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  1. #1
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Perhaps we all immediately realised that he had a half-brother.
    Hi all,

    5jj posted this reply in the "brothers or siblings?" (sic) thread.

    My mind immediately asked: if mywife has a girl which was born from a previous marriage, what is the girl to me? A half-daughter? I have not legally adopted her yet, so I don't think "step-daughter" fits in here.

    The question is merely linguistic, though. For all it's worth, she calls me "dad" (sometimes in English, too ), and I consider her my daughter.

    Thank you.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    When you marry, any children become step-sons/daughters. I don't think there's any need for a formal adoption to call them this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    In fact, in the US you would NOT legally adopt the child if the father was still alive, unless the father agreed to surrender all parental rights. This is not common.

    Once you do adopt a child, he or she is your son or daughter, NOT a step-child.

    Your spouse's children are your step-children, but socially you don't have to get so specific.

    My husband refers to my children as his daughters in most cases. Only if it's something like explaining that they are spending the week with my ex-husband does he bother clarifying that they are steps.

    If you have a chlid and your spouse has a child, they are step-brothers (using males for simplicity).
    If you have a child and then your new spouse and you have a child together, they are half-brothers.
    If you have a child, your spouse has a child, and then you have a child together, the first two each have a step-brother and a half-brother. The new child has two half-brothers.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Your spouse's children are your step-children, but socially you don't have to get so specific.
    I usually don't: good friends already know, so there's no need to mention it every time; acquaintances and strangers needn't know. She's my daughter, and I'm her dad, full stop.

    That's why I said in the first post that the question was just related to the way they are called.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    As far as I am aware, she would be your stepdaughter until you adopt her. After that, she would legally be your daughter though you might choose to refer to her as your adopted daughter.

    My cousin was in that very situation. His mother (my aunt) remarried when my cousin was 10 but my aunt's new husband never legally adopted my cousin. My cousin chose to call him "Dad" and my uncle referred to my cousin as "my son" but technically neither of those were ever true. They were stepfather and stepson.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Hi all and thank you.

    It's a pity there's no other "better-sounding" term for the poor kids!

    charliedeut

    PS: However, the Spanish equivalents sound much much much worse!
    Last edited by charliedeut; 13-Jul-2012 at 15:48. Reason: Added PS
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  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Hi all and thank you.

    It's a pity there's no other "better-sounding" term for the poor kids!

    charliedeut

    PS: However, the Spanish equivalents sound much much much worse!
    Wow, I just looked up the Spanish word for stepfather!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #8
    charliedeut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Wow, I just looked up the Spanish word for stepfather!
    Look at #2: it still makes it less desirable to call the children that: padrastro - Diccionario Inglés-Español WordReference.com
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Wow, I just looked up the Spanish word for stepfather!
    So that's where Humbert got the idea.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Half-brother, half-sister, ergo... half-daughter?

    Agreed. Strangers don't need to know and friends already do. It's only on forms and such that you might need to be specfic.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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