How are the family units created in the community?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Giver, the lives of the citizens are very controlled and cleansed of anything that might be disturbing. 

The Government controls the lives of those who live in the "community." Couples do not meet and date, fall in love, and marry. Since the "stirrings" in people have been diluted by drugs, it is the government that chooses the spouse for a citizen. After the marriage, the government monitors the couple for three years to be sure they are compatible. Because there are no sexual urges in the adults, the marriages do not have some of the complications brought on by emotional feelings. On the other hand, there is no emotional expression and no real passion.

Only Birthmothers have children. They are mere breeders and do not even see their children who are nurtured for a year by Nurturers, such as Jonas's father. A couple can only have two children assigned to them. When the children are grown, the marriage dissolves and the parents live with Childless Adults until they are too old to function. Then they go to The House of the Old until they are released.

dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first step in forming a family unit happens when an adult applies to receive a spouse.  An applicant might wait for months or even years before a Match is found and approved.  Factors such as disposition, energy level, intelligence, and interests must correspond perfectly for a Match to be sanctioned by the Committee of Elders.  After the spouses are joined at the yearly Matching of Spouses ceremony, the Match is monitored for 3 years by the Committee before the couple can apply to receive a child.

Children are born to Birth Mothers, women who serve in that capacity for three years and then are assigned to be laborers for the rest of their lives.  The children are raised collectively by Nurturers until they are a year old, at which time they are distributed by assignment at the yearly Naming and Placement ceremony among those Matches who have applied for children and been approved.

jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Families in The Giver are chosen or matched by the community's Committee of Elders.  They match parents because they have compatible characteristics and the children they are given are never their own biological children. There are specific members of the community who are chosen to be birth mothers.  Children are not given to parents until they are one year old, so they are given to families with suitable temperments for their developing personalities.  Everything is designed so there is little or no chance for conflict within the family unit. 

pink-and-black | Student

There is a birthmother that makes babys. And you are only allowed to have two children in one family a male and a female. I hope that answers your question.