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.


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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


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • This is so beautiful! I know what this is like. I have my own baby now but was a parent long before the came along. Thank you for sharing. The non DNA parents deserve more recognition for their selflessness.

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  • Most definitely..a parent is someone you can look up to, someone who nurtures you. Picks you up when your down. It takes anyone to become a parent but its a whole new level to be a parent for a child/ren. Blood or not.
    Keep doing what you are doing that little girl needs you xx

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  • This is so true, good on you for seeing yourself this way, because you are a parent in my books. So many young people today hook up, have a baby or 2, split up. One walks away never to be seen again. Mums with several kids who have several different fathers. Everything is disposable in today’s generation

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  • this is so precious, my first daughter I meet at around 18mnth on age her mother had left her and then I meet her daddy and I’ve been her mother ever since we don’t get enough contact from her mum she moved away and had other children, as far as I am concerned she is my first child we have two other little girls now and she is 6 I love her as much as the other two for 5 years I’ve done everything for her she Is my daughter any one can be a mum but it takes someone special to be a mother :)

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  • The parent who nurtures you and takes care of you is more important than the one you share dna with.


    • yeah just because you can make a child, doesn’t mean that you are fit to raise one (not directed at anyone, just my comment lol)

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  • Very well said, I agree with you and yes you are a parent. I was a parent even before I had my own babies. Every time I ended up having to look after a little one I became a parent, I didn’t have to be connected to the child by DNA.

    Reply

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