How do I add step-children in Family Tree Builder?

In Family Tree Builder children are connected to a husband/wife family group. That means that when a new spouse of one of biological parents is added, the children of the former marriage stay with the former family group and are not shown as belonging to the family group which is made up of the new husband/wife.

You should add the persons according to the following order:

Mother and Father A are biological parents of a child:

Description: 1-19-2014 2-01-07 PM - Testing Web Site

If the mother has a new spouse, whom you want to add as step-father (Father B), you first should show a divorce/separation of Father A from the mother. Use the following article to learn how to do that:

How do I add a divorce in my Family Tree Builder tree?

Then you can add a new spouse (Father B) to the Mother:

How do I add more than one partner in my Family Tree Builder tree?

Once you added a new spouse to the Mother, the child will still be attached to its biological parents’ family group in Family Tree Builder:

The former family group (biological parents):

The new family group (one biological parent and new partner) is not showing the child:

When you sync your family tree to the family site, the new spouse will be considered as “Step-Parent” automatically. 

In the Family Tree Builder itself, the child will not be shown in the new family group (Mother + Father B), only in the family group of his/her biological parents (Mother + Father A).

To show the step children under the new family group, Family Tree Builder needs you to mark the child as an adopted child of the new couple (Mother + Father B). Please follow these steps to display the child as an adopted child of the new family group: 

1. Open the child’s personal card and click on ‘Edit’ button. 

2. Move your mouse over the ‘Parents’ option and then click on ‘Attach Parents’.

Description: Attach parents 1 - Testing Web Site

3. A pop-up window will appear, asking you what kind of relationship you would like to set for the child with original family group and the new family group.

Select ‘Existing parents are natural and new parents are adopting’.

Description: Attach parents 2 - Testing Web Site

4. You will see the list of all family groups (couples) that you have in your project. Find ‘Mother and Father B’ family group and click ‘Select’.

Now the Child will show up as a natural child of ’Mother and Father A’ family group and as adopted child of the ‘Mother and Father B’ family group.

Once the tree is synced with your family site, you will see special icon on the child’s personal card, showing that this person appears twice in the tree on the site:

If you would like to learn more about adding adopting parents to a child, please use the following FAQ: 

How can I add adopted children in Family Tree Builder?

If you edit your tree online, please read the following article: How do I add step children to my online family tree?