Para-Kin Gifts

Para-kin Around the World

Let’s face it … The definition of family in today’s world is changing.

First marriages fail at a rate of 50% and remarriages fail at a rate of greater than 65%. There are couples and domestic partners who, for many reasons, can’t or choose not to marry but are a real family. We introduce these mates as our boyfriends/girlfriends, life/domestic partners, spousal equivalents, our significant others, our better half and so on. But in reality we are spouses that have not walked down the aisle. We are … Para-spouses ( P-spouse, as we affectionately use!)

world's best para-dadWhy “Para?”

Just as a para-legal or para-medic provides support in the professional areas of life, a Para-spouse lovingly and willingly accepts the responsibilities, obligations, commitments to a partner/child. We need these words to help identify these loving relationships as a family.

If our P-wife or P-husband is helping to raise our children, what words do we have to identify that relationship? While our P-spouse cannot legally be known as a step-parent without a marriage, couldn’t our partner be a P-mom® or P-dad® to our sons and daughters?

blended families are para kinParents and children, biological, step and half, live under one roof. Do all children feel part of the “real” family? Could using the term P-son or P-daughter help cement the relationship? Could a step-mom who is uncomfortable with the “Cinderella” connotation choose the alternative phrase P-mom®? The answer to all these questions is YES but English has few positive words to describe these new inter-family relationships. Para-kin terms are the answer.


323 Responses to “So Many of Us are Para-Kin”

  1. Daisy says:

    I don’t suppose I’ve truly read something like that before. So nice to discover a person with some unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  2. Challa says:

    Thanks a Lovely post!! ……………………..

  3. love this says:

    Greetings from many miles away in the UK! These words to identify family is just what we need over here. You captured the need very nicely. Thanks very much and good luck spreading the Para=kin words.

  4. kam says:

    My p-spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly what we are looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome blog!

    • Para-Kin says:

      Hey Kam: We are always looking for someone to write a post or article on the changes in the modern family. I noticed that you are already using the p-spouse term. That is great! Please write again and lets see if we can collaborate.

  5. Marline says:

    I was wanting to know if you ever thought of replacing the layout of your blog? It is well written; I love what youve got to state. But maybe you can create a a bit more in the way of content so people could connect to it better. You have got an awful lot of text for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Para-Kin says:

      thanks Marline for taking the time to conmment. I think you might be right and it is time for an update. Any thoughts for stories or articles you might want to post? Deb

  6. Jeffrey Jovich says:

    Extremely good post. I actually just happened at your current blog on Para-kin families. Hopefully you actually post again immediately.

  7. Kishel says:

    I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually not often do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is excellent; the issue of blending families is something that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. Happy that I stumbled across this site. Thank you.

    • Para-Kin says:

      Kishel: This is exactly what we are trying to do.. educate, open eyes and entertain. Para-kin originated because everyday people are blending families and there are simply no adequate terms out there to help up identify these relationships. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.

  8. Para-Kin says:

    On the Facebook page, Para-kin was recently asked about the group’s thoughts about what various labels mean to them (for example, some “stepfamilies” prefer to call themselves “blended families.” Would “para-families” work?)

    Here is the initial response:

    I think those of us from law, social work, education and related fields who deal with “blended families,” all have one thing in common. We are there to identify and help in some capacity. The issue for us in the legal profession has always been the labels, as imbued within the words are obligations and rights.

    The word “step” traditionally and in our legal system, can only apply in situations where a marriage has taken place. So the position of step-parent to the non-biological child is a legal and recognized relationship. And in the not too distant past, this is how people lived. They married, divorced and remarried and that was the socially acceptable norm. However, in the current world, the definition of family is truly changing on a day to day basis, i.e. who is and is not family.

