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Skip Dating And Go Straight To Raising A Child With A Stranger Via A Co-Parenting Contract

Reality is truly stranger than fiction. This organization is reducing child raising to a business arrangement. Now I am hardly a conservative when it comes to defining who should be a parent. Married, single, gay, straight, transgender, genetically related or not…it does not matter to me. Yet this business model borders upon the commodification of children and I find it disturbing on a number of levels, not the least of which is the long term impact on the child:

You know you want to be parent, but you haven’t met Mr. or Ms. Right just yet? There is now a “dating” site to help you to find not love, but a credible co-parent. Modamily, a New York-based site, started up last week and bills itself as the “first community to facilitate introductions between responsible, like-minded adults committed to co-parenting a child.”

ABC News spoke to an early supporter of the site, Melani, 41. “Being a career woman in such a complex world, finding a good, honest, loving man is really hard,” Melani told ABC, asking that her last name not be used. “And I always wanted a child, ever since I was 11 and babysat.”

The site may become an alternative for those who can’t afford, or who don’t want to use sperm or egg donors, surrogates or adoption agencies. “Couples can decide for themselves how the child is conceived,” according to CEO and founder Ivan Fatovic, a former Hollywood talent director who also worked in finance.

“Some might have sex, others might use home insemination methods or, if they have the financial means, opt for in vitro fertilization,” he said. According to ABC, the site has seen about 20,000 visitors, 70 per cent of them heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s. “It’s a trend that’s happening in the rest of the world,” Fatovic, 36, told ABC, referring to similar ventures in Europe and Israel.

“If [love and marriage] don’t happen, people end up marrying someone they’re not crazy about and get divorced in a few years,” he told ABC. “In two out of three divorces, a child is involved. When a child is introduced, the mom and dad don’t get along and are fighting with each other. My thinking is that we can find two people that put the child first.”

After connecting, couples would draw up a “co-parenting contract,” which outlines “how the child will be raised, answering questions about religion, time commitments and financial obligations,” ABC reported.

Of course the site already has its critics. Juli Slattery, a psychologist for a United States Christian organization, told ABC:

“[Co-partners] underestimate the amount of commitment and work it is to raise kids together,” Slattery said. “They have to agree on things like faith, nutrition and schooling. It’s very stressful, and the marriage bond makes it easier.”


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