Here’s one more thing you can share: Kids
We’ve written a lot over the past month about the sharing economy — how people are using apps and technology that make it easy to share cars, bikes, homes, couches, offices, tools, pets. More sharing = less resource use = all-around goodness.
Kid-sharing: so much better than kid-hoarding.
And now the latest addition to the list of shareable items: kids. Yes, people are using websites and Facebook pages to find like-minded people with whom to share children. From The New York Times:
[A] new breed of online daters [is] looking not for love but rather a partner with whom to build a decidedly non-nuclear family. And several social networks, including PollenTree.com, Coparents.com, Co-ParentMatch.com, and MyAlternativeFamily.com, as well as Modamily, have sprung up over the past few years to help them.
“While some people have chosen to be a single parent, many more people look at scheduling and the financial pressures and the lack of an emotional partner and decide that single parenting is too daunting and wouldn’t be good for them or the child,” said Darren Spedale, 38, the founder of Family by Design, a free parenting partnership site officially introduced in early January. “If you can share the support and the ups and downs with someone, it makes it a much more interesting parenting option.”
The sites present what can seem like a compelling alternative to surrogacy, adoption or simple sperm donation.
The article highlights a few brave new parenting pioneers, including Dawn Pieke, a straight woman, and Fabian Blue, a gay man, who met on a Facebook page for Co-parents.net and now share parenting responsibility for their daughter Indigo, who was born last October. “[T]hey never drafted any kind of legal agreement, which they both agree was unwise,” the Times reports, but I’m sure that’ll all sort itself out. Right?
Having a kid is by far the most carbon-intensive activity a normal person is ever likely to engage in. Think of the climate benefits if more broody singletons shared those munchkins instead of each having their own. And why just singles? Couples could get in on the fun too. And parents who already have kids and want to dump them at someone else’s house for a few days generously share them with other nurturing adults.
Good news for kids: Coming next is a site for parent-sharing. Not fully satisfied with yours? Find another couple down the street!
Lisa Hymas is senior editor at Grist. You can follow her on
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