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.
14 Amy Adams and Darren Le Gallo
13 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.
12 Kate Hudson and Matthew Bellamy
11 Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault
10 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.
9 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.
8 Snooki and Jionni LaValle
7 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.
6 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."
5 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.
4 Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied
3 Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
2 Adele and Simon Konecki
1 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.