Don’t Classify Nonmarital and Single Parenthood as Child Abuse

Target: Glenn Grothman

Goal: Don’t criminalize nonmarital or single parenthood as child abuse

Wisconsin senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has introduced a highly controversial bill that would classify nonmarital and single parenthood as child abuse and neglect. The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board already does a number of things to prevent and properly define child abuse, and Grothman’s proposed bill would amend sections of the statutes to further define child abuse as living with a single parent or parents that are not married.

Plenty of couples with children choose not to get married for personal or financial reasons, and even more couples have separated with the agreement that their children should travel between the two in order to spend time with both parents. Neither of these situations is child abuse in any way, shape, or form, and it is highly offensive that Senator Grothman would suggest otherwise. Sign the petition now to tell Senator Grothman that single parents raise healthy kids and that non-married parents should not be required by law to wed simply because they have children.


Dear Glenn Grothman,

I write in regard to your offensive bill that you proposed that classifies nonmarital and single parenthood as child abuse. Senator, Senate Bill 507 is perhaps the most absurd bill one could possibly introduce. The idea that you wish to control the lives of parents that raise perfectly healthy children is alarming, and I urge you to reconsider your support of the bill.

I would like you to note that many parents are single parents not because they want to, but because of endless possibilities that frequently arise in partnerships: domestic abuse, adultery, irreconcilable differences, addictions, medical problems, and financial difficulties are just a few of the reasons single parents are single. Contrary to what you believe, they are just as loving and provide perhaps a stronger household than married parents do, and their presence in a child’s life is not abuse.

Furthermore, people are not required by law to get married before they have children, and it concerns me that you would consider making it so. Many people choose not to get married for various reasons: they don’t want the fuss, they don’t find it necessary, etc. Whatever the reason, it is not up to you to decide what is best for families. Two people can be committed to one another without having to walk down an aisle and sign a piece of paper. The idea that you would consider nonmarital parenthood to be child abuse is disturbing.

The amendment you are proposing is ridiculous. Please reconsider attempting to pass it, and please do not meddle in the lives of perfectly happy and content families in the future.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. So if a spouse dies, then the children are automatically being “abused” by only having 1 parent, while a spouse who abuses a child is okay, because they’re married? REALLY?

  2. Amber Mendham says:

    Not all northern states have gone off reservation. And not all Republicans are idiots.

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