    As you know, we now have so many unmarried adult couples, some who are barred legally from marriage and others who chose not to marry but nonetheless are, in monogamous relationships raising children from a prior unions. Yet there are no legal obligations or responsibilities for those children by the non biological “parent.” Thus, there are no words to identify the relationship, since no relationship exists… Right? Without the existence of Para-kin, I have to call non-biological daughters whom I love.. “my partner’s children.” There is no indication of my affection or moral obligation which I feel toward them or they feel toward me. (hopefully!) I cannot be a step-mom, since we are not married, and they are not my step-children. So.. who are we? What can we call ourselves?

    What Para-kin does initially, is give identification to this whole group of families. It gives a word, and a word with a meaning, to our relationships. Right now, we use so many words to describe the adult couple, be it partner, domestic partner, life partner, significant other, spousal equivalent, better half, etc. Why not just call it like it is.. We are all Para-spouses. We are fulfilling needs for each other as a spouse would, without the traditional walk down the aisle. I would ultimately like to see a classification of P-Spouse right next to Spouse on all government forms.

    So if P-spouse is an accepted term, it naturally will follow that Para-mom, Para-dad, P-son, P-daughter will follow. With the recognition of the words, we give identity to all these wonderful families who are struggling to explain who they are.

    I want to make it clear. There are multitudes of of step-families that embrace the terms step-mom etc. in positive and loving ways and certainly do not need the Para-kin message. Its not the purpose to, in any way, tamper with their success. Para-kin does exist however, for the other families.. those that may be searching for an alternative term for whatever the reason. Sure it may have to do with the subliminal connotations, but perhaps not. We have received feedback that some families just feel that using the terms P-dad, P-mom, P-son or P-daughter feels to them, more inclusive.

    I hope this begins to answer your question on labels. We all grapple with this issue every day. The concept of Para-kin is hopefully a tool that will aid in communication between folks and perhaps get us all, one day, on the same page.

  9. dave says:

    No BS and well written, thanks much for the post

    • Para-Kin says:

      Thanks Dave. I am no expert in family relations but I do know that we need these terms for identification particularly between unmarried para-spouses and children. Thanks for taking the moment to comment. Deb

  10. Marc says:

    As blended families in transition, from all strata of our socio-economic spectrum, search for language that appropriately describes their relationships with new family members, they will find that para-kin is a wonderful new descriptor that captures the essence of close family connections in a positive and heartfelt manner. Thank you for your energy and creative spirit that is helping to bring these new terms to life.

    • Para-Kin says:

      Thank you, Marc, for taking the time to comment. It is precisely for the reasons that you so eloquently express, that Para-kin is finding its raison d’etre. Please stop by again with any additional thoughts or suggestions.

  11. Strom says:

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance. I must say you have done a superb job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Opera. Excellent Blog!

    • Para-Kin says:

      Thank you! The message is simple. Family is who we include in that definition. With so many blended couples and children out there, rather than “yours and mine”, let’s make them “ours”. What the terms P-dad and P-mom do is create the words which give meaning to the relationship within the home of the parent and child.

  12. Janell says:

    Really cool post, highly informative and professionally written. Good Job

    • Para-Kin says:

      Thanks Janell. Para-kin is looking for personal accounts and stories about Para-kin in our own families. Have you something you would like to add? Feel free to write back! Deb

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  16. papa john, a P-dad myself! says:

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    • Para-Kin says:

      Hi Tory:

      Thanks for taking a moment to write a comment. We really appreciate the support here on the Para-kin website. Be sure to check out the group on Facebook too! Deb

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  32. Freida Greisser says:

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  33. Deena Larson says:

    Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

    • Para-Kin says:

      You know what, Deena, a lot of people are facing the same issues. If using the Para-kin concept and words can help, go for it! Spread the news about the site. Thanks!

  34. Breanna Beerer says:

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    • Para-Kin says:

      Hi Breanna: Thanks for taking a moment to write. We think the information is relevant to today’s blended family. All we can do is hope that the concept catches on. In the meanwhile, spread the words and lets see what we can do together! Deb

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