The legal status of unmarried parents in certain countries is inferior to that of married parents, and the rights of their children are therefore impaired. Where the unmarried parents are also single there are additional emotional and financial problems. Filiation may be denied to parents under the law of certain countries.
In 2000, in the USA one-third of all babies were born out of wedlock.
Marriage no longer has the ethos of a religious contract, and increased secularism has also led to the sense that adults have the right to pursue individual happiness; there are no more shotgun weddings. A child born outside marriage also has exactly the same rights as one born within marriage.