As society evolves, so too does our perception of “family” change. As family structures become more flexible and varied, we’re learning that when it comes to raising children, the marital status, gender, and even relationship status of the parents matters less and less.
What children need most are parents who are committed to loving and supporting them. Whether or not the parents have a romantic relationship with one another is immaterial to their ability to raise healthy and happy kids so long as their co-parenting relationship is solid.
Platonic parenting is one of these new co-parenting relationships. Platonic parenting involves two or more people who agree to raise children together without a romantic connection, and this nontraditional style of parenting can produce children who are just as well adjusted as those raised in a happily married household.
An alternative arrangement
Platonic parenting was pioneered within the LGBTQ community, where until recently same-gender couples couldn’t legally marry and didn’t have the court system to make up rules for them about post-breakup parenting. Following a romantic split, they were forced to create innovative, outside-the-box parenting arrangements on their own.
More recently, platonic parenting has spread to married couples looking to raise their children following divorce. By maintaining an amicable and cooperative relationship—sometimes even cohabitating—a couple whose romantic connection has dissolved can find the arrangement is much healthier for them. Indeed, couples who stay unhappily married for the children’s sake often find the arrangement can be even more harmful to the whole family than a clean divorce.
Now more and more people are choosing to raise children together using platonic parenting without ever having a romantic relationship to begin with.
Platonic parenting is particularly enticing for those who find themselves in the absence of a romantic relationship but who want to be parents. Whether they aren’t interested in having a romantic partner or simply haven’t found the right one yet, platonic parenting can be the ideal solution.
While raising a child on your own is perfectly acceptable, child rearing is an immense responsibility that lasts a lifetime. To help diffuse the tremendous demands parenting involves—and avoid the pressure to rush into romance—some individuals are turning to close friends in search of a co-parent. Those who can’t find a suitable co-parent among their existing network of friends can use a number of websites dedicated to platonic parenting matchmaking. Websites like FamilyByDesign, CoParents.com, and Modamily enable prospective parents around the world to connect with one another to start a family.
Typically, these arrangements involve conceiving through artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization and then raising the child in a platonic partnership. Some co-parents live separately and share custody, while others live together under the same roof similar to a traditional family. There are even cases where the arrangement involves three or more platonic parents raising children together.
While platonic parenting might seem highly atypical and even controversial, given all of the work that goes into loving and raising children it only makes sense that some would want to make parenting a team effort in a new spin on the notion of a blended family.
Just like any parenting arrangement, platonic parenting requires massive levels of trust, communication, and planning. The first step of the new partnership is for all parties to come up with a solid legal agreement governing the financial commitments and living situation. Other issues to work out include how to handle new romantic relationships, if/ and how to incorporate platonic partners into family gatherings, along with all sorts of other basic ground rules geared specifically for your situation. You’ll also need to talk about how to discuss the arrangement with any existing children and other family members so everyone understands exactly what this new life will entail.
Create a legal foundation
With so many important agreements to be made, those seeking to create a platonic parenting arrangement should seek legal counsel at the outset of the relationship. As your Personal Family Lawyer®, we specialize in helping you navigate these types of non-traditional partnerships, and we offer a wide array of estate planning tools to help define the legal rights and responsibilities of each individual involved.
Whether you’re seeking advice on planning a platonic parenting relationship, or you need us to draft legally binding co-parenting agreements, meet with us as your Personal Family Lawyer® to create the proper legal foundation for your new family.
This article is a service of Levi Alexander, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.