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Part 1: Modern Families

KYW Regional Affairs Council

"Unwedded Bliss"


By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The definition of a family has changed from generation to generation.

Today, we find a growing trend of unmarried, committed couples raising families.

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(Dr. Charles Williams. Drexel Univ. photo)

Dr. Charles Williams, an assistant clinical professor of the school of education at Drexel University, notes that when it comes to families, times have changed.

"Family has changed so much. It has morphed into so many things," he says.

And Dr. Stephen Treat, senior therapist with the Council For Relationships, notes that nowadays there are a range of relationships defined as families.

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(Dr. Stephen Treat. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

"The normal family, the definition of it, is really all over the place," he says.

(Williams:)  "We have grandmothers raising kids, we have more fathers than ever before choosing not to work and to be stay-at-home dads..."

(Treat:) "Gay and lesbian couples, blended families..."

(Williams:) "And obviously we have men and women cohabitating who love each other, who have kids, who are not married."

Northern Liberties resident Ellen Mogell has been in a ten-year relationship with her boyfriend, Jeb Woody.

"I think some people don't have 'the wedding dream,' " she says.  "I don't know -- I never dreamed of my wedding."

Nevertheless, Jeb says, he feels married:

"I feel like we've made the committment.  We've decided we want to grow old together.  We don't need paper to be a motivating factor."

"People don't feel like they have to get married," notes Chuck Williams, the Drexel professor.  "Remember, back in the day people felt like at a certain age, you got married or something was wrong with you."

But not so much anymore.  Still, why not?

Ellen Mogell says that between the restaurant she and Jeb own, their three-year-old son and a daughter on the way, getting married just isn't on their list of priorities.

"We had an engagement party and we fully planned on getting married," she recalls, "and then it just sort of got pushed back."


Listen to Part 1...

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