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Single Moms Equal Child Abuse and Neglect?

In my years on this earth I have seen some pretty stupid pieces of legislation be introduced at both the local and national level. But recently one was introduced that defied all common decency and logic.

In Wisconsin, a state senator introduced a bill that would penalize single moms by claiming their unmarried status as a contributing factor in child abuse and neglect. The goal of this bill, which was introduced by Republican Senator Glenn Grothman, moves to amend existing state law by “requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

Yes, this bill claims that being a single parent constitutes child abuse and neglect.

If the bill becomes law it would require an awareness campaign aimed at pointing out that not being married is “abusive and neglectful of children.”

“Whether that leads to more people paying attention and having children after they’re married or whether that leads to some others making a choice for adoptions,” said Grothman. Since the majority of single parents (1/3 of all parents in Wisconsin) are women, and part of the campaign is aimed at proving dads are a part of the solution it is obvious that the target of this bill is single moms.

Now, I know more than my fair share of single moms. As I’m sure you do as well (in fact now that I think about it, I know a number of married moms who might as well be single). These women? Awesome moms. Brilliant kids, smart, kind, living children who I’m sure will make wonderful members of society, as they grow older. Am I really supposed to believe, that because these women were able to escape a horrible marriage or because their husband died tragically, that they are abusing their children?

The variables are endless and I find it hard to believe that this bill could ever pass. But than again, I find it hard to believe anyone would introduce a bill that chastises single mothers (of which 41% of children born in the U.S. were born into last year).

Let alone a man like Grothman who has no children himself.

I may not be a single mother, but I take incredible offense to this. And I firmly believe that ALL parents should take offense to this. I also wish to send out warmest thoughts to all the single moms (AND dads, my brother included!) that I know and that are reading this.

You amaze and inspire me.

And to Senator Grothman, you disgust me. How dare you judge parents when you know nothing about it? How dare you judge single parents, something you know even less about?

These kinds of bills and attacks on women and families need to stop.

I’m especially curious, is there anyone out there who agrees with this bill? If so, please enlighten me as to why…

13 Responses to “Single Moms Equal Child Abuse and Neglect?”

  1. giveawayhound

    I firmly believe that a two-parent family is better for children than a single-parent family, but this bill really goes too far.

    • Teresa Moore

      Well, unfortunately some of us have no choice. My husband and I are separated and he cannot wait to file divorce papers. The reason is he just does not want to do the "family thing" anymore. And we are both in our 40's, so we have lived a life before we had our daughter. So for the past few months, I have been a single parent and I have done very well with my daughter. I kid you not, it is not an easy job, but I have to do what I have to do now. My daughter is in first grade, well like, well behaved and a straight A student! This bill that is mentioned is downright ludicrous! That guy needs to spend a week in my shoes, well he probably could not make a day, as a single parent! I would still like to be a two parent family, but a house divided will not stand.

  2. Peter Schott

    I'll partially agree with the above – I think a 2-parent house is _generally_ better for children (but not always). I know quite a few single parents, have heard their struggles, and sometimes wonder about one or the other of the parents. Sometimes they're both doing well and the best they can. Most often, I get the feeling that they need some support and sometime to listen/talk. Abuse, though? For all cases? While I'm sure that he has some well-meaning reason to want to do this, it's really, really misplaced.

    Having done foster care – there are FAR better reasons to call in CPS than for someone being a single parent. If there are other factors, by all means investigate. Of course, even then, do so carefully. I've heard of kids being taken for the most ridiculous reasons and those are moments you can't get back and a feeling that you've done something wrong when you haven't. You should not have CPS called in because you withheld dessert or disciplined in a non-extreme fashion. 🙁

    This particular case – pretty insane. Would like to know more about what's really driving this.

  3. Susan Smith

    I feel a two parent family is better for the children. This bill seems to discriminate against single parents. I think most single parents are good parents.

  4. abi h

    I'll go so far as to agree that living in a single parent household can be correlated to abuse and neglect, but that doesn't make it reasonable to make it a legal contributing factor. That's ridiculous. What about widows and widowers? Of course in a very general sense it's better for children to have a home with two loving parents who have a good relationship with each other. But an alternate arrangement is not abusive or neglectful.

  5. Carrie

    I was a single parent for 10 years. As far as I'm concerned, it was a far cry better than staying in an abusive marriage with a drug addled father. Being a single parent was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it was worth it. I'm now married to a wonderful man who has embraced all of us. We have a truly supportive family environment for all of us now.

  6. dpapsis2

    As a child of a single parent and now a mother myself I have to agree with you. I think this is very wrong and ignorant. Families are of many types. You don't have to be married to be a good parent. Implying that "being a single mother or parent constitutes child abuse and neglect" is outrageous!

  7. hislovenduresforever

    This is insane! Of course, ideally, every child would live in a two parent home, but some times the child and their mom (or in some instances their dad), are better off without the other parent around.

  8. Calli

    This bill is outrageous. Yes, in an ideal world all children would be raised by two parents, but sometimes that simply isn't possible. One of my coworkers is one of the most resourceful single moms I know, and she continues to try to find the right father-figure for her children. Being single should not count as a negative mark against the parent, but only be investigated if there are other warning signs.

  9. clynsg

    Having raised 2 children as a single parent after divorcing an alcoholic husband who threatened my life and theirs, never being on any form of public assistance, and seeing my girls grow into beautiful young women, and seeing WAY too many cases of those 2-parent families ending in tragedy in the news, that proposed law is one of the most asinine things I have ever seen.

  10. Jodi

    my kids are all over 18 now, but i was a single parent and my kids were far better off being with me, a single mom, then living with ex who was extremely abusive. they were treated better and taken care of being with me.

  11. Jennifer

    There are so many different reasons for ending up as a single parent. This is just idiocy to even state that abuse is more prevalent in single parent homes. When I was a teacher, a majority of the abuse situations that came or were brought to our attention were from two parent homes, than from single parent homes, so this is just going too far and is completely ridiculous.

  12. Tammy

    That is the stupidest law I ever heard of! I do not agree and I am not a single Mom. There are too many people already who are staying together for the kids that are doing more damage than if they split!


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