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 most states of the USA only two parents are legally recognized 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 recognized. 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, in California, the governor signed a law that makes it legal for a family to have 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.
Co-parenting is growing in popularity and more and more singles turn to this type of arrangement to have children. So why is it that the concept exists, and why is it catching on so fast?
A lot of people meet their soul mate, settle down and have children, but others do not meet theirs, or at least not in time to be able to have kids. Or they might not even want to settle down. Co-parenting is a way for these people to have children on their own terms.
Unlike an anonymous sperm bank, using websites such as coparents.com helps people to look for partners based on personality, shared interests and values, thus creating a parenting team that gels right from the get-go.
Many people who have been unlucky in love feel that the time is right to have children, but don’t want to raise a baby alone. The advantage of co-parenting is that the child always has two parents, no matter whether they live together, love each other or not.
Choosing to have a child with somebody you are not romantically involved with is very different from raising a child with an ex-partner. Children benefit from seeing their parents get on well and spending time together as a family unit.
Many men and women see having children as more important than finding a relationship. Particularly for women there is only a certain window in which she can have a child, whereas finding the perfect partner can happen at any time. Women are unwilling to settle for an imperfect relationship just to have a child, and bring that child into an unhappy family.
Co-parenting is another avenue that is out there for same-sex couples to have children. Aside from adoption, sperm donation and surrogacy, this gives same sex couple the chance to know every gene that has gone into the making of their child.
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