The COVID-19 pandemic represented a turning point, not just in world history and how governments and businesses approach global and national healthcare issues but also in the destinies of individuals.
Millions now work from home, keep a mask on their person when they go out, or cut their own hair. The legacy this virus left in its wake will forever represent those who were lost, how people now live, and also, unexpectedly, who now exists as a result – as maternity units around the world have begun to discover.
An Explosion in Pregnancies
Take the US, for example; there were around 55.8 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, which is a steep decline of almost 20% from the rate of 69.3 per 1,000 women of the same age range back in 2007. Why the dramatic drop in birth, you ask?
Many factors likely contribute to the birth rate decrease, with more millennials having either postponed or walked away from family planning due to the costs of living, going to college, the difficulties in getting on the property ladder, and in many cases, the demands of starting a new career – especially those in unpaid internships.
Ironically, however, the lockdowns appear to have shifted the priorities of many young people, who are now having children in record numbers in some parts of the world. For instance, a UK hospital reported the number of births in its part of the country rose significantly in 2021 – and it’s the same in many areas of the United States. In fact, according to the CDC, close to 3.7 million children were born in the US in 2021 – a figure that’s 46,000 more than in 2020; however, 2021’s 1% increase still fell short of the birth rate in 2019.
Fresh Focus on Family
With this change in destiny, moving from career development and more in the direction of a desire for parenthood comes different responsibilities and powerful factors at play. Statistically, one of the most important elements correlated with the success and wellbeing of one’s children is whether or not they have grown up within a stable family unit – and this drives a need for society to focus resources and culture on the cultivation of stabilizing systems and the prevention of destabilizing factors.
These factors and cultivations need to be focused on a medical level via the development of health service infrastructure to monitor for and treat issues in pregnancy, neonatal development, and pediatrics. In addition, these stabilizing systems and destabilizing prevention methods also need to take the form of legal counseling offered by specialist law firms – like Robertsons Family Law – who are experts on everything pertaining to family matters.
Overall, these specific kinds of law professionals address issues like child arrangements, surrogacy, divorces, and pre-nuptial agreements, among many others that are geared towards maintaining the stability of and positive outcome for a family – no matter what may have happened and what the circumstances might be.
The Definition of a Family
Along with all of the traditional medicolegal questions that come with creating a stereotypical ‘family,’ the definition of what that is isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be – further adding to the diversity and complexity of the baby boom. LGBTQ+ couples, for instance, these days possess much the same legal rights over reproduction as do their heterosexual, cis-gendered counterparts.
However, the dynamics of these unconventional family units may be more nuanced and less well understood by those outside LGBTQ+ communties. Polyamorous relationships are also increasing in numbers, adding yet another dimension to the conversation about just what is a ‘family’ these days? The truth is, it’s much harder to pinpoint the precise meaning of the word in the modern day than it was in the more conservative the past – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, thanks to the diversity and acceptance of love that today’s world beautifully holds dear.
It is somewhat ironic that this boom in having children has occurred in a generation (millennials) so previously hellbent on remaining childless for a number of sociological reasons, especially in the aftermath of a pandemic responsible for the deaths of millions. It shows that the future truly will, more often than not, be different from what everyone expects it to be, and there is some excitement in that notion.