SF86 Family question

simple question. I am filling out my SF86 for the first time. My dad married a few women after he divorced my mom. The marriages last a few weeks. Do I have to list those people as step mom and their kids they had before they married my dad?

Yes . . . I would suggest that they should all be listed to the best of your ability.

Yes. They were all relatives even if you never met them.

Mother needs to be reported.

You need to report your current step-mother/step-siblings.

You do not need to report your father’s former marriages unless specifically instructed to do so by your FSO.


Concur with BI. Marriages happening to mom or dad after you reach the age of majority…does not really meet the sniff test for a step parent. Even a marriage happening late in High school…the person may be the parent’s spouse but does not act “in loco parenti,” meaning as a substitute parent. It isn’t unusual for these arrangements. You may or may not have any gatherings with their offspring, or children from other marriages or couplings. It is the same with the term half brother or sister, vice step brother or sister. If you have no contact with them, perhaps met them at a wedding or other gathering and that was it…not much of a familial connection. Now if any of those moving pieces are foreign nationals…game changer.

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Does the OP say that these marriages were AFTER he was 18?

Nope. I was fleshing out situations in agreement with BackgroundInvestigator as to how to characterize certain family situations. At times it is an easy answer as to step sibling or half sibling. Other times…it isn’t as easy. As you know I lean towards full understanding and fully informed reporting (previously called over reporting) so nothing is misunderstood. In these cases I request a paragraph or two explaining the situation. Darn near magic in clarifying situations.

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The connection of Stepmother is through your father. If they become divorced, she is no longer your step mother and her children are no longer your stepsiblings. As BI indicated, current stepparents and stepsiblings need to be listed regardless of your age. Half siblings always need to be listed. If you have attempted to get the information and come up empty, put whatever information you have, as minimal as it may be.

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I respectfully disagree that a lady marrying my 90 year old father is a step parent. She may be my father’s spouse, but she is in no way my step parent. There are degrees of separation easily explainable in an attached summary. The same with her adult children through various couplings. There may be a family-like relationship…there may not be a family like relationship. I would list these people, to show full disclosure, but trying to definitively call one a step parent…is like nailing jello to the wall. I say this with the voice of experience. Where my client compound is located there are multitudes of couplings and uncouplings. Determining who is related to whom, and in what way…legally, blood lines, etc is exhausting. And ends the same way repeatedly. “Yeah there is no real connection there.” Your mileage may vary.

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Anyone currently married to a parent is absolutely a step parent, regardless of age, closeness, or your interpretation of family. Ex-stepparents/siblings do not need to be listed.

The current step family has to be reported on the SF86.

I think it remains a stretch to claim a person recently marrying my 90 year old father is in any way shape and form a parent, step or otherwise. My father’s spouse? Absolutely. However, if I do not and have not shared the household with my father in 40 years…it is not reasonable to declare his new partner my step mother. Marriages to a parent occurring decades after an adult son or daughter moves out of the childhood home with limited or no contact…I would make that argument.

The requirement is to report current step-family members. They go through the same record checks as the other reported family members.

I stand corrected. And learned something. I cannot find a single definition of step parent requiring any parental relation to the adult offspring. Fascinating. Iron sharpening iron.

That said…I don’t find it a reasonable definition of step parent without a parenting relationship or at least remaining in the household or being a minor, or “in loco parenti” (serving as or acting as a parent). Certainly seems reasonable that a marriage occurring between my 90 year old father and another adult female when I am in my 50’s is clearly not a step parent as it occurred 40 years after I left the family home. If’n I were King…

Clearly the definition is anyone marrying your biological mother or father after the death or divorce of the other. Good info moving forward.

Amber . . . Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have many friends and family whose mother didn’t mother them or whose father didn’t father them. I see reason to lay the parenting requirement on a step parent. It’s a relationship, not an action.

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I am sure it all has to do with influence and access - through the parent.

From issues developed/investigated over the years - I don’t know why people don’t have to report their other in-laws unless they are foreign nationals. Not that I want to suggest that can of worms be added to the SF86…

Concur, with emphasis on “relationship.” If there is none…hard to call it parenting of any type. Just a stranger married to a parent. But I learned something. In the surrounding community of where we recruit…there is a tremendous amount of…fathering of children with no benefit of marital connection. It is multi generational. The families of this areas are all connected in one way or another. Even if they dont’ know each other. It can make for an interesting talk soup at times.