Co-parenting is becoming more and more popular in this modern age, now that the family dynamic is diversifying.
The term essentially means that two or more people take on the responsibilities of raising a child – without being in a marriage or relationship.
Initially, co-parenting was quite specific to divorced couples who were both raising their offspring as part of agreed and equal terms.
Whilst this is still common, there is a welcomed change as both heterosexual and homosexual individuals or couples are able to look after a baby of their own – something they may not have been able to do before.
Reasons To Become a Co-parent
Although it might seem unconventional to some, there are many reasons people choose to begin partner parenting.
Here are just a few of them:
- They wish to have a son or daughter but are unable to due to infertility, or have been unable to find anyone to settle down with
- They are a single parent, and are looking for someone to play the mother/father figure for their child
- They would like the sperm donor to have a hand in raising the infant
- Due to their sexuality, they are unable to have a baby with their partner
Although joint parenting turns the traditional family model on its head, there are many benefits to this method of raising an infant. These include:
- The joy of having a child, when you previously may not have had the chance to have one
- You can get to know and have a friendship with your donor if you choose
- Building a stable family unit with additional loving family members
- The child is raised into a diverse environment, giving them a richer flavour of life and making them more tolerant of ‘difference’
Are You Ready To Co-Parent?
Deciding to raise a baby with another person/s is never an easy choice, particularly if it is outside of a singular family unit. You need to get to know all adults involved, and ensure that you are ready for the responsibilities involved.
It is key that all parties are aware of the importance of maintaining consistency with the upbringing – from nap and feeding times, to house rules. Otherwise, the child can become temperamental through confusion over what is right and wrong.
On top of this, you will need to come to an agreement on how often each party looks after the child. This can be changed and developed as they grow older, but at a young age you will want all parties involved to have a role to play, if this is the desired outcome.
Due to the nature of co-parenting, and the number of options available, the legislation is not always clear. If you are divorced and co-parenting with your ex-partner, you are unlikely to come across many problems with regulations.
However, ‘elective’ co-parents, such as homosexual couples or groups may run into issues. You can read all about the UK law here (scroll to the bottom for the appropriate information).
How To Get Started
Ready to begin your journey as a co-parent? Visit our forum to find people looking for somebody just like you.