Parent

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A parent (from Latin: parēns = parent) is a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the mother or the father figure of a child (NOTE: "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily age). Children can have one or more parents, but they must have two biological parents. Biological parents consist of the male who sired the child and the female who gave birth to the child. In all human societies, the biological mother and father are both responsible for raising their young. However, some parents may not be biologically related to their children. An adoptive parent is one who nurtures and raises the offspring of the biological parents but is not actually biologically related to the child. Children without adoptive parents can be raised by their grandparents or other family members.

A parent can also be elaborated as an ancestor removed one generation.

Contents

Biological vs. non-biological parentage

Like mothers, fathers may be categorised according to their biological, social or legal relationship with the child. Historically, the biological relationship paternity has been determinative of fatherhood. However, proof of paternity has been intrinsically problematic and so social rules often determined who would be regarded as a father e.g. the husband of the mother.

Biological parents and parental testing

The term biological parent refers to a parent who is the biological mother or father of an individual. While an individual's parents are often also their biological parents, it is seldom used unless there is an explicit difference between who acted as a parent for that individual and the person from whom they inherit half of their genes. For example, a person whose father has remarried may call his new wife their stepmother and continue to refer to their mother normally, though someone who has had little or no contact with their biological mother may address their foster parent as their mother, and their biological mother as such, or perhaps by her first name.

Parental testing

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