Anyone who knows me will know that children and I are not compatible. Oil and water is a good way to describe our interactions (yet I provide childcare?) but I do feel that when I create a character I become a new parent. Yes, they aren't alive, they will grow how I please, and they don't actually exist, but I start to 'get to know' my new character and bond.
As I start to flesh out their personality and appearance I like to think of 'how would you react to to this?' and some of the answers that my mind sends back are quite amusing, stunning, shocking, and amazing. I compare it to being a parent in the sense that I made them. They're mine, to grow, teach, and change to suit my world. I raised them from a single thought into a character that will go forth to play their part.
I get very attached to my characters as time passes. I actually keep a 'photo' of each one on my wall. And I brag about them in my writing circles, just like a proud parent!