The statistics are surprising—even more so in a continent that is still predominantly Catholic, via NPR:
Latin America is now the region that has the highest percentage of children born out of wedlock. In Colombia, 84 percent of all children are born to unmarried mothers. Argentina, Mexico, Chile and other countries throughout the region have similar numbers, with well over half of all children born outside wedlock. In less than a generation in Argentina, the traditional definition of a family has given way to new interpretations. And it’s happening at all economic levels — educated, middle-class women are now among the many choosing to have kids alone or in an informal union. At the apartment where I met Vittar are two of her close friends. They all vacation together and hang out all the time. Vittar explains that they are part of her extended family too. “We are a big group, so we all support each other,” says Ana Zappella, a single mother of Ambar, 2. Paola Fiorita, a photographer, lives with the father of her child, Lucio, age 3, but the couple is not married. Fiorita says having a child was far more important than the ritual of getting married, which she sees as just paperwork. She says there are no perfect families anymore. “I think you create the family for your child. I don’t think my son’s family is just us and his grandparents, but we are all aunts and cousins even if we are not biologically related,” she says.
Read the rest. Curiously, one voice that absent from this piece is that of the church.