You may have noticed that the families of classmates at school or among your friends can be very different from yours. But the basic similarities are that members of a family usually live together. They might disagree or argue, but they are closely bound by their love and concern for one another.
Some families have one parent — either a mom or a dad. Some have both a mom and a dad. Others have two moms or two dads. If two parents get divorced and remarry, you may be seeing double — there can be two moms and two dads!
Some children live in families with parents, who care for them when their parents cannot. And there are parents who follow a legal process to, or choose, children they then raise as their own.
When adults getting married already have children, then the marriage joins not just two individuals but also two families into a new family unit. We call these new families "stepfamilies" — or “blended" families — because they represent a new blend of family members who were already part of other families.
In a, the parent not biologically related to a child is called a "stepparent" (for example, stepmother or stepfather). If both parents have prior children, these children are stepbrothers and stepsisters to each other.
As many of us know, a family isn't limited to simply parents and their children. The word “family" is a big word that encompasses many other types of loving and guiding relationships.
Regardless of relationship, you may be a part of several “families." Your school classmates may be a family to you. Your soccer team may be a family. Your fellow Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts may be a family, too.