What is Partnered Parenting?
Partnered Parenting encompasses a wide variety of possible arrangements in which the parents do not have a marital or romantic connection with one another. Partnered Parenting can be an ideal choice for people who are seeking to raise children without entering into a conventional relationship. This choice can come into being in many different ways. For example, parenting partnerships can be established between lifelong friends, or by new acquaintances that are discovered online or through other media.

Why do people create Parenting Partnerships?
There are many reasons for seeking to have children through partnered parenting. Some of the most common include:

  • Relieving the pressure of finding the “perfect” life partner
  • Avoiding the “ticking clock” of needing to be married while still fertile
  • Being free to search for an ideal marriage partner while moving forward with an independent family plan.
  • Sustaining a a loving relationship with someone who can’t or doesn’t want to have children.
  • Continue to build a career without sacrificing the dream of having a family.
  • Creating a stable, supportive home and family environment as a foundation for planning and enjoying other areas of life.

>> Expanding the criteria for a parenting partner beyond the
boundaries of romantic attraction.

>> Opening options for Parenting Partnership with people of
other cultures, ethnicity, education, and career interest.

What is the major difference between a traditional nuclear family and a Parenting Partnership?
While a Parenting Partnership ought to be heartfelt and sincere, it needs to be fundamentally based on reason and logic rather than romantic ideals.  Passion and chemistry are important in a traditional marriage, but they are not pertinent to creating a rational, thorough, and legally binding Parenting Partnership agreement.  Parenting Partners can have other relationships that are romantic without disturbing their commitments to their Partnered Family.

What qualities are most important in a parenting partner?
There are sides to every human being, and you must decide for yourself which ones are the most important for you. It’s mostly a matter of simple common sense.

When you’re thinking about someone’s ability to take care of a child, for example, consider how well that person takes care of and provides for him or herself. Prospective parenting partners ought to show appropriate concern for their own physical, mental, and emotional health. He or she should be free of addictions in any form – whether that means substance abuse or self-destructive relationships.

Since parenting is truly a lifelong enterprise, you should look at a partner’s experiences with long-term responsibilities. How well has he or she been able to sustain and complete what they’ve begun? This can include education, employment, personal relationships, and also the length of time they’ve lived in a specific home, city, or region of the country. Even short-term dependability can be revealing. Does the person keep appointments, phone dates, and other everyday commitments?

These are not moral issues. If people seem unreliable in one or more areas, it doesn’t mean they’re “bad” human beings. But that’s not what you’re trying to determine. You’re exploring the level of trust you can legitimately grant to a parenting partnership candidate – and that level of trust should be very high.

Just as you should be very focused on learning as much as you can about a parenting partner, you should expect the partner to want to learn about you. In fact, it’s a very good sign when a partnering candidate understands the scope of a parenting commitment, and wants to be just as diligent about that commitment as you are.

What is co-parenting?
Coparenting or co-parenting describes a parenting situation where the parents are not in a marriage, cohabitation or romantic relationship with one another.

|Coparenting: Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 27 Oct 2012. Web. 16
Dec 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coparenting>

And this further makes a distinction -

Elective coparenting
Coparenting may be used as a choice by individuals seeking to have children, who do not wish to enter into a conventional relationship. Such arrangements are common among gay and lesbian parents. Such relationships may be established among friends, or by use of various websites or advertising media.

Who will be the legal parents of a child conceived in a non-traditional parenting partnership?
Both parents on the birth certificate of the baby are held accountable for the child and also have the traditional parental rights. First Florida and now California will allow more than two parents to be listed on a birth certificate. The law is changing as a result of the many new types of families emerging today. An attorney has to be used on a case-by- case basis to establish any unique arrangements regarding custody and visitation of the child. Clear precedent in the law has not been strongly established.

Can parents in parenting partnership outside a conventional romantic relationship date other partners for intimacy and romance?
Yes, ideally this possibility should be addressed before conceiving a child in a co-parenting arrangement. In a co-parenting arrangement, both parents free to choose or not choose to have romantic partner without giving up having children and the benefits of family life.

What types of life styles do most people who choose to co-parent have? Are they all gay?
For many years, most of the alternative families were designed around those who are a part of the Gay and Lesbian community. However, more single heterosexuals, couples and career-focused people are now seeking parenting partnership (co-parenting) as a way to have a family. Many of these people state their reasons for this as; no desire or time for a conventional marriage, want to share the full responsibility for child rearing, don’t trust conventional marriage to stay together as a family.

Who pays for the costs of having and raising a child in a parenting partnership? Is it different than usual way parents handle finances?
A good thing about co-parenting partnerships is the lack of assumed roles. Everything is customized and must be negotiated for agreement according to the wishes and good sense of the people involved. People can do this by contributing a percentage of their earnings to a family account for the express purpose of things for the child. Or, there can be agreements about who will play the role of primary earner and who will be the primary caregiver. Agreeing on a lifestyle standard and responsibility for providing that standard is key. I’m sure there are many more combinations and ways people can finance their family.

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