We Are Family: 50-Plus Times Articles, Photos, Maps and More About Families of All Kinds

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We Are Family: 50-Plus Times Articles, Photos, Maps and More About Families of All Kinds

When we set out to create a collection of Times resources on the topic of “family,” we knew our main problem would be keeping it to a manageable length.

After all, the theme shows up regularly in reporting on every aspect of our lives, and across all sections of the paper — from business and politics to science, health, sports, the arts, food and travel. In fact, the subject of “parenting” even has a whole section to itself these days.

What you’ll see below, then, is a collection of the best recent work we could find to represent a range of kinds of families told via a variety of journalistic tools. It features articles and essays, photos and videos, podcasts and comic strips, maps and graphs, all addressing questions like:

  • What does “family” mean?

  • How is the concept changing?

  • How does family shape us personally?

  • What role do family structures play in our society?

We’ve created this resource thanks to an ongoing partnership with Little Free Library. The current theme of their Action Book Club, which hopes to inspire readers to make the world a better place, is “We Are Family,” and you can find discussion prompts and actionable ideas as well as book suggestions related to this theme on their site.

Finally, we know our list is incomplete. If there is a Times piece on the topic of “family” that you would like to see us include, please post your idea in the comments, or write to us at LNFeedback@nytimes.com.


What Does It Mean to Help One Family? (2016)

Thousands of Canadians enlisted in an unusual mission to help Syrian refugees start new lives. Now they face a gut-wrenching issue: the relatives half a world away.

Three Generations Under One Roof (2011)

In a converted apartment building in Chinatown, five adults and seven children blend traditional values and rituals with modern roles and responsibilities.

Drawing the Line Between Helping and Helicoptering (2019)

In the wake of the college bribery scandal, critiques of parents who meddle too much can leave us questioning our everyday instincts to help our children.

A Family Portrait: Brothers, Sisters, Strangers (2019)

I always knew I was conceived using a sperm donor. But I never really understood what that meant until I went searching for my brothers and sisters.

Celebrating the Fish Fry, a Late-Summer Black Tradition (2018)

Catfish, hot sauce, a few sides: For many African-American families, these are makings of a time-honored gathering that feeds a sense of community.

Welcome to College. Your Parents Are in the Tents Next Door. (2018)

Parents of first-year college students in China live in tents on campus to make goodbyes easier. Critics say they are pampering a generation of only children.

Empty Nest? In Slovakia, It May Begin When the Child Is 35 (2015)

The former Communist states in Europe have seen a sharp rise in adult children living at home, but nothing like in Slovakia, where three out of four 18- to 34-year-olds live with their parents.

A Family in Transition (2018)

Paetyn’s father Tanner, 25, is a trans man. His partner and Paetyn’s biological father is David, 35, a gay man. Their daughter, they agree, is the best thing that ever happened to them.

An American Middle Schooler, Orphaned by Deportation (2019)

Fanny was in middle school when ICE came for her mother, leaving her to navigate the struggles of adolescence by herself.

Dead Join the Living in a Family Celebration (2010)

The famadihana, a ritual in which relatives remove the dead from their tombs in an atmosphere of celebration, continues among various faiths in the island nation of Madagascar.

Emotional Power Broker of the Modern Family (2011)

Pets alter not only a family’s routines but also its hierarchy, social rhythm and web of relationships.

Invisible Child (2013)

A five-part series about Dasani, an 11-year-old girl who is one of New York City’s thousands of homeless children. Through text, images and video, journalists show what they witnessed over a year of documenting the lives of Dasani and her family.

Preserving Black American History Through Song in the Dominican Republic (2018)

For older community members, ranging in age from 80 to 104, passing down church hymns is a way to teach the youth about their rich and unique history.

For South Asian Cooks, Yogurt Starter Is an Heirloom (2019)

Homemade yogurt is central to South Asian cuisines, and home cooks hand down their distinctive starter cultures, wherever they are in the world.

Portrait of an Army Family (2014)

The Pruetts are a family of eight who have deployed 11 times.

A Peculiarly Dutch Summer Rite: Children Let Loose in the Night Woods (2019)

Far from the land of helicopter parenting, getting ‘dropped’ in the forest is a beloved scouting tradition.

A Cornucopia of Grandparents (2018)

Today there are children with six or eight grandparents, step-grandparents and grandparent-equivalents.

Weeknight Dinner Around the World (2019)

We asked 18 families to show us what they have for dinner on a typical weeknight.

How Do Families Around the World Spend Their Vacations? (2017)

Photo essays from around the world by Joakim Eskildsen, Moises Saman, Sim Chi Yin, Mark Neville, Mamadi Doumbouya, Massimo Vitali, Newsha Tavakolian, Justine Kurland and Christopher Anderson. (Please note: The first of these images contains nudity.)

Family Vacation (2019)

Going through the Times’ archive of family vacation photos is a powerful reminder that what makes a family vacation great is less about where you go and all about how excited you are to be there.

In Search of the American Family (2017)

An upcoming show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston explores the idea of family: from the ones shown in the portraits to the fleeting glimpses of the photographer whose own family is back home, waiting. (Please note: One of these images contains nudity.)

A Global Look at Family and Life (2015)

Images by different photographers featured in the book “Family Photography Now.”

Teenage Marriage and Parenthood in China (2016)

In some parts of China, teenage couples willingly marry and have children, despite the educational and economic obstacles.

Conception (2018)

In the first season of our video series we chronicled what it’s like to become a mother. In Season 2, we dive into your stories about parenting.

36 Questions That Lead to Love (Again) (2017)

“Tell your partner what you like about them, and be very honest.” We asked three couples who know everything about each other to try out Modern Love’s 36 questions, intended to bring strangers closer.

Given Away: Korean Adoptees Share Their Stories (2019)

“One of the last things that my grandmother said was, ‘When you grow up, come visit me.’”

Growing Up Ethan (2019)

How do you find independence when you’re coming of age with autism?

Calving Season (2018)

A teenager helps her ranching family save calves during a snowy spring.

Dulce (2018)

In a small Colombian village, a mother guides her daughter through a rite of passage.

‘Lullaby’ (2015)

In this short documentary, young mothers in a homeless shelter write lullabies to bond with their babies.

The Polaroid Job (2017)

Our family business involved taking photos with Frankenstein’s Monster and the Easter Bunny.

I Have a Message for You (2017)

To escape Auschwitz, she left her father to die. Decades later, she got a message from him.

My Grandfather’s Memory Book (2018)

When he died, Byron Levy left behind a vast inheritance — of drawings.