Here’s How We’re Redefining The “Family Unit” In 2019

So what, then, in 2019, does “family” even look like? We know it’s nuanced, we know it varies, we know it’s constantly in flux — but what is the broader, unifying factor (beyond biology, that is)? Is it about shared time? Money? “I was adopted, and I never got in touch with my birth mom,” says Maggie D., 53, now a mother living in Los Angeles. “I don’t think about it often; my actual mom, the one that raised me, takes up so much space in my life.” For her, family is a matter of involvement — it’s about the woman who raised her rather than the one who birthed her. For 24-year-old Xavier C. in Connecticut, family is built of four stepsiblings and two biological ones, all living under the same roof. “I don’t remember what it was like before we were all there,” he says. “And now, if there are less than six of us, it feels quiet.” For 29-year-old Amber M., based in New York City, family isn’t about biology at all. “I was raised by my best friend’s family,” she explains. “And they’ve been the best version of family I could ask for.”