(photo credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times)
I wrote about this trend–and a couple of the websites that facilitate it–in One Parent or Five. Reporter Abby Ellin has done a good story on them today:
“I’ve met so many women in this same situation, who aren’t married and feel like they missed the boat,” said Dawn Pieke, 43, a sales and marketing manager in Omaha, Neb., whose daughter, Indigo, was born last October. Ms. Pieke met Indigo’s father, Fabian Blue, on a Facebook page for Co-parents.net in June 2011, not long after the end of her 10-year relationship. She wanted a baby, but feared doing it alone because, she said, “I didn’t grow up with my dad.” Rather than focusing on a love match, she decided to find someone to share both the financial and emotional stresses of child rearing.
Ellin called me up for my point of view:
…Mr. Weil believes this type of parenting arrangement is completely logical. “When you think about the concept of the village, and how the village was part of child rearing for so many cultures for so many thousands of years, it makes total sense,” he said. “The idea that two people — let alone one person — would do it without the village is really nutty.”
But Elizabeth Marquardt, director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values, a nonpartisan advocacy group in New York, vehemently disagrees. “It’s a terrible idea, deliberately consigning a child to be raised in two different worlds, with parents who did not even attempt to form a loving bond with one another,” she wrote in an e-mail. “As children of divorce will tell you, it’s very difficult to grow up in two different worlds, with your parents each pursuing separate love lives that can be increasingly complex over the course of a childhood.”