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Family law: New way of parenting may challenge rules in Canada

There is a relatively new way of raising children that's gaining in popularity. Two people, who are not a romantic couple, team up to raise a child together, yet live apart. This type of unconventional situation may change some family law rules in Canada as it evolves.

People are meeting in person after they connect on a social media site for singles, looking to have a child and share in the child's upbringing together, yet without the dynamics of a conventional relationship. The idea is called elective co-parenting, and it has been popular with gay men and women. But it is beginning to gain in popularity among heterosexuals who want to have children in a co-parenting situation, but who aren't in romantic relationships. 

In terms of legalities, the parents have a contract -- a parental agreement -- that stipulates the dynamics of the situation and the child's best interests and what should happen if the relationship between the parents should sour. The contract should speak to all ages of the child and every material issue concerning parenting. It should be signed by both parents even before the conception stage, which usually happens through artificial insemination.

Long gone are the days when a family normally consisted of a married couple and a few children. The definition of family is wide open these days and with it, changes in the way children are raised and even how they're conceived. Those in Canada considering elective co-parenting may do well to get the advice of a lawyer experienced in family law. He or she could provide legal counsel and help with a co-parenting contract.





Source:, "Partners in parenting, not love: Singles pair up to raise a child", Makda Ghebreslassie, Accessed on Nov. 24, 2017

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