The proportion of children born to unmarried mothers hit a record 47.5 per cent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figure has risen from 25 per cent in 1988 and just 11 per cent in 1979. If this trend continues at the current rate, the majority of children will be born to parents who are not married by 2016. With approximately 14 million single parents in the United States today, the stigma that used to surround solo parenthood would seem to be officially old school. It is no shock anymore and more common than not.
In the old days (about 50 or so years ago) having a child out of wedlock meant scandal and shame, not only for the mother but for the child as well (remember the hit song by The Supremes, “Love Child” and that was in 1968.) In Hollywood in those days it meant a career-ending scandal. Well this is not so anymore and celebrities have become a part of this growing trend. Today many luminaries are having their babies before taking that walk down the aisle. From Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, numerous stars are changing the order of things in life and having kids before getting married, if they even get married at all. After less-than-positive experiences with marriage, actress Halle Berry vowed never to marry again. But that didn’t stop her from having Nahla Ariela Aubry in March 2008 with her then-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry. There are many famous examples and stories of celebrities who have chosen this new path. We’re going to take a look at some of them here.
Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo
Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo were together six years before becoming engaged in April 2008. The couple’s representative announced the pregnancy news in 2008. Two years after the couple’s engagement they welcomed daughter Aviana Olea in May 2010.
No wedding bells yet for the couple, but they’re still going strong!
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brian Hallisay
The Party of Five actress met Hallisay on the set of “Love Bites”. They further culled their relationship on the set of their cancelled TV show, “The Client List”. Hallisay is an Ivy league graduate who has a degree from Cornell University in economics and history. He was an investment banker, but then he took a gamble and traded finance for film and TV. Hewitt announced her pregnancy and subsequent engagement to Hallisay in June 2013 after the couple had been dating since 2012. Hallisay reportedly popped the question in May while they were vacationing in Europe. They welcomed daughter Autumn James on Nov. 26, 2013 and also revealed that at the same time that they had quietly tied the knot just beforehand but did not give the actual wedding date.
Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy
Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy had a whirlwind courtship, welcomed a baby and got engaged in a little over a year. But it seems wedding plans for Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy are on hold for now. In December 2013, the couple and their 2½-year-old son, Bingham, were together in Australia, where Bellamy’s band, Muse, was playing. They spent Christmas in the U.K. with Bellamy’s family, skipping Hudson’s mom Goldie Hawn‘s annual Christmas getaway in Aspen. Since then, Hudson has been seen out with family and friends – but not Bellamy. Despite all this, friends say that the couple “are still living together”.
Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault
Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault began dating in April 2006. By March 2007, Hayek was pregnant and they became engaged that same month. Their daughter Valentina Paloma was born on September 21, 2007. In July 2008, their relationship ended, however they reconciled later that fall and on February 14, 2009 in Paris they married. Two months later, on 25 April 25, 2009, they repeated their wedding vows with their family and friends in Venice
Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Meyer
Maguire met jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer in 2003 while he was shooting the movie “Seabiscuit” at Universal Studios, and the pair became engaged in April 2006. Their daughter Ruby Sweetheart Maguire was born on November 10, 2006. Ruby’s middle name comes from a childhood nickname of Meyer’s given to her by her grandmother, who died a few months before Ruby’s birth. The couple married on September 3, 2007, in Kona, Hawaii. Their second child, son Otis Tobias Maguire, was born on May 8, 2009.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been together since 2007 and have a 7-month-old daughter, Lincoln, born in March. They have always maintained they would not wed until gay couples could legally do so in the state of California. Bell: “We would feel weird taking advantage of a right that’s not available to certain citizens of the state we live in.” They had no plans for a big ceremony. “We will not have a wedding, we will just quietly get married,” Shepard said at the time. The couple made good on that plan, making it official with minimal fanfare in Los Angeles in October of 2013.
Snooki and Jionni LaValle
Snooki and Jionni LaValle announced their engagement and pregnancy at the same time. Son Lorenzo is 1 ½ and Snooki announced in February of this year she is pregnant again. She is still planning a wedding with fiancé Jionni LaValle. “I want to get married and show my wedding and all my kids, my future kids, husband… the whole thing!” said Snooki. “We’re gonna go to Vegas [for the bachelor/bachelorette parties],”Snooki said, and admitted they haven’t starting planning the wedding just yet. “Within a year or two,” added Jionni. “You know, first the baby then we’ll take that next step.”
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves have welcomed three children – son Levi, 5, and daughter Vida, 4 and son Livingston, 2 1/2. Just recently, the actor revealed on “Inside the Actors Studio” that with Alves, it was love at first sight. The couple wed on June 9, 2012, in Austin, Texas. ‘I wanted Camila and the kids to get a good piece of the way I grew up,’ Matthew explained about his decision to relocate his young family from Los Angeles to Texas. ‘Los Angeles is an industry town, and Austin isn’t. I grew up there; my two brothers [Rooster, 59 and Pat, 50] are there, my mother lives close by. It’s a great place to grow up.
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson
Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson the actress and her retired football player boyfriend have welcomed two children, a daughter Maxwell, 22 months, and a son Ace, 8 months. The couple is planning to wed sometime in 2014. Jessica said: “We haven’t had time! I really want to do a big fun wedding with my friends and family. We don’t have an actual date but we do know that we want it to be this year. We need to get married.” Johnson has reportedly worked out a prenup with Simpson that guarantees him bundles of cash! “He’ll get $500,000 as a wedding present. Then, on each anniversary, he’ll get another $200,000. If he and Jessica make it to five years of marriage, he’ll get an additional $500,000 bonus — and a $1 million bonus if they make it to 10 years.”
Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber
Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber are proud parents to sons Alexander Pete (called Sasha), 6, and Samuel Kai, 5. So will the longtime couple get engaged and walk down the aisle one day? “We’ll see,” Naomi said of marriage. In January 2010 Watts was quoted saying that Schreiber had given her a ring (which she was not wearing at the time) but that neither of them wanted to rush into marriage. At Tropfest on June 22, 2013, Schreiber referred to Watts as his wife.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied welcomed son Aleph in June 2011. At the time, they were engaged to be married. At the 2012 Academy Awards, the pair were spotted wearing wedding bands on their ring fingers sparking rumors that they had secretly married. But in August of 2012 the couple made it official and were wed in an intimate Jewish ceremony in Big Sur, Calif.
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick have welcomed two children – son Mason, nearly 3, and daughter Penelope, 4 months. “In the past, Kourtney has opened up about her hopes to wed someday. “I’d like to someday [marry] for my children, but I know that I’m just as committed as if I was married or not married,” she said.
Adele and Simon Konecki
Adele and Simon Konecki have one child together, a son, believed to be named Angelo, 1 1/2. There’s no word on engagement or marriage for the couple. Konecki also has a 5-year-old daughter with his ex-wife. Adele began dating Konecki in late 2011 and she announced their pregnancy news on her website in June, 2012.
Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler
The former Laguna Beach star and professional football player Jay Cutler have a son, Camden, 17 months old. The couple married Jun 7 2013 and have just recently announced they are expecting another boy this May. The former reality star is thrilled to be raising a family in her younger years. “It’s cute to see Jay as such a great dad! We’re excited to do this while we’re young,” she explains. “Then when the kids go to college, we can travel and do whatever we want.” For now, Cavallari is concentrating on her family.