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What do kids call their nonbinary parents? The possibilities are endless.

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As LGBTQ+ couples increasingly build families, many parents are finding themselves confronted with a question heterosexual couples rarely have to consider: What should our children call us?

For some LGBTQ+ couples, it can be as simple as “mommy” and “mama” or “papa” and “daddy” if that’s what they want, but what about nonbinary folks? What parenting language exists for those who identify outside the gender binary?

It turns out, there are a lot of options.

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Since 2011, LGBTQ+ parenting site Mombian has been creating a database of reader-submitted monikers that children use to identify their parents. The Mombian LGBTQ Parental Names Project includes over 400 responses, and the website recently shared a smattering of some of the more recent submissions.

“It was much harder for us to determine my partner’s title than it was to name our child!” one person wrote, saying they ultimately went with Mo for the nonbinary parent.

One nonbinary afab (assigned female at birth) parent wrote they “decided to go with Baba” even though they “kind of wanted to just be Dad.”

“My wife wanted to be Mama,” the parent continued. “When they were around 2 our twins started calling us Mamo and Babo after a song. Lately they have been calling me Dad, too, or referring to me as their Dad with others.”

Another trend the post pointed out was that names are often chosen by the kids – whether accidentally or on purpose.

One reader explained, “When I would come home from work, my wife would announce ‘Mama Tara Is Home,’ and when our daughter was learning to talk, she shortened it to Mataya, and it is my favorite word in the world.”

Another shared that they go by “Mr. Mom.”

“I’m femme nonbinary, and didn’t realize it or come out until my kids were teens,” they explained. “They adapted quickly, have been super supportive, and made up my new name.”

Kids, it turns out, are quite adaptable, as evident by this reader’s story: “Our kid’s other bio-parent and my sweet wife transitioned and our kid started calling her Momz pretty early on after she came out… She was always the more maternal of the two of us from the start. We really let the kid decide what honorifics they wanted to bestow on us.”

Other nonbinary parents mentioned using Mapa (a combination of mama and papa), tuiste (Gaelic for parent), Pompom (a combination of papa and mom), fommy (a mix of mother and father), parpar (for parent), and Nomia (a mix of nonbinary and mommy).

In short, the possibilities are endless. There are no rules, and families can be as creative or normative as they please.


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