Marriage and family have become hot topics and subjects of great controversy in today’s societies. Because the family is such a basic building block of society, we should look for aspects of agreement before dealing with differences of opinion. Obviously it takes a man and a woman to produce children. Various constructs from this basic reality have developed throughout history. Extended families and clans have nurtured children along different patterns.
Webster’s New Twentieth-Century Dictionary defines family in several ways:
- the collective body of persons who live in one house
- a father, mother, and their children
- the children of the same parents
- a group of people related by blood or marriage; relatives
The family can be defined as a set of sentiments, values, and perceptions that determine the relationships of family members one to another and to the larger society. (These) have been reconfigured into those of the postmodern permeable family. Within the permeable family, which includes two-working-parent families, divorced families, single-parent families, adoptive families, and remarried families, children and adolescents often lose their defined place within the kinship structure.
To this list must be added families with previous, adopted, or conceived children of lesbians or gay men.
The crisis consists of pressures upon, and dysfunctions within, the family system. We hope to provide resources for families of every definition in order to support families for the good of children and the future of society.