There are many important elements to being a parent. A lot of people don't have fathers but they might have someone in their life who's a good male influence and support. There's no cookie-cutter way of raising children and no family is the same, but the most important thing is that children are loved, supported and cared for, whether it's coming from a relative or a friend or a grandfather or a good school teacher. Anyone. Children just need good examples and mentoring to teach them and show them how to do things.