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Would you consider having a baby with a fellow singleton, with no romance involved?
The growing trend for 'platonic parenting' or 'co-parenting' is defined as two people who are not in a romantic relationship who decide to raise a child together.
Reasons for co-parenting are hugely varied, ranging from fears about the biological clock to career commitments, or simply a desire to break away from the traditional family unit.
It could be an arrangement between strangers, or a scenario where two long-standing friends come together to have a child because neither has found a romantic partner.
The rise in platonic parenting is indicated by apps like Modamily, which are specifically designed for "a community of people who are all ready to have kids".
Like other dating sites, users set up profiles on Modamily and are matched to people with similar interests and timelines for having children as them.
While there are co-parents that find a romantic spark and opt for the old-fashioned way of having children, platonic partners often choose either home insemination (turkey baster method) or in-vitro-fertilization.
Modamily also works with donor and surrogacy agencies to help users looking to go that route navigate the process.
Talking about the Modamily concept, founder and CEO Ivan Fatovic, said: "I noticed a lot of people were having kids and starting families later in life.
"Many would spend their 20's and 30's focused on advancing their careers, making money, and pursuing individual experiences and travel.
"As they got older, many people, particularly women approaching 40 who were still single, started to feel the pressures of biological clock and were growing frustrated by the short-term casual relationships they found on mainstream dating apps.
"They had limited options for finding a like-minded person who was ready to start a family. I wanted to build a platform for everyone who is ready to start a family and help educate them on all of the ways they can make that happen."
One Modamily app user is Rachel Russo, 36, who is looking for a platonic partner to have a child with.
While Rachel has not ruled out finding Mr Right and having a baby the traditional way, she is keen to explore other options to becoming a mother, and has joined thousands of others in signing up for websites that help not only match romantic partners but platonic co-parents and sperm/egg donors as well.
The New Jersey native said that COVID social distancing and dating apps filled with people looking for casual relationships, make finding someone on the same page difficult.
"Most single men don't want to talk about having babies on the first couple dates, but if that's a priority to women, I'm doing what I would advise any woman to do," she said.
"The ideal situation would be the happily ever after romantic relationship, but I'm about equally comfortable with being a single mom as I am with being a co-parent," she said.
Rachel says the most important part of the whole process is the research.
"I've read books on co-parenting and on the single mother path. I've had consultations on fertility and seen spiritual doctors to find any romantic blocks and blocks on being a single mother," she said.
"With being a single mom, you have 100 per cent of the emotions and financial responsibility and going through the process yourself.
"Co-parenting is like a ready-made family, so the dad is there already from day one for the baby," she said.
Rachel said it can be difficult to differentiate between men who are serious about becoming co-parents and those who are just lonely and looking for distraction.
"I think the challenges like with any site, especially during the pandemic, is who's really serious and who's just kind of bored, lonely, isolated and wanting someone to talk to, but not necessarily serious, " said Rachel.
She has actually been able to find someone during her six months on the site, but they haven't been able to meet in person due to COVID.
They are hoping to change that soon, though.
Rachel added: "He's looking for a romantic relationship and to have a baby and fast track that.
"Now that our area is reopening we're probably going to be meeting very soon."
Despite its unconventional aspects, Rachel finds strength in the process of exploring different options for having children.
She added: "It's kind of empowering because I can do something towards my goal of creating a family from the comfort of my own home.
"People shouldn't rush into decisions. They should talk and if they're aligned and have the same goals and timeline for having a child they should meet and that's how I'm approaching it."
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
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