I'm creating a list of family members:

Biological, Justin, 5/20/1981
Biological, John,   1/20/1987
Adopted,    Jane,   8/12/1989
Step,       Doug,   12/1/1979

When listing out the type of sibling, the word step seems odd. I've always used it as step-brother or step-sister but never on its own. Is there a better choice of word to use?

  • 1
    Are you also going to deal with "half"? And what about "biologically half, but adopted by the other parent"? It's complicated, which is why you're having trouble. In your example here, Doug is Justin's step-brother, but Justin is almost certainly Doug's half-brother. It depends what point of view you take. Or are you listing what kind of child they are to one of the parents? Why only one of them? Aug 3, 2011 at 16:52
  • @Kate Gregory: I'm looking to list the relationship of the child to the family unit as a whole (both parents and all the other siblings) and on another list, in relation to a specific person within the family. The only status information i have is a flag listing the individual as Biological/Adopted/Step at the family level. (I'm working from a gedcom file)
    – Justin808
    Aug 4, 2011 at 0:33

2 Answers 2


To line things up with "Biological" and "Adopted", the best way I can think of to describe the 'type' of a stepsibling is "By Marriage".


As far as I know, there is unfortunately no such term. You will probably be forced to list the full relationship:

Biological brother, Justin, 5/20/1981
Biological brother, John,   1/20/1987
Adopted sister,     Jane,   8/12/1989
Stepbrother,        Doug,   12/1/1979

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