Step-Parents and Family
Although many people, conservative and liberal alike, are concerned about the ill effects of divorce and single motherhood, little attention has been paid to the fact that about 70 percent of divorced mothers remarry within 6 years and many single mothers, eventually marry to establish 2-parent families. There are over 4.4 million stepchildren living in both cohabitating and married stepfamilies in the U.S. As many as one in three American children will have a stepparent for part of their childhood. The majority of these stepparents are stepfathers, with 86 percent of stepchildren live primarily with a custodial mother and stepfather. Stepparents cannot legally make medical decisions for their stepchildren and they cannot sign consent forms for their children to go on school field trips. This group will discuss the ambiguities and legal complexities create a plethora of challenges for residential stepfathers to establish nurturing relationships with their stepchildren.