Online co-parenting sites offer an alternative to childless marriages

st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Can’t find a husband or wife who is willing or able to have children with you? Reluctant to be a single parent? Some folks in that situation are finding people on the Internet to co-parent with them. Much like computer dating, they fill out forms and record videos describing themselves and what they’re looking for, and people who are interested respond. If everything works out, they arrange to make a baby together, either by having sex or by some form of donating and implanting. They will share in the birthing experience and be co-parents, mother and father, but not romantically involved, not married.

According to a recent article in the UK’s Mail Online, the trend is growing like wildfire. In theory, the co-parents can put all of their attention on the child or children without the pressures of marriage and sex. They can choose parenting partners who share their values and want very much to have children. It’s the opposite of the anonymous sperm or egg donor. Both parties are fully involved. One might think that gay couples would be the ones doing this the most, but figures show heterosexuals are making most of the matches.
Comments on the Daily Mail article leaned toward the negative, saying it’s a shame people can’t commit to marriage and children, that children are being turned into a commodity, and that it’s just a sad reflection of our society. But on the plus side, they say that you have two people who definitely want children and will support each other throughout the process, which is better than bringing a child into a marriage where one partner doesn’t want him.
What do you think? Is this good? Bad? Wonderful? Terrible? The best thing since gluten-free pancakes or doomed to failure? Let’s talk about it.
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By the way, I have been getting tons of spam comments and very few legitimate ones lately. If you have problems commenting, please let me know at sufalick@gmail.com. Thanks.
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7 thoughts on “Online co-parenting sites offer an alternative to childless marriages

  1. I love this idea! It seems like it is so difficult (impossible maybe?) to find someone who is everything-best friend, financially stable, dedicated to children……and then they also need to be at just the same stage in life as the other person. That is a lot of pressure on anyone and leads to so much disappointment. It also leads to a whole lot of kids that don't have the support and love of at least two stable parent figures in their lives. Often times, kids suffer because mom and dad were in a relationship at one point and now the bitterness and hurt feelings from that relationship spill over into the relationships with the children. Why not separate those two things out and make sure the kids have a loving, stable environment that isn't going anywhere? But I'm also a fan of separating who you want to share your tax breaks and death benefits (and other legal advantages generally associated with marriage) with and who you are actually married to so my view point is a little skewed I guess!

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  2. My question is this: Why is such an arrangement expected to necessarily be any more harmonious than a conventional marriage or partnership? Children are often a major stressor within a relationship, therefore, it's unlikely to be rainbows and lollipops within this scenario either.

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  3. I agree to Ms. Jenny. Some parents save their marriage for the sake of their children. But how could it take to mother and father if they are not comfortable to each other? Much better try to explain to the children and time will come could understand it.

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  4. Jenny, Anon and Alex, thanks for your comments. I welcome more. I just don't know about this scenario. It sounds good, but what happens if either part finds a new romantic interest, moves away, or isn't accepted by the family? The good old-fashioned marriage-and-baby system seems a lot more likely to work, but if that won't produce babies and this will, maybe it's worth a try.

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  5. Hi everyone,

    All I can say is that we find it is working just fine for both the parents and children.

    Co-parenting has been around quite a long time, it just happens to be becoming more known / mainstream.

    People really don't go into this on a whim. Everything is considered and discussed.

    We setup PollenTree because one of our friends went through this process. We wanted to make it easier for others.

    We are proud to have played a small part in helping people have children – children that are deeply loved.

    Patrick Harrison
    PollenTree.com
    co-founder

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  6. Patrick,
    Thank you for joining the discussion. It sounds like a great service, and I wish you all the best. It is so much better to create a child who is wanted and loved than to have one by accident and wish you didn't or to not be able to have a child when you desperately want one.

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