By: Susan L. Pollet, Esq.
There is a voluminous amount of ‘popular’ literature about issues involving stepfamilies on the internet, and in newspapers throughout the United States, with much advice. To give a sampling of some of the websites, you can view the following:
- The Stepfamily Association of America, Inc., http://www.saafamilies.org
- The Stepfamily Network, Inc., http://stepfamily.net
- The Stepfamily Foundation, http://www.stepfamily.org
- The National Stepfamily Resource Center, http://www.a-weddingday.com/articles/HealthyStepFamily.html
- Making Healthy Stepfamilies, http://parenting.ivillage.com/mom/structure/0,,42q0-p,00.html
- Blended Families: Stepparent Tips for Healthy Bonding, http://helpguide.org/mental/blended_families_stepfamilies.htm
- Advice for Step-Parents: Explaining the Challenges, and Tips for Blended Families, http:// blended-familymanagement.suite101.com/article.cfm/stepparenting
- Step Parent Rights in California, http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14057
- Stepparents in the United States-Stepfathers, Stepmothers, Modern Stepfamilies-Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society, http://www.faqs.org/childhood/so-th/stepparents-in-the-united-states.html
Stepfamily Association of Rochester, http://www.stepfamilyrochester.org
With respect to popular newspaper articles, the advice generally is directed to either stepmothers or stepfathers, or the advice involves how to best blend families, how to handle the adjustment of children, and legal advice. Some examples are as follows:
Advice for stepmothers:
• April Choi, Stepping Up: Taking on Role of Stepmother Challenging forWomen, THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN, July 23,
2009, at 6e, available at 2009 WLNR 14251257.
• Sarah Hampson, Evil Stepmothers Have Feelings Too, GLOBE & MAIL, May 28, 2009, at L1, available at 2009
• Cynthia Hubert, Tangled But Strong: Respect and Common Sense Help Two Family Trees, Entwined by Divorce,
Remain Strong, SACRAMENTO BEE, May 11, 2008, at L1, available at 2008 WLNR 8897813.
• Nancy K. Recker, M.A., The Wicked Stepmother Myth, http://ohioline.osu.edu/flm01/FS04.html (last viewed on
March 24, 2010).
Advice for Stepfathers:
• Alfred Lubrano, Unconventional Wisdom: Parenting Stepchildren, a Touchy Job, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, February
23, 2008, at C01, available at 2008 WLNR 3571876.
• Linda Carroll, It’s Tough Being a Stepdad, Study Confirms, MSNBC, Feb. 12, 2008, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
id/23071319 (last viewed on March 24, 2010).
• Julie Kaiser, The Right Blend: StepfathersWork Hard to Bring Cohesion to Newly Formed Families, THE SPRINGFIELD
STATE J. REG., JUNE 15, 2008, at 15, available at 2008 WLNR 12950763.
• Lane Lambert, Stepdad Steps Up: He’s Dad; Stepfather Taking More Diverse Roles with Their Stepkids, THE
PATRIOT LEDGER, June 14, 2008, at 1, available at 2008 WLNR 11432532.
Advice for Blending Families:
• Kellie B. Gormly, Achieving “The Brady Bunch,” VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH, July 21, 2009, available at 2009
• Cassandra Spratling, Strong Steps: Blended Families Can Overcome Daunting Odds with Communication and
Civility, WICHITA EAGLE, June 18, 2009, at e1, available at 2009 WLNR 11604565.
• Stephanie Esters, Stepparents Share Advice on Building Relationships, KALAMAZOO GAZETTE, June 9, 2009,
available at 2009 WLNR 11035870.
• Elizabeth A. Carver, Psy.D., L.P., Healthy Living: Blended Families, DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE, Apr. 28, 2009,
available at 2009 WLNR 8006058.
• John Phillips, Blended Families Must be Willing to Communicate, EVANSVILLE COURIER, Apr. 26, 2009, at D9,
available at 2009 WLNR 9323707.
• FamilyWise Gregory Ramey, PH.D., A Stepparents’ Guide to Enjoying Stepchildren, DAYTON DAILY NEWS, Mar.
22, 2009, at D4, available at 2009 WLNR 5967571.
• Celebrating the Holidays in Divorced and Stepfamilies, WORK & FAM. LIFE, Dec. 1, 2008, at 5, available at 2008
• Kathy Lauer-Williams, How Establish a New and Blended Family, ALLENTOWN MORNING CALL, Nov. 10, 2008,
at D1, available at 2008 WLNR 21586516.
• Sally Kalson, Expert Advises on Problems of Stepfamilies, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, May 6, 2008, at C1,
available at 2008 WLNR 8518281.
• Sue Nowicki, Step by Stepfamily Couple with Blended-Family Ministry Share Their Experiences and Advice,
CHARLESTON GAZETTE & DAILY MAIL, Apr. 6, 2008, at 6B, available at 2008 WLNR 6525935.
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• Ann Gries, Counseling, “Rules” May Help Members of Blended Family, EVANSVILLE COURIER & PRESS, Mar. 31,
2008, at D8, available at 2008 WLNR 6180035.
• Tim Henley, Finding Help in Stepparenting, THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN, Feb. 17, 2008, available at 2008 WLNR3114888.
Adjustment of Children:
• Low Grades, Bad Behavior? Siblings May be to Blame, FSU Study Says, BIOTECHWK., May 7, 2008, available at
2008 WLNR 8092968.
• KevinMcKeever, Children in Blended Families Still Close to Biological Mothers. Family Situation Shapes Parental
Involvement Less Than Thought, Study Finds, HEALTH DAY, Aug. 4, 2008, available at 2008 WLNR 14529246.
• Mireya Navarro, A Family Feud That is Familiar, THE NEWYORK TIMES, March 11, 2007, at 9, available at 2007
• P. Bronson, Are Stepparents Real Parents?TIME, May 17, 2006, available at http://www.time.com/time/nation/
article/0,8599,1195205,00.html (last viewed on March 24, 2010). American Bar Association, What are a Stepparent’s
Duties and Rights? Findlaw, available at , http://public.findlaw.com/abaflg/flg-3-4k-3.html (last viewed on
March 24, 2010).
• Margorie Engel, United States Law Degrades Stepfamilies, National Stepfamily Resource Center, http://
www.stepfamilies.info/key-advocacy-issues.php (last viewed on March 24, 2010).
• Georgia Dullea, Stepparents Pressing for Custody Rights as New Legal Issue, The NewYork Times, Mar. 2, 1987,