Parents By Contract

by Cookie

Shared parenting.  Has anyone heard of this before?  I’m not certain if I’ve been under a rock somewhere while this became a thing, or if it’s always been a thing that finally has an official name.   And apparently some agencies that facilitate it.

If you are like me, who until this morning had no idea that people actually did this, here is a very short introduction it.

Shared parenting, from what I understand from this article, is when two single people with the desire for a child meet through some sort of matching system, and decide to reproduce together.  Not the old fashioned way, but the old turkey baster up the noona way.  So the agency matches the two individual based on parenting compatibility  (I assume), impregnates the woman, and the two go on to have this shared child together.  They don’t live in the same house or anything, they just co-parent this child.

So.  Is it just me, or does this sound totally fucking whacko to you?  I mean, it’s not like you’re entering into a time-share agreement on a condo in the Bahamas or something.  This is a human being for crying out loud.

Have we gotten so devoid of all morality and humanity that even the act of having a child is just a procedure and a legal agreement these days?  My moral compass is begging for me to turn away and pretend I never read this article.

But here’s the thing.  Logically, it may not be such a bad idea.  Think about it.   People have children a gazillion unconventional ways.  Adoption, insemination, IVF, fostering, surrogacy. When the urge to have a child comes it is all consuming for some.  And we don’t live in a traditional world anymore.  People stay single later or their whole lives, but just because they can’t find the right partner, they still want to have children.  I get that.

Sure you can adopt or get inseminated or get pregnant on purpose, but then you have to face the reality of single parenting.  And parenting is hard enough without having backup.  And by backup, I mean another parent who is on board and ready to take over when you need a break.

So maybe it’s better to match yourself with someone else in the same boat and have that partner.  I mean, kids come from broken homes all the time.  Is this so different?

So yeah, logically, the argument could be why not?

Well, as someone who has a young child and is about to pop another one out in a few short weeks, I can certainly tell you why not.

It’s hard enough to keep your shit together and get through the first year of being a parent in one piece when you love and respect your partner.  It’s a wonderful, amazing time, but it is stressful as hell.  Babies are hard to figure out sometimes.  I can’t tell you how many times I yelled at Husband only because I was frustrated and couldn’t yell at the baby.  Do you think a “co-parent” bound by a legal agreement is gonna put up with my shit like that?

Do you think a “co-parent” wants to hear about my post-partum bleeding and come to all the post natal appointments that involve vagina talk?

Do you think I want some stranger in the delivery room watching a human being tear my cookie in half?  Do you think I would be comforted by that?

It’s just awkward.

And what if the co-parents evolve and start to disagree on things as the child grows?  What if the child has developmental challenges or behavior problems or God forbid becomes ill?  How do you face those things as parents?  How do you support one another?  Situations like that tear loving, grounded families apart.

It just seems to complicated to me.  Keep it simple.  Fall in love.  Have the sex.   Make a baby.  But a child as per legal agreement?  Not for me.

So kids.  Any thoughts on this?  I’d love to hear what you all think.