How Can You Love A Child Who’s Not Biologically Yours?

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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It's a still a question we receive from time to time, from non-adoptive and pre-adoptive parents alike. How can you love a child who's not biologically yours? We understand where this comes from, but we've come to a straight up conclusion.

We just….do. Honestly, I’m sitting here typing, early in the morning, with the grandiose idea of busting out some clever rhetoric to reinforce the point of this post but I’m at a loss. I can’t explain it any other way than to say, we do. Blood, biology, DNA, and all the other fixins’ have nothing to do with it.

We love our kids deeply. And we didn’t create a one of them biologically.

In fact, in a weird sorta way, it’s almost as if we love them more. Don’t ask me for an explanation of that last sentence because I really can’t give you one. It’s just hard-wired in me.

The other night I was grilling out on the back deck. This required me to make several passes from the kitchen to the deck where the grill is located. Adding more meat the flame, checking to make sure they weren’t burning, removing the cooked chicken, etc etc. At one point, as I made my way out, I swung the storm dorm open and moved swiftly through it, not realizing that my son was following close behind me, as I let the door retract.

The handle hit him in the arm and nudged him to the side. He grabbed his arm and started crying (understandably so…those handles can make a dent!). I turned quickly and rushed over to him to check his arm and offer comfort. As I was speaking calmly to him, his emotions got the best of him… “You did that on purpose!” he shouted in my face. Ouch! I could feel my compassion draining out of me. In that moment I wanted to walk away. Fine buddy…you’re on your own!

But I didn’t. When he finally calmed down I looked at him square in the face and said, “I didn’t know you were following me out of the door or I would have held it open. It’s disrespectful to accuse someone of doing that, and frankly, it’s hurtful. You know why?” He nodded. I continued, “Because I love my kids deeper than deep and I would never do anything to intentionally hurt any of you!”

I meant every single syllable.

Even in the middle of his turdness-accusatory-scream-in-my-face-condition (it’s a real condition…I looked it up!), my love for him didn’t diminish. In fact, it increased.

I have to agree with something Oprah Winfrey said years ago…. “Biology is the least of what makes you a mother.” (or a father). I’ll add to that…biology is the least of what makes you fiercely love your kiddos. Sacrifice….love….commitment… long painful nights of holding them through the storm of their trauma….fighting for them (even when you want to fight against them)…is how love is built. Whether or not your blood, or DNA, is flowing through them, matters not.

Biology is the least of what makes you love your kiddos.

As we speak, my second oldest daughter and her fiancé are in the hospital with my newborn grandson. He was born with a heart defect. It’s been touch and go for all of us for the past few days. Lots of you have prayed for them and continue to do so (which we are uber-grateful for!). We thought he would have to have surgery immediately after he was born, but have since discovered that’s not the case. The other day when we went to visit, I leaned down, kissed my daughter on the head, and said, “I love you and I’m so proud of you!” She’s now 26 but came to live with us through foster care at age 16. We officially adopted her when she was 17. And there’s never been a day where I’ve felt anything less than the deepest love for her…add to that my granddaughter who’s 3…my grandson who just made his entrance…and my soon-to-be son-in-law.

Biology has nothing to do with it. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that!”

Have you wondered this in the past, or feel the same way about your kiddos? Share your story with us in the comment section below.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.