Biological Father Explains a Stepdads’s Role – Stepdad Returns Fire

Biological Father Explains a Stepdads's Role - Stepdad Returns Fire


The truth is you are not his dad. The biological dad is and the child only has one dad. It is great that you are there to support one-waythe child and be a male role model and support the mother but at the end of the day, the dad is the dad. It is hard to be a ‘father’ when you have been displaced from the family home and seeing your child becomes problematic, it is even harder for the real dad when a new man enters the scene and presents as the savior figure when the biological dad has two arms tied behind his back. At the end of the day all this hoopla about research and multiple fathers is rubbish. Unless the biological father is deceased or has expressly stated he has no interest in raising his child should a ‘step-dad’ assume this mantle. You are not even the dad, you are a significant role model who cares and loves the child. Great.

You say “Stepdad is much more complex than being a bio dad. It’s because we have to navigate through challenging (sometimes emotional) situations that grow from the wife’s earlier relationship(s).”                 This is a big load of rubbish, more complicated then being the biological dad? Yeah if he’s dead, this is a very stupid thing to say. -Dave



You can call it “rubbish” but that doesn’t change the fact that the research supports the statement. A step father does have it much harder than a biological father, in both parenting and in his marriage. Stress is a huge factor. This isn’t opinion -it’s established fact backed by research. The stress levels are so high that Stepdad are nearly 50% more likely to divorce, compared to biological fathers.

A Few FactsWinding Road

  • 51% of Stepdads report their parenting role isn’t defined. Biological fathers rarely have this issue.
  • The majority of Stepdads have to learn to work with their wife’s ex. Biological dads don’t have to do this. They just parent.
  • It’s safe to say all dads occasionally feel unsung but more than 2/3 of Stepdads report feeling unappreciated. Whether it’s true or not –it’s a terrible thing to feel unappreciated in your own home.

Stepdads are an honorable group of men, doing a difficult job they weren’t required to take on. Negative attitudes like yours don’t help. You stated that the biological dad’s hands are “tied behind his back.” That’s so foolish it’s almost laughable.

1) Fathers have legal rights with regard to their kids. Stepdads have NO legal rights.

2) A Stepdad can be denied visitation if he splits up with his wife.

3) Even worse, in 20 US States and Canada he can also be compelled to pay child support.

A bio-dad’s hands are FAR FROM tied. The Stepdad is the only one who volunteered for this difficult job -and he’s the only one playing at a disadvantage.

You seem to be under the impression Stepdads marry other guys’ ex’s because they want to raise someone else’s kids. I don’t know where you got that impression. It sounds like you’ve had a hard time dealing with you wife’s new husband. You might consider how your negative attitude effects the situation. Your personal experience is not the same as everyone else’s. Many remarried women are able to work well with their ex. Don’t assume your perception is everyone else’s reality. Maybe you’re struggling because you haven’t put enough effort into building a bridge with your ex and her husband. I recommend you spend more time working with your ex –in the best interest of your kids- and less time acting like a victim.



  1. Ordus
    October 8, 2013

    I have been on both sides of this situation and can tell you that the Step-Dad thing is much harder. It's a mine field that you have to navigate. You have to provide a role model of a good father without having the actual authority of that position. You are tasked with 26 days out of 30 per month to act like a dad while trying to balance the special interests of two other people who actually have the legal authority for that child….

  2. Ben
    June 16, 2019

    Your children are not objects to be claimed. Both bio-father and step-father are valid parents if they are active in their children’s lives. I am my son’s bio-father, and I work with his mom and step-father to parent him. We have each taken responsibility in his life, and each have a different role and relationship with him. None of the roles are clearly defined. We are parents, we do what we have to do when we have to do it. There are things he feels more comfortable sharing with each parent. You have to be okay with that, otherwise it’ll be heartbreaking every time they call their step-dad dad, or when they go to a concert with the step-parent instead of you. Assuming the step-parent is a decent human being, be happy your child has another valid parent they can look up to and go to when they need them.

  3. Harry
    October 12, 2019

    Step dad is a great honor. The argument of who has it harder is ridiculous. Step means just that. The parent stepped into a role that was vacant. The real issue is how we think of it as a society. As a biological parent I have always been there for my children. were very close. My new wife has children and they have active fathers. I am not my new wife’s children’s step anything. I treat them like my children in every way. Society likes to shame one parent over the other because the word divorce is harsh and nasty. Thus many associations of the Words on the biological parent are influenced by this. The reality is each situation is different. Had my current wife’s children needed me to I would step up.. As a friend or a father. If their father was having trouble I would work with him to see what he needed as a friend Or as close to a friend as it was allowed. Many don’t have this option. Those are adult issues not children issues. But know this I would not shame a man for trying by claiming his role. Step parents need to take a step back. We entered a situation that is broken. Gluing the pieces together isn’t easy. Our parenting role is not like the trying parent. But if the child needed us we as a moral adults should be there to help. That doesn’t make us parents it makes us human role models.

    • Joel Wesley Hawbaker
      December 1, 2019

      Harry, thanks very much for your comment and for the encouragement and perspective that you provided. I applaud you and encourage you to keep up the great and difficult work!


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