a victim of it: “I was raped, I could not kill a child through abortion, and I just had to keep it,” she said. “At some point in my life I started hating my son; I saw him as a representative of my predicament.” She further said: “Getting a son at the age of 19 wasn’t easy; it brought me trauma, knowing my child has no legitimate father.”
In addition, Aliyah explained her struggle based on how people saw her and how she felt: “People never understand what you go through. Some people are so judgemental on people’s issues. They conclude you are wayward and then persecute you.”
On the other hand, some do not see having children out of wedlock as a bad thing, as it is accepted in Chinese and some European cultures. An English scholar, Ashley Robert, who grew up in Birmingham in the UK , believes it is a personal choice to have a child out of wedlock: “I am not against this based on the condition that surrounds it,” she said. She feels it is preferable that these women are supported and assisted by the government program.
Many North Americans believe that every child is a blessing. Hou Shu was born and raised in Canada, and has nothing against having children out of wedlock. He said having children should be out of love. However, if it is a different situation (such as rape) the child should still be accepted. “Children are blessings, so I see nothing wrong with having a child out of wedlock,” he said.
Single, parents go through different stress and struggles just like our case study, Aliyah Addison. She went through different struggle with people. Her academic, and her Physical and emotional condition deteriorated. She went through different struggles with people. Her Academic, and her physical and emotional condition deteriorated. She suffered loneliness as well as depression, even when she had her family there for her. “I will ever feel bad that my child has no father”, she said.
Most single parents suffer financial hardship, less attention to the child especially when they work including the students and working parents who might have hard times training their kids.
The number of single parents in Canada has over the years The latest figure from statistic Canada continued a decade-long shift in the makeup of lone parents families, with single parents , now numbering 305,000 nationwide, up from 280,000 recorded in the 2006 census. The 16.2 per cent increase in the number of single parents outpaced the 14 per cent growth between 2001 and 2006
Statistics Canada has shown that many children born in Canada are out of wedlock, a trend that is present in America as well, where research that found that more than half the women under 30 who give birth in America are not married.
The data shows that the fastest growth in the past 20 years is among white women in their 20s with some college education than a four-year degree. Two thirds of the children born to mothers under the age of 30 are out of wedlock. The data was compiled by Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzes government data and reported by the New York Times.
“Nevertheless, the government can’t stop individual from having children out of wedlock, they can only help these children and single mothers,” said Akin Taiwo, a professor of Social work at the University of Windsor.”It is a personal decision to have children, but born out of wedlock should not be criticized,” he further said. Though he believes it is wrong to have a child out of wedlock based on his religious and social views, he considers the condition which lead to existence of the birth of that child.
Regardless of the condition, there are ways the government can support single mothers in Canada. Programs in the provision of income supplements and provision of affordable day care facilities. A view Aliyah and other single moms around the country will most likely agree to, regardless of their religious views, feminist views and motivations for having a child outside wedlock.