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Etymology[ edit ] The earliest recorded use of the prefix step- in the form steop- is from an 8th-century glossary of Latin - Old English words meaning "orphan". Steopsunu is given for the Latin word filiaster and steopmoder for nouerca.
Similar words recorded later in Old English include stepbairn, stepchild and stepfather. Words such as stepbrother, stepniece and stepparent appeared much later and do not have any particular connotation of bereavement. Corresponding words in other Germanic languages include: However, parents who are close with their ex-spouse tend to make their new spouse insecure and anxious.
Stepparents often face significant difficulties when interacting with the paternal parent. Often, paternal parents feel as though the other man or woman is going to ultimately replace them.
This is a common feeling for a parent to have when faced with the new circumstance of blended families. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message Although historically stepfamilies are built through the institution of marriage and are legally recognized, it is currently unclear if a stepfamily can be both established and recognized by less formal arrangements, such as when a man or woman with children cohabits with another man or woman outside of marriage.
This relationship is becoming more common in all Western countries. However, in modern Western culture it is often unclear as to what, if any, social status and protection they enjoy in law.
The stepparent is a "legal stranger" in most of the U. The biological parents and, where applicable, adoptive parents hold that privilege and responsibility.
If the biological parent does not give up their parental rights and custody of the child, the other parent's subsequent marriage cannot create a parental relationship without the biological parent's written consent before a "child" reaches adulthood. In most cases, the stepparent can not be ordered to pay child support.
A child's parents or legal guardians may sign a statement authorizing a third party to consent to medical care. Unmarried couples today may also find social recognition locally through community consensus.
Still, it is not at all clear what formal parenting roles, rights, responsibilities and social etiquette should exist between "stepparents" and their "stepchildren.
For all the confusion which stepparents may feel, it is often even less clear to the stepchildren what the interpersonal relationships are, or should be, between themselves and their stepsiblings; between themselves and their stepparent; and even between themselves and their birth parents.
These relationships can be extremely complex, especially in circumstances where each "stepspouse" may bring children of their own to the home or in households where children are expected to actively participate in each of the newly created families of both birth parents.
Although most stepfamilies can agree on what they do not want to be for one another, they are often hard pressed to agree upon what they do want to be for one another. This makes it difficult for everyone in the family to learn their roles.
It is especially difficult for the children, because the roles and expectations of them change as they move between the homes and families of both of their birth parents. Stepparent adoption[ edit ] The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
You may improve this articlediscuss the issue on the talk pageor create a new articleas appropriate. December United States[ edit ] In the United States, the most common form of adoption is adopting a stepchild.
The non-custodial parent no longer has any rights or responsibilities for the child, including child support. When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, either the other biological parent willingly gives up their parental rights to the child, the court terminates those rights, or the other biological parent is deceased.Some people claim that television is the root of all evil, while others think of television as a best friend.
Some blame the television for society's violence, consumerism, and misinformation, while others see it as a rich resource for education and global understanding.
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