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Why should Brad and Angelina marry? Because their kids want them to

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Frederick M. Brown/2011 Getty Images

Why do people get married after having children? BBC posed this question last week, in light of British Labour leader Ed Miliband's marriage to his long-time partner and mother of his children, Justine Thornton.

Now, it seems, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are mulling the same thing.

Mr. Pitt, who had previously declared that he and Ms. Jolie would not marry each other until the U.S. made gay marriage legal, said in a new interview their children are giving them reason to change their minds.

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"The kids ask about marriage," he told USA Weekend. "It's meaning more and more to them. So it's something we've got to look at."

According to the BBC's examination into why people marry after children, it's often the children themselves who compel their parents to re-examine marriage.

"For me a big part of it was the children," one man, Chris, 41, who married his partner after being together for nine years and having two children, told the broadcaster. "I didn't want them to be asked at school why their parents weren't married. I suppose you could say that was me feeling a slight pressure to conform to social norms, but if I hadn't wanted to get married in the first place I definitely wouldn't have done it."

Psychologist Donna Dawson told the BBC that post-children marriages are also often about making a public statement.

"Having the children take part is like a ceremonial creation of a family and a public statement that they are all in it together," she said.

All in it together, of course, except for certain aspects of a relationship.

"There are no secrets at our house," Mr. Pitt told USA Weekend. "We tell the kids, 'Mom and Dad are going off to kiss.' They go, 'Eww, gross!' But we demand it."

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To couples who have married after children, what was your reason for doing it?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More

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