Online Singles Seek Parenthood but No Sex


Children Can Be 'Accessories' in Marriage

"In some ways, especially the way the media deals with celebrity children, they are a cute little accessory," she said. "But parenting is hard work.

"I am not completely gung-ho, but I am not going to be judgmental about it. Between the right people, it might be a workable thing."

But child development experts say couples who enjoy romance and sex are important models for developing children. And it's those bonds that help them cope with children.

Juli Slattery, a psychologist for the national Christian organization Focus on the Family, said she has deep concerns about co-parenting arrangements and their potential effect on not only the children, but the couples who choose to co-parent.

"It's a bad idea and I don't like it," she said. Those arrangements are not only "terrible for the kids," but also bad for the parents.

"[Co-partners] underestimate the amount of commitment and work it is to raise kids together," Slattery said. "They have to agree on things like faith, nutrition and schooling. It's very stressful, and the marriage bond makes it easier."

Having children puts stresses on even the happiest couples, according to Slattery, and those who think that children "are the only glue" in a relationship "live in fairytale land."

"Sex and hormones, like oxytocin, allow us to compromise, bond us together and make the compromise required of parenting easier," Slattery said.

"When we have kids, our happiness goes down, but if we are married, that is less so."

And that's from the parent perspective, according to Slattery.

The mission of Modamily, to help those who want to have children without a loving relationship, sounds like "adults trying to figure out how to have it all."

But Melani, who is using the website to find a co-parent, disagrees. And she also does not rule out the possibility of finding love, or even a marital partner.

"I think online dating used to be a little sketchy," she said. "But so many of my friends and family met online. This is just another vehicle that puts two people on the same level playing field and gets rid of the awkwardness of, 'Do you want to have a child?'

"I know I would be a great mother if I found the right father," she said. "There are lots of ways to bring two people together to have a child. Really, it's a matter of finding a connection with someone else whose interest is, first and foremost in children.

"We all want the same thing in life."

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