“Kinship is the most universal and basic of all human relationships and is based on ties of blood, marriage, or adoption. There are two basic kinds of kinship ties: those based on blood ties that trace descent and those based on marriage, adoption, or other connections.”
Definition by Crossman, Ashley. “Kinship.” ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/kinship-3026370.
Para-kin refers to this second type of human relationships. The non-blood, non-legal kinds of close familial ties. One could also say they are like adoptions on the level of the heart. So, the prefix para- may be used in reference to a step child, a partner’s child, a parental figure who may or may not be related or legally a part of ones family. Para- may also be used to define close familial relationships that otherwise have no appropriate term (or terms only laden with negative or sterile connotations like step-mother, spousal equivalent, etc.).
Para- is a prefix that may be used in nearly any situation, but always implies closeness of family, the relationship of kin. These kin-ships have always been the basis of civilizations in that they create groupings of people— bonded by love— who also recognize how it is to the benefit of all, to support and love each other.
This website serves to help define a positive, useful term and to encourage dialog and usage. Words and names matter, and para-kin offers new language free of cumbersome prejudices and connotations. We welcome your comments and stories herein. Welcome.