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Keywords:

  • families we choose;
  • fictive kin;
  • voluntary kin

Scholarship on fictive kinship has relied on many different terminologies. I argue for a new precision. I review existing discussions and draw on those to suggest a new, experimental typology. I suggest that the typology illuminates a variety of issues, including the aspects of family that are accomplished through fictive kin. I also discuss issues surrounding fictive kinship for which no information exists but about which the typology might help make predictions.