Life partners, but not lovers The websites helping childless singles become 'co-parent' couples – minus the romance
20:34 GMT, 9 November 2012
An increasing number of childless men and women, who are finding themselves single at 40, are now pairing up to build families without romance.
Instead of becoming single parents by choice, these middle-age professional are turning to co-parenting, a growing trend where singles meet online with the sole objective to become
equal partners in raising a child.
Like dating sites, but for prospective co-parents, websites such as Modamily and Co-ParentMatch use a compatibility test which enables people to seek out shared parenting values. However, the logistics, from choosing how to conceive to the custody arrangements, are decided once a pair is matched-up.
Co-parent couple: Dawn Pieke, 40, and Fabian Blue, 41, before the birth of their child as co-parents who live together for the sake of their daughter in a non-romantic relationship
The relationships aren't sexual, but are very close – a system some co-parents believe has certain advantages over more traditional ones.
Dawn Pieke, 40, is one woman who turned to co-parenting after her live-in boyfriend, who she was was ready to have children with, cheated on her.
She told BuzzFeed Shift's Anna North that she didn't want an anonymous sperm donor because it was important for her to have a child who knew their father.
She said she found a Facebook group devoted to co-parenting, and soon found Australian resident Fabian Blue, 41, who wanted to be an equal partner in raising a child as much as she did.
He told BuzzFeed that a few years prior, he 'literally woke up out of a dream and had this vision of a newborn child, like a mission.
'I get the benefits of marriage without the sexual-romantic destabilization'
'[But] how was I going to accomplish that, being an out gay man and not successful in my relationships with men' he added.
After exploring Co-ParentMatch, he found Ms Pieke on Facebook and the pair began speaking on Skype.
Ms Pieke explained it was 'even more intense than when you first start dating somebody,' as they spoke about their spiritual beliefs, medical histories, families, and parenting values.
The more they discussed, Mr Blue says they 'were just jumping off walls, having this great connection. It was one of those things that was meant to be.'
He then decided to move to the U.S. so the co-parents-to-be could try to have a baby – their daughter, Indigo Pieke-Blue was born on October 3rd.
The parents live in the same house, however they each also hope to have romantic relationships later on, so there is the possibility of getting their own places. For now, however, they say their focus is on their daughter.
Meanwhile, 36-year-old Ivan Fatovic, who wanted to have children before he turned 40, started the co-parenting website Modamily.
Mother and child: Ms Pieke, pictured with her daughter Indigo Pieke-Blue, turned to co-parenting after her live-in boyfriend, who she was was ready to have children with, cheated on her
Doting dad: Mr Blue said he wanted to be an equal partner in raising a child, but had no success in his relationships with men
The site, which launched in February, has roughly 3,000 users. While two-thirds of them are women in their thirties, 30per cent are younger.
Rachel Hope has a 22-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, both from co-parenting partnerships, and is using Modamily to find a third co-parent.
She revealed that her first co-parent was a close friend – they decided to become non-romantic partners because of their belief that the institution of marriage was broken.
While they both had romantic relationships with others, they were first and foremost commited to their son, she said.
'I get all the benefits of being married but I didn't have all the
weather patterns of sexual-romantic destabilization,' she explained.
'He was late twice in 20 years. And my son is extraordinary.'
Now Ms Hope lives with her daughter and her second co-parent.