This is for all the step parents, foster parents, adopted parents, and anyone caring for a child that is not biologically their own.

I always hear women talk about the miracle of childbirth, the pain and how wonderful it is to meet the little person that has been growing inside them.

I’m sure it must be amazing, but I have never experienced it.

Just because someone has given birth to a child or had their DNA in the making of the child, does this make them a parent? And because I haven’t had the privilege, does this mean I am not a parent?

I met my little girl when she was 3 years old, not too long later her mother abandoned her for drugs.

Yes, quite tragic but this little one was amazing and I helped to look after her for periods at a time. She loved to be cuddled, she loved to sing and she loved to play any game that one could make up.

I found myself falling in love with her, and it wasn’t long before I wished I could spend every moment with her.



Although for reasons I won’t mention, this was not possible, but my husband and I included her in everything from our wedding to our holidays, as much as possible.

She really did become our little girl. She loved spending time with us just as much as we loved spending time with her.

When we would pick her up, she’d be waiting by the window watching out, and when we’d drop her off there would be tears. We had them too but didn’t let them go until we’d driven away.

There have been times we’ve had to take her to and from school, help her with homework, clean up vomit and changed the sheets.

What do you think? Am I a parent?

DNA is a genetic code that decides the colour of your eyes and the size of your nose. If you share your DNA with a child, it does not automatically make you a parent. You probably have a greater chance of being a parent but like any of us, with the responsibility of a child thrust upon us, we become parents.

When the needs of a child become more important than ‘what are we doing this weekend’, and loving them is your whole world, you have become a parent.

I have never been pregnant, I have never given birth or shared my DNA with another, but I AM A PARENT.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • DNA is such a small part of being a good parent. Lots of people are great parents without being related

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  • It’s not just being a parent. It’s parenting. It’s a doing word, being present. I think anyone parenting a child not their own is amazing.

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  • I think there is truth in this. Just because you share DNA does not make you a parent. Being there for the child’s life does.

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  • I was in foster care and then raised by my grandma. My mum is not my mum just because she gave birth to me.

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  • So beautiful :) I dont know anyone who wouldn’t call you a parent. And a good one at that. Some people can be “the mother” or “the father” and never be a real parent. Sounds like that little girl is lucky to have you and vice versa. Some things are meant to be.

    Reply


  • my frend just gave birth to twins on Monday and they used an egg donor

    Reply


  • I am a parent and a step parent and I can say I am just as protective of my step kids as I am my biological kids, they need that protection from their own biological family

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  • That’s really sweet, but I can say after being pregnant and giving birth, it’s one dramatic experience I would never forget and to see my baby boy, I’ve never experience such instant unconditional love.

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  • This was a beautifully written article and I agree with it whole heatedly!

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  • Agreed, DNA ???? is not defining point of being a parent. A parent is always there with love and understanding, unconditional love and an instant instinct to protect them

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  • Absolutely, I have a mother that is far from a maternal mother. I think if you have a capacity to love and bond with a child and the child trusts you, that is beautiful. So many that want to have children but can’t and so many that have children and shouldn’t.

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  • Absolutely. DNA does not automatically make you a parent. They are wonderful parents but just are not the childs biological parent.

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  • For sure, absolutely, sharing DNA doesn’t always make you a parent. This story really struck a cord with me

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  • So true ! There are many barren women who love and care for children with so much love.


    • And being a mom of 2 foster children (beside my own) which whom I don’t share DNA, but who feel just as my own, I feel lucky to be their parent.

    Reply


  • You know you are doing the right things for the child you care for. The child probably thinks of you the sane way as a Mother figure.

    Reply

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