There are lots of ways in which people become parents.
- Giving birth to a child
- Being biologically half of a child’s genetic makeup
- Being the partner of someone who has given birth or genes to a child.
- Formally adopting a child of any age.
- Officially fostering a child.
- Informally caring for a child whose primary parents aren’t able to look after the, temporarily or permanently (such as kinship care)
Of course, some people may do these things and not become a parent (such as egg donors and non-participating step-parents). But where you have a parenting relationship, you are a parent.
I try where I can to talk to all kinds of parents in all kinds of situations (parenting couples – gay or straight – single parents, co-parents, etc). My own experience is parenting, together with my wife, a baby conceived through a known sperm donor. (My wife and I are parents, our baby’s father isn’t (mostly).)
So I try and talk to everyone without claiming any great knowledge of other kind of situation. Let me know if you think I’m not doing right by a kind of family.