Parent-identifying schemes provide a way to identify causes from effects for some information systems such as digital fingerprinting and group testing. In this paper, we consider combinatorial structures for parent-identifying schemes. First, we establish an equivalent relationship between parent-identifying schemes and forbidden configurations. Based on this relationship, we derive probabilistic existence lower bounds for two related combinatorial structures, that is, $t$-parent-identifying set systems ($t$-IPPS) and $t$-multimedia parent-identifying codes ($t$-MIPPC), which are used in broadcast encryption and multimedia fingerprinting respectively. The probabilistic lower bound for the maximum size of a $t$-IPPS has the asymptotically optimal order of magnitude in many cases, and that for $t$-MIPPC provides the asymptotically optimal code rate when $t=2$ and the best known asymptotic code rate when $t\geq 3$. Furthermore, we analyze the structure of $2$-IPPS and prove some bounds for certain cases.