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Opinion: On whether a married couple without kids should be considered family or not

Is it even a family if there are no kids?

When I stumbled on the question above on idea-sharing platform, Quora, few days back, I was baffled that anyone would even ask that at all.

I mean, in my mind, it was supposed to be a cut-and-dried thing that a family’s existence is independent of kids.

Apparently not.

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So here we are, having to spell it out, and in clear terms, that a couple, especially when married, instantly becomes family. Whether or not they have kids cannot invalidate that. Family ties are actually created by marriage; not by the birth of kids.

The moment two people take their marriage vows before God and man, their lives become merged so intimately and will remain so for the duration of the marriage.

To underline this, legal arrangements and business transactions consider a married man and woman family. That is why, as one response reads on Quora; “you can get insurance coverage for your spouse because your employer's insurance company considers you their family member.

“You are also considered a family member of your spouse when making medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated.

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“If there is an issue with a will, the legal system differentiates between family and non-family members. And spouses are always family members.”

So as much as kids are important to many people and would always make beautiful new members of the family, their importance is never to be raised above the nature of a marital relationship.

Childless couples who live together forever until their dying days are undoubtedly family, just as much as couples who have large families are.

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Even if the said childless couple was married only for a couple of years before deciding to go their separate ways, it still does not change the fact that for the duration of the marriage, they were family.

Although the chance of a spouse leaving you is higher than that of your child disowning you, it still does not affect the overarching idea that a man and wife are family. That should never be in question.

A family at its most basic form consists of just a man and woman. And most of the time, it is they who bestow the stature of family on kids, not the other way round.

Hopefully everyone realizes this now, so no one ever gets to go on Quora again to ask if a childless husband and wife are to be considered family.

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