A: Children do best when their basic needs are met: when they have food on the table and heat in the winter, good schools, adults who are closely involved in their lives, and loving, consistent relationships with their caretakers. Research shows that children thrive in all kinds of families that can meet these basic needs. In fact, a family's financial situation is far more important to how the children do than its structure — the child of an affluent single mother will tend to do better than the child of a poor married couple. Groups that spend all their energy focused on marriage inadvertently harm children by ignoring the realities of the many kinds of families where children live. When parents aren't eligible for the same benefits, are excluded from legal protections because they're not married, or have to pay more for health insurance because they can't get it through a spouse that affects their children. If we truly care about children, we need to embrace and celebrate all kinds of families, not just married ones.