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A parent is a person who, in the case of women, gives birth to offspring or, in the case of men, contributes genetic material to their offspring. In nearly all human cultures it is the responsibility of the parents to raise their offspring. Parents traditionally have come in pairs, usually a man or a woman. It is not uncommon however for there to be single parents, a sole woman or man raising their children. This could be due to a number of different factors such as the death of one parent or divorce. In some parts of the world there are same sex parent couples; two men or two women have the responsibility of raising their offspring. Rarer cases include multiple parents, however these are very few in number.

Parents can either take on the responsibility of raising their offspring through biological creation, adoption (this is the case for same sex parenting) or informally given the role from close friends or family since they may not be able to adequately raise their own offspring.