PBS American Portrait


People Share What Their Chosen Families Mean To Them

Americans across the country show off their chosen families and discuss what it means to be bound by love instead of blood.

AIRED: August 02, 2020 | 0:01:25

- It's the act of supporting one another

and loving one another

that makes a family your family,

not the fact that you were born into it.

- We are born into families, but as we get older,

we can also choose who is family to us.

- I'm not that close to my family,

so my friends are who I rely on.

- I went through years and years of soul searching

and all kinds of...

sorting myself out before I realized

that what makes a family is love.

- Sometimes the biological family

is not willing to love you unconditionally.

But the family you choose

is not only willing,

but they actively love you


- We are not biological sisters,

but we are family.

- I never would have thought

I would call people not related to me my family.

- I was in the United States Army,

and to me, this is what family looks like.

- I was supposed to go home for the summer

to my chosen family, and I couldn't,

but we still talk every day,

and we still FaceTime every waking second.

- It's a family that I couldn't live without

but I never expected to have.

- This chosen family of ours

has so much abundant beauty and love,

and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.