Dear Abby Changes Column in Response to Protest

Jun. 12, 2009–Jun. 15, 2009


Dear Abby’s response was swift and appropriate–she changed the column to specifically recommend the father as first option for the children. The column was promptly changed in the on-line editions of the hundreds of newspapers where her column is published. We commended Dear Abby for her prompt response.

Dear Abby’s June 12, 2009 column implied that if the mother isn’t taking care of her children properly, putting them in foster care is an equally viable option as placement with their father. Working with Fathers and Families, our supporters bombarded Dear Abby with letters via her syndicator u-express protesting the wording of the column.

More on this campaign

Why This Campaign

The problem with fathers and foster care is very real. Research shows that when children of broken families are abused by their mothers, the child welfare system often places them into the foster care system instead of with their dads. I detailed one such injustice–the horrific Melinda Smith case–in my co-authored column Choosing Foster Parents over Fathers (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/11/07).