Disruptions within the foundation of society are raging throughout the country as  children suffer immensely from fatherlessness, single parenting, and divorce. 

In 2019, the percentage of households led by single parents was as high as 30-60% in many Wisconsin cities. The issue of fatherlessness, in particular, is rampant. Over 80% of children in Milwaukee are born to single moms. Throughout the country, over 20 million children are living in homes without a father. 

Tragically, without a father to act as a role model, these children tend to perpetuate the cycle and repeat their parents’ mistakes. 

Children have a right to both their mother and father. Both parents provide different and necessary things for a child. Children need the safety, love, and stability that comes from living with both of their parents. Without a mother or father, children will look for these things in other, often destructive, ways. They are also likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems. 

Fatherless homes produce children that are far more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol, live in poverty, commit suicide, struggle academically, drop out of school, engage in violence, commit crime, and even go to prison. 

Over 80% of children with behavioral disorders and 90% of children who are homeless or ran away from home grew up without a father. 

According to the Washington Post, “Single motherhood has grown so common in America that demographers now believe half of all children will live with a single mom at some point before the age of 18…Research suggests that children with two parents fare better in many ways— in school, in their own relationships— than children with only one parent.”

Single parent households are enabled by Wisconsin’s harmful combination of divorce laws. Our state allows no-fault, no-contest divorces, which means there is absolutely no reason for a judge to deny a divorce. No judge has denied a divorce since this law went into effect over 40 years ago. 

The root of this issue is that adults have prioritized their desires over children’s needs. The moral framework that God has given us for our good and His glory has been ignored, scoffed at, and shunned. We have many victims as a result, and children have been harmed the most. 

The best way to encourage two-parent households is to honor marriage. When children are born outside of wedlock, they are 3 times more likely to live in single-parent homes. Faithful marriages are the solution to so many problems that children face. 

Fatherless and single parenting are epidemics that are causing destruction and stripping children of their rights. In order for our communities to flourish and children to thrive, we must address this issue. 

Children need strong family units. If we truly are to put children first, we must make sure we approach relationships – marriage especially – with sincerity and responsibility, knowing that our children’s futures depend on our commitment to their well-being. That means ensuring that children are raised in safe, loving homes with a father and a mother whenever possible.

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