Co-Parenting Without a Relationship

A new website, Modamily, matches singles who'd like to have a child together – romance strictly optional. Users seek a partner for parenting without the hassles of a relationship or marriage.

Site user Lauren joins The Doctors. “It's just like a dating website,” she explains, “except you're able to find people who are ready to be a parent.” The possibility of romance or intimacy down the line is there, but users are looking for a parenting partner, not a love match.

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She already co-parents her toddler daughter with a friend but wants another child. Her boyfriend doesn't want to father more children, and she says the website “is a great option to doing it alone.”

Rosie Mercado is concerned about the effects on children. “With all due respect, as a parent we are responsible to show our children what a healthy relationship looks like, growing up with love. And I feel like co-parenting is just an agreement.”

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But Lauren thinks our culture focuses too much on romance and weddings, which often end in divorce anyway. Her daughter sees her father and extended family. “She's surrounded by love and she's thriving – thriving more than a lot of her friends,” she says.

Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow agrees that studies show that you don't need a traditional family to raise happy, healthy children. But he cautions against doing it for the wrong reasons.

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In his practice, the majority of people who want to co-parent without a relationship have given up on love. “If that's you,” he urges, “Don't do this. Don't settle. I'm just a believer in love.”

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