Deanna Ogle examines a new bill in Wisconsin that would label single parents as child abusers.
A bill proposed in Wisconsin by Senator Glenn Grothman will target single parents by requiring the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board emphasize that nonmarital parenthood is a “contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
There are two ways that SB 507 could affect the citizens of Wisconsin. One is that it could open the door to helping struggling single parents through additional funding and services. However, the more devastating possibility is that it could label single parents as child abusers. This would mean that almost one-third of the entire state of Wisconsin would be labeled neglectful of their children.
Perhaps the amendment would provide funding to help keep married couples together and encourage people to get married, but that is still under the assumption that single parenthood is the reason for the prevalence of child abuse.
If this bill is simply to provide funding for struggling parents and fathers, why write the bill this way? Why not go about bringing in money in a way other than labeling good parents who are raising their children to be well-adjusted citizens as “neglectful”?
How would this affect single dads? We are finally reaching a point in society where “parenting” can mean a lot of different things, whether it is with two people, one person, opposite genders or the same gender. Men who are single parents work hard to raise their children the best that they can. Would emphasizing that single dads are neglecting their kids send us back to the dark ages?
Photo credit: Flickr / KellyB.