The Council on Contemporary Families thinks so. It's impossible to know how many stepmothers there are in America, because the census bureau doesn't count them. But there must be quite a few, because 46 percent of marriages include at least one partner who's been married before.
The legal system has, however, failed to take note of this group.
Stepmothers, the Council on Contemporary Families says, "often feel ignored, both by society at large and by their stepchildren."
More from the council's release today:
In many states, stepmothers have custody responsibilities for their stepchildren but no legal rights regarding them. Even if they drive kids to games, play Monopoly endlessly, and help with brushing teeth every night, they are considered "legal strangers." If there is an injury at one of those games, a stepmother cannot sign
her stepchild into the emergency room without written permission from her partner or the other legal parent. Oregon is one of only a few states that protects the rights of a stepparent who has formed a relationship with a minor child...
I agree with the council that we ought to send 'em a card. No harm done, and it's a good thing to recognize what they do for their stepchildren--even if society at large doesn't recognize it.
I look forward to a release from the council in June, extending the same consideration to stepfathers.