Single women and gay couples are increasingly raising children with people they aren’t in a relationship with, it was claimed today.
Experts believe that the recession and marriage break-ups are prompting people to stop searching for Mr or Mrs Right and start seeking the ideal parenting partner.
The rise of the “co-parent” will be highlighted tomorrow at the Alternative Parenting Show in Covent Garden which is expected to be attended by more than 2,000 people.
Sarah Garrett, spokeswoman for the show, said: “Many women who have concentrated on their careers have felt their biological clock is ticking and figure they can’t have a baby alone in the current financial climate, and due to time constraints.
“Strands of society might frown on having kids outside a loving relationship, but how many children are being brought up by parents who have separated? Co-parenting can really work if the preparation is done right. It’s important to iron out all the scenarios and make sure that both parties know how much their financial contribution will be and who is the main carer.”
Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus Dent, will be speaking at the show.
He became a father for the second time this year through IVF with his friend Catherine Kanter. Condou, 39, and his partner Cameron Laux live in London near Catherine and all three share responsibility for the upbringing of baby Hal and Georgia Mae, two.
Condou said: “You don’t fall into something like this — you have to plan. We talked about this a lot before we went ahead. The children live between our two houses and we spend Christmas and holidays together.”
The number of babies born as a result of co-parenting is unclear but the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority says more than 800 children a year are born in Britain through donated sperm.
Websites such as www.Co-ParentMatch.com and Modamily have sprung up, which offer social networking services for single women and men who want children but do not have a partner.
London Evening Standard 14 September 2012