In a world where the nuclear family unit is becoming less and less of a norm, the parenting ideals are fast changing and adapting more to the lifestyles of individuals.
Co-parenting is just one way that the ideals of family life have changed in recent years, as co-parenting itself does not follow the traditional structure. In fact, regardless of the amount of children born, the number of parents in a family can be anything above one, and families can exist in a number of different households.
In many states in the USA only two parents are legally recognised as parents to a child, but some states such as Louisiana, Delaware, Pennsylvania, D.C., Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and Alaska have allowed three-parent families to be legally recognised. In fact, in the UK, the Court of Appeal ruled in 2012 that three parent families can be as good as two parent nucleuses.
The case in the UK allowed the appeal of a gay father, who had previously acted as a sperm donor for two lesbian mothers, to have increased contact with his son. There had originally been an agreement between all parties that the lesbian women would act as the primary parents to the child, but the court recognised that the boy would benefit from increased involvement with his father.
Last year, the governor of California signed a law allowing multiple parents, and stands by the belief that three-way, or four-way, co-parenting works for the families that start off that way. Often, three-way co-parenting begins with the sperm donor or egg donor living with the same-sex couple, and begin to raise the child as one family unit in the same house. However, should the donor become involved in a relationship themselves, this could become complicated.
Co-parents that raise children together but lead separate lives often have a better arrangement than some broken marriages, and two, three, four or even five co-parents are able to give children the stability they need. Parents that get along and enjoy each other’s company, despite not living in the same house, is surely a better arrangement than divorced parents who are angry at each other and don’t speak.