PARENTING AND CARING
Becoming parents and carers
Being a parent or carer is one of the most demanding jobs there is. No one can make parenting or caring easy, but by understanding children, the cared for and their needs will make it a lot easier, as they require time and energy.
Biological parents are the parents who produce and provide the genetic material for a child.
Pregnancy is the result of male and female intercourse or due to artificial insemination, which then conception occurs.
Preconception planning can assist the parents by ensuring that they are psychologically and physically ready to parent a child. The may spend time discussing:
x parent styles
x child-care arrangements
In a planned pregnancy, consideration can also be given to the cost of raising a child and housing arrangements.
Thoughts and feelings are often confused. When an unplanned pregnancy occurs, there are choices to parent the baby, make a plan for adoption or abortion. These options must be clearly thought of before a decision is made.
IVF and GIFT
When pregnancy doesn’t occur naturally, IVF (into-virto fertilisation) may be an option. This involves giving a woman fertility drugs and then removing the eggs from one of her ovaries just before fertilisation. GIFT (gamete intra-fallopian transfer) is another option. The egg and sperm are transferred into the woman so that conception occurs inside the body.
Social parents are individuals who care for a child without providing genetic material. They may be adoptive, foster, step or surrogate parents.
An alternative for parents who cannot conceive a child. This is a legal procedure in which the children are no longer considered part of their biological family but of their adoptive family.
A temporary arrangement ranging from a few days to years, where children stay with a family for a short period of time. It is coordinated by DOCS (Department of Community Services). Foster parents have the day-to-day responsibilities for the children.
Involves an arrangement between a woman and a couple who would like to have a child. Woman agrees to conceive, carry and give birth to the child for the couple. This is a very controversial form of parenting and is illegal in NSW.
When a man and/or woman marries or forms a de facto relationship with a partner who has children from a previous relationship, he or she becomes a step-parent. Step parents have no legal responsibilities but can fulfil all parenting requirements.
Carers can be professionals, parents, partners, brother, sisters, friends or children of any age. Carers may be paid or perform the role voluntarily without payment. Carers meet the needs of the individual, provide stability and access to family and social networks.
Statistically one in every five households provides care for family members or friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or who is frail aged. Informal or voluntary carers provide the bulk of care in the community.
There are many types of paid carers. They include:
* Foster carers
* Nursing homes
* After school carers
MANAGING PARENTING AND CARING RESPONSIBILITIES
It is important that both the positive and negative aspects of parenthood be examined before pregnancy begins. A child affects the lifestyle and financial picture of a family, which can cause apprehension.
Preparations for becoming a parent or carer
There are many books, articles and magazines and classes to help people learn about parenting. Most carers take on caring responsibilities because a family member or friend needs support and assistance.
It is important for both parents to be as fit and...