MARRIED NUCLEAR FAMILIES
In these families, both adults are the biological or adoptive parents of the children. There are three types of married nuclear families depending on the employment status of the woman and man. In the first type, the man works outside the home while the woman works inside the home caring for the children. Twenty-eight percent of all households fit this description according to the current U.S. Census.
In the second type of married nuclear family, the woman works outside the home and the man cares for the children. This constitutes 2 percent of families in this country.
In the third kind of married nuclear family, both the husband and the wife work outside the home or are income providers. In some situations, the woman might have a home-based business, such as a day care center. Nearly 60 percent of women with children under the age of six were in the work force at the beginning of the decade.
In this kind of family, the couple lives together but are not legally married. Either one or both of them are the biological or adoptive parents of the children.
In this family there is only one parent in the home. Primarily because of high divorce rates and adults choosing not to marry, this is currently the fastest growing family form in America. More than half of all children will spend some of their lives in a single-parent family. Currently, 88 percent of these families are headed by women.
These families are generally created by divorce and remarriage, rather than by the death of the mother or father. In stepfamilies, biologically unrelated children often live in the same household. There are 9,000 new stepfamilies being created each week in this country.
In these families, children are legally raised by both parents who are not living together. Generally, the children move back and forth between the residences or each parent, depending on the agreement between the parents.
Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or no longer can take care of them. The number of these families has increased by 40 percent in the past ten years. In addition, many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work.
FAMILIES HEADED BY ADULTS OF THE SAME SEX
Children are sometimes reared by two adults of the same sex who live together. This includes those homes where lesbian(female) or gay(male) couples are filling parenting roles.
Adults may bring children from a heterosexual relationship to these families; other children may have been adopted or conceived by medical procedures.
FOSTER AND GROUP-HOME FAMILIES
Foster parents and institutional child-care workers often provide a substitute family for children referred by the courts or government agencies. While problems with their parents or guardians are being resolved, the children may live in these families.
A community family is a group of people who live and work together and share the responsibilities of raising the children. One well-known community family type in Israel is the kibbutz(meaning "gathering" in Hebrew). In some community groups, only certain adults function in the parent role, while in others all members of the group participate equally in child rearing.
In these families, the parents live and work in different towns or states. One parent provides the primary residence, and the other parent comes home for short periods of time, such as weekends and holidays.
The number of commuter families is growing due to the difficulty of finding two suitable jobs in the same vicinity or the need for parents to receive additional job-skills training.