Every Family Is Different

When children play family together, there is usually a father, a mother and at least one child. In fact, many families look exactly like that. But nowadays there are also other types of families. Today, we’ll tell you exactly how people in other families live together.

The ideal family

The standard Central European family consists of two parents who are married to each other and a couple of children. They live together in a house or in an apartment.

Today, the standard family is no longer the only common family form.

Patchwork family

The word patchwork comes from English and means patched together. Two people who were previously in a marriage and already have children move in together. Each takes a couple of children into the relationship. The siblings are then partly not related to each other. Sometimes the parents then have another child together (or even several) with each other. All children then live together with the parents under one roof. That’s why patchwork families can sometimes be quite large when compared to the standard German family.

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Because divorces are a common occurrence today, patchwork families are not uncommon.

Rainbow family

As you probably know, it can happen that two women or even two men fall in love with each other. This type of sexual orientation is also called homosexuality. Homosexual couples are not allowed to marry in many countries yet. However, they can enter into a registered partnership and then enjoy some benefits that married couples also have.

Homosexual couples can also start a family. Although it is not possible to conceive a child with each other naturally, if two men or two women love each other. But sometimes they adopt a child from an orphanage or a refugee child from another country. In this way, the two can still have a child and an orphan can enjoy a new home.

The rainbow family always meets with criticism. Because some people are of the opinion that same-sex couples cannot take care of their children as well as heteros. By straight you mean the relationship between a woman and a man, as you probably know it from your parents.

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Children can basically grow up just as well in a rainbow family as in the care of a straight couple. The disadvantage may be that a lesbian couple lacks a male caregiver and a gay couple lacks a female caregiver. Because children need both male and female role models in their childhood. Because there can also be uncles and aunts who take on this role, the rainbow family is basically in no way inferior to a straight family.

Foster family

When children lose their parents, they first rely on the support of the state in which they live. They are then placed in an orphanage. Older kids and teenagers can move into an assisted living community.

It is true that the kids get everything they need this way. But they still lack the love of a parent. Children can grow up better if they are raised by parents and live in a real family.

That is why it is better for orphans to be taken in by a foster family. Parents who cannot produce children for various reasons have the opportunity to adopt a child from the orphanage. Refugee children from other countries can also find a new home with a foster family. Some foster families are able to procreate, but still want to adopt a child to give it a nice life.

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In this way, the child makes the family even bigger and the adopted children have a better chance of having a great life. They can be happy because they have parents who stand behind them and take care of them.

Because children are a precious asset that must be protected, there are very strict requirements for foster families. Before a family can take in a child, the parents must prove that they have a high enough income to support the child. They need an apartment large enough to accommodate the child in an age-appropriate manner.

If the adoption works out, then there are regular checks by the youth welfare office. Then a social worker comes to the family to look at the current circumstances there. This ensures that the child continues to be treated well and lacks nothing.

Single parent family

For kids, the best thing is to have two parents. If one parent dies, the remaining one takes care of the kids. Also, if the parents get divorced, a single-parent family is created.

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This is not easy for the dad or mom, because he or she has to take care of the children’s education, the household and the living alone. Sometimes single parents find a new partner who can support them.

The children then need some time to fully confide in and open up to the new partner. Because they know: This is not my mom or dad.

A single-parent family can become a patchwork family if the new partner also brings children into the relationship.

Worksheet for the text

1) Explain the difficult words in the text.

What does…

  • Homosexuality
  • Straight
  • Rainbow family
  • Single parent family
  • Foster family
  • Patchwork family

2) What is your family like? Who all belongs to it? Draw a picture of your family with all the family members who live in your home.

3) Why do you think kids are happiest when they have two parents? What are the disadvantages of kids having only one dad or mom?

Photo: andres / bigstockphoto.com

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