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36 stepdad quotes to make him feel loved on Father's Day and beyond

Send your "bonus dad" a message straight from the heart.
Father and daughter playing together
Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

Your stepdad deserves all the love. 

Although he wasn’t there at the very beginning, he’s here now — and that’s exactly where he’s going to stay. Whether he filled a void that someone else left behind or he’s a proud “bonus dad,” his actions prove that family is defined by love, not biology. That said, it’s important to let him know how much he means to you by including one of these step dad quotes in a card, text message or social media post on Father’s Day and beyond.

It doesn’t have to be long or complicated; just pick out a simple sentiment that best describes the person he is and the special bond you share. These thoughtful words will go a long way, especially when they come with an overflowing gift basket or the tech gift he’s been eyeing.

Ready to put your feelings into words? Check out these sweet sayings from notable figures who were raised by stepfathers, along with those who simply relish in the joys of fatherhood — biological or otherwise. Tailor these quotes to your relationship by pairing them with a father-daughter quote or adding a few extra lines that come straight from your heart. But if he’s not exactly the sentimental type, then throw in a corny-but-cute dad joke for good measure.

  • 1. “Being a parent wasn’t just about bearing a child. It was about bearing witness to its life.” — Jodi Picoult, "Handle with Care"
  • 2. “We do not need to know the beginning of a child’s story to change the ending.” — Fi Newood
  • 3. “The circumstances surrounding your birth are not as important as the opportunity to live life.” — Lailah Gifty Akita, "Think Great, Be Great!"
  • 4. "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” — Richard Bach, "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah"
  • 5. “Belonging to a family is a natural and vital component of life, and every child deserves to be a member of a loving and nurturing family.” — Ronald Reagan
  •  6. “All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” — Helen Keller
  •  7. “One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to be one.” — Jim DeMint
  • 8. “Love runs stronger than blood. Deeper than any name you could give me.” — Andrew Peterson, "The Warden and the Wolf King"
  •  9. “Anyone who ever wondered how much they could love a child who did not spring from their own loins, know this: it is the same. The feeling of love is so profound, it’s incredible and surprising.” — Nia Vardalos, "Instant Mom"
  •  10. “Whether your children are yours through biology or adoption, they are yours through love.” — Sadia Rebecca Rodriguez
  •  11. “We should not be asking who this child belongs to, but who belongs to this child.” — James L. Gritter
  •  12. “Stepparents are not around to replace a biological parents, rather to augment a child’s experience.” — Azriel Johnson
  •  13. “Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.” — Leigh Anne Touhy
  • 14. “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” — Oscar Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
  • 15. “The golden rule of parenting is do unto your children as you wish your parents had done unto you.” — Louise Hart
  • 16. “Parenting is a life time job and does not stop when a child grows up.” — Jake Slope
  •  17. “Parenthood… It’s about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last.” — Peter Krause
  •  18. “If we are wonderful parents and family members, then there’s really nothing else to prove.” — Ron Baratono
  •  19. “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Budington Kelland
  • 20. “You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” — Franklin P. Jones
  • 21. “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” — Charles R. Swindoll
  • “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” — Jane D. Hull
  • 22. “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”  — Sigmund Freud
  •  23. “Children are educated by what the grownup is and not by his talk.” — Carl Jung
  •  24. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.” — Garrison Keillor
  •  25. “Being a father, being a friend, those are the things that make me feel successful.” — William Hurt
  •  26. “It is much easier to become a father than to be one.” — Kent Nerburn
  •  27. “My dad always said, ‘Don’t worry what people think because you can’t change it.'” — Daisy Donovan
  •  28. “I hope I am remembered by my children as a good father.” —  Orson Scott Card
  •  29. "Any man can help make a child, but it takes a special man to help raise a child." — Tony Gaskins
  •  30. “To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.” — Euripides
  •  31. “My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” — Marlo Thomas
  •  32. “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, ‘You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’” — Michael Jordan
  •  33. “In my life, I’m just looking for that life of integrity that my father had. I have a good heart; I’m not a heartbreaker.” — Johnathon Schaech
  •  34. “My father always said, ‘Never trust anyone whose TV is bigger than their bookshelf.’” — Emilia Clarke
  •  35. “Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars.” —Victor Hugo, "Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography"
  •  36. “My father was my teacher. But most importantly he was a great dad.” — Beau Bridges

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