Families are like people: No two are alike! Some kids live with one parent, some live with two. Some kids know their birth parents, some do not. All Ways Family, a Magination Press book by Noemi Fernandez Selva, explores different kinds of families and how they become families. 

This excerpt from the glossary provides terms you can use when discussing how families are formed with your child. You may need to simplify language to terms your child can understand.

Adoptive Family—Families made up of a couple or single adult who decide to raise a child that is not their biological child.

Assisted Reproduction—A medical procedure where an ovum is removed from one person’s body and sperm is removed from another person’s body and the two are put in contact to create an embryo. The embryo is then placed inside the uterus. 

Blended Families—Families made up of two people who previously had children with someone else and now join together to form a new family.

Families Without Children—Families made up of two or more people who are either not able to have children or choose not to have children.

Gay Man—This is a person who identifies as a man who is primarily romantically and sexually attracted to other men.

Lesbian—This is a person who identifies as a woman who is primarily romantically and sexually attracted to other women.

OB/GYN—A doctor who specializes in the health of female adolescents or adults and their reproductive organs: the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and ova. This doctor is also an expert in pregnancy and childbirth.

Pregnancy—This is when a female adolescent or adult has a developing zygote, embryo, or fetus in the uterus. It takes about nine months for the fetus to develop fully in the uterus.

Reproduction—This is a process where a sperm cell joins an ovum and a pregnancy is possible; process in which individual offspring are produced.

Single-Parent Families—These are families made up of one parent with at least one child.

Surrogate—A female adult who bears a child on behalf of another person, either using her own fertilized ovum, or from the implantation of another person’s fertilized ovum.

Two-Parent Families—These are families made up of two adults who are a couple that have at least one child.

This is a short excerpt from the glossary of All Ways Family, a Magination Press book by Noemi Fernandez Selva. The full glossary also includes many medical terms related to reproduction. 

by Noemi Fernandez Selva

This Article's Author

Noemí Fernández Selva is a children's book author who also teaches. She has published a wide variety of books on emotions, values, and creativity and is passionate about helping families enjoy their diversity.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • All Ways Family

    Noemi Fernandez Selva

    Paula will soon have a little brother. Martina wonders why she only has a mom, and John remembers when he was adopted.

    Families are like people: No two are alike! Some kids live with their mom and dad, some kids live with two moms or two dads or just one parent. Lots of kids are adopted. Some kids know their birth parents, some do not.

    All Ways Family is a story about all the kinds of families and all about yours, too! You will also discover how babies are conceived, where babies come from, and how families become families.

    Contains informative end matter with a glossary of terms and frequently asked questions.

    Originally published in Spanish by Editorial Planeta, S. A.; Written in consultation with Dexeus Mujer, Barcelona, Spain.