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Relationship Fields set as $post->post_parent

  • I’m attempting to create a relationship between two CPTs with the intention of creating a custom permalink structure. For example, I have Maps & Stories, and each story will be a child of a map. So my permalink structure will eventually look something like:

    Now in order to accomplish this rewrite rule I need to set the map post_id as the $post->post_parent of the story. I’m wondering if its possible to use a relationship field but instead of storing the value to the acf-field cpt or some form of meta data can it stored as the post_parent?

    Trying to put something together this week so I realize this may not already be a possibility for ACF, so perhaps this is a feature request, but if that’s the case is there a filter I can add to accomplish this in the mean time?

    Thanks so much, using ACF for years now and can’t believe how far its come, I refuse to use other options out there even though I know “Types” as a way of creating this relationship already.

    Also here is a post that outlines what I’m attempting currently:
    How to set parent-child relationship between differents custom post types

  • Not sure if you’re still looking for help with this or not, but I think all that is necessary is a way to set the parent post_id of the child and WP does the rest. I’m looking at this for future projects myself.

    My thinking is to create an acf/save_post action that runs after the post has been saved and after the ACF action (priory > 10), get the value from the field and update the post to set the parent.

  • I was able to get this figured out through a couple stack exchange forums. I did not end up using an ACF field because I wasn’t sure at the time. Essentially I have a rewrite rule hooked to init and post_type_link that uses the meta value of my custom field (which I imagine can be done with ACF as well. Here’s some of the code:

    /* Add rewrite rules for permalink structure */
    add_action( 'init', array( $this, 'map_rewrite_rules') );
    add_filter( 'post_type_link', array( $this, 'filter_map_permalik'), 10, 2 );
    public function setup_map_meta_boxes() {
      add_meta_box('story-map', 'Map Series', 'story_attributes_meta_box', 'story', 'side', 'default');
    public function map_rewrite_rules() {
      add_rewrite_rule( '(.*)/([^/]+)/?$','index.php?story=$matches[2]','top' );

    I made the custom field like so:

    function story_attributes_meta_box($post) {
      $pages = wp_dropdown_pages(
          'post_type'         => 'map',
          'selected'          => $post->post_parent,
          'name'              => 'parent_id',
          'show_option_none'  => __('(no parent)'),
          'sort_column'       => 'menu_order, post_title',
          'echo'              => 0
      if ( ! empty($pages) ) {
        _e('<label class="fat-wide">Map: </label>');
        echo $pages;

    Hope that can help you on your project in some way

  • Glad you found a solution, and thank you for posting it here. I’m sure that others will find it helpful in the future.

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