Father, mother, child or several children, grandparents, aunts and uncles – that's what the family used to look like. In Germany these days you come across more small families, especially in cities. But the different types of families have broadened considerably. What type of family are you familiar with?
Often, a family may consist of an alleinerziehende Mutter (single mother) with a child, or less often, an alleinerziehender Vater (single father) with a child. Two women or two men can also form a couple and be a family with children. This is called a gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaft (same-sex partnership) and is becoming more and more common in Germany. Patchwork-Familien (patchwork families) – in which one or both parents bring one or more children from a former relationship into the new one – are also more and more common. The children may live in the new family the whole time, or go back and forth between families.
Then there is the Wochenendfamilie (weekend family) which means one parent works in a different city and is only home with the other parent and the children at the weekend.