Step Siblings vs Half Siblings
Step siblings and half siblings are two kinds of relationships that show differences between them. Half siblings have one biological parent in common. On the other hand, step siblings are related by the parents marrying. There are people who consider that there is no difference between a step sibling and a half sibling. However, that is not true. As we have already shown, the difference between step siblings and half siblings lies in the way the siblings are related. In this article, we will explore more about each topic in order to understand the difference between step siblings and half siblings clearly.
Who is a Step Sibling?
Step sibling is someone related to someone else as a sibling purely because their parents married. So, this sibling bond comes into place because of the legal act of marriage. So, two divorcees, where each person has children separately give rise to step siblings when they get united as husband and wife.
Step siblings would not have blood ties. In words, it can be said that a step sibling is not a blood relative at all. In other words, you are not at all related to your step sibling in a biological way. This is because of the fact that a step sibling is the daughter or son of two people, one of whom then marries one of your parents. That is, your father or mother is married to one of the step sibling’s parents, and this is the very basis of this social relationship.
Who is a Half Sibling?
Half sibling is someone who is related to another person as a sibling because they have one parent in common. In other words, they have one biological parent in common. Some seem to believe that half siblings are only there if the children share the same father. That is not true. Two children can have the same mother and different fathers, and they will also be half siblings because they have one biological parent in common. So, a man who has two sons or daughters one each from two wives gives rise to half siblings. In the same way, if a woman who has two children from two husbands, the children are half siblings.
A half sibling is certainly a blood relative and is a person who shares only one parent in common with you.
There has also been a study regarding how much DNA do half siblings usually share between them. The study shows that half siblings with only one parent in common share 25% of their DNA.1 It is believed that a test will determine how much of the same DNA people share.
Half siblings can be a half brother or a half sister. To make the understanding of a half brother or half sister better, it can be said that you and your half sibling have a common mother or father. This is the only reason why you share a biological and social relationship with your half sibling.
What is the difference between Step Siblings and Half Siblings?
Definitions of Step Siblings and Half Siblings:
Step Sibling: Step sibling is someone related to someone else as a sibling purely because their parents married.
Half Sibling: Half sibling is someone who is related to another person as a sibling because they have one biological parent in common.
Characteristics of Step Siblings and Half Siblings:
Step Sibling: Step siblings do not share the same DNA.
Half Sibling: Half siblings do share the DNA of the common biological parent.
Step Sibling: Step siblings do not have a blood relationship.
Half Sibling: Half siblings do have a blood relationship.
So, as you can see step siblings and half siblings are two different types of relations. However, one important fact should be noted. Though, from a biological stand point, these siblings may sometimes differ, step siblings and half siblings somehow seem to show more of a connection and brotherhood or sisterhood than full siblings. That shows you that though you may be a full sibling or a half sibling or a step sibling, the bond that you share with your siblings can sometimes make your biological relationship irrelevant.
- Two Sisters by William-Adolphe Bouguereau via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Two brothers by Alex Proimos (CC BY 2.0)