A blended family is a family where one parent has children that are not biologically related to the other parent. The most famous blended family in American popular culture is the Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch was a U.S. television show that ran from the 1960s into the 1970s. It featured a widowed father, Mr. Brady, who was left to raise three sons. Mr. Brady ends up marrying a woman who has three daughters of her own from a previous relationship. Both adults in the family end up helping to raise children that are not theirs biologically. Half of the children are stepchildren, although all the children call Mr. and Mrs. Brady
When the television show first came out, it was controversial. Prior to the Brady Bunch, most television families were traditional ones, which means a man married a woman and together they raised their children. However, now blended families are seen as normal. Not only do people remarry after a spouse has died, as in the television show. People remarry after getting divorced. These remarried couples often have their own children. Increasingly, many blended families are not even legally married. More and more couples live together without getting married.
Blended families happen because divorce and remarriage can be more complicated than what is seen on television. The Bradys, as widows, didn't have to worry about visitation rights. In some blended families, children live part of the time with one parent. Sometimes one parent sees his or her children only on weekends or during school vacations. The Brady family also didn't worry about child support payments.
The most common type of blended family is a mother with children from a previous relationship starts a new relationship with a man. This is because usually the mother has custody of the children.