5

If a father's first wife dies (with or without children) and he remarries and had kids, is the first wife considered a (deceased) step-mother to the new wife's children, or simply "dad's 1st wife"?

12

No, the first wife would not be considered a stepmother to the second wife's children. The "step" relationship occurs where a person "steps into" the position of the holder of a normal natural relationship, taking over that role.

A second wife can "step into" the role of mother to a first wife's children, becoming a stepmother, but the first wife, being dead, cannot step into the role of mother to the second wife's children. The dead wife never had a relationship with the later children, and there is no common term for her indirect relationships with them.

| improve this answer | |
4

If you accept the etymology that step-child in Old English was related to the word ástíeped meaning bereaved, then the children of the second wife have not lost a parent and so are not anyone's step-child.

Any attempt to create a family relationship between a dead person and ones not yet born who have no genetic (so-called "blood") connection seems to involve a serious problem in logic.

| improve this answer | |
2

I would say the a step-parent is generally defined as a partner (generally married to, but more recently co-habiting) with the official parent.

If one or both of the official parents were previously married but had no children together, they would simply be the previous husband/wife of mum/dad.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.