When most people think of a family, in the US, they imagine two opposite sex parents and two biologic children of those parents.
That image is beginning to fade, or at least morph to include many “non-traditional” families. Again, here when we think of non-traditional families we envision a same-sex couple maybe with a child or two or a single parent household. It seems that through the increase in same sex couples adoption has risen to a much more visible and more legitimized means for creating a family.
Usually the defining factor of a non-traditional family is that the children do not share biology with their parents and/or their siblings and that the parents are not legally bound in matrimony. Also, these non-traditional families don’t “look” like families.
So what binds them? What makes me family with my mother? I am adopted and share no biologic relation to her, my father or my sister. Well, we say we are legally family. The ever-so-powerful law binds us. But then what about my mother and her partner who by that same ever-so-powerful law are prohibited from being bound together?
What makes it so much more acceptable for me to be legally bound to a white family as an orphan from India than for my mother and her partner to be bound in a similar fashion? I am curious.
Part of the answer lies in the discomfort of our society with non-reproductive sexual relationships in general, especially same-sex or transgender.
But there must be deeper seeded and more pervasive resistance to changes in family structures. My guess is modern economics is the place to look, or at least start.