A new website skips marriage and goes straight to parenting

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The first time I saw her I thought to myself oh my goodness look at all that hair," said Leslie Bowden.

Every coo and smile, Leslie considers a special moment. But for Leslie, this joy is only temporary. As a short-term foster mother, she cares for a different infant every few weeks.

"Now she's just looking at me trying to figure out, who are you," said Bowden. "I can't remember a time where I didn't want to be a mother."

Leslie chose a path taken by many women today. She finished college, landed a successful career, assuming the rest of her happy ending would follow closely behind.

"There's a part of me that really wanted to hold on to oh no you're still young and people have babies forever," said Bowden.

But during a routine checkup, this 31 year-old woman says her gynecologist recommended that she start freezing her eggs.

"Just saddened that my window is really closing," said Bowden. "I was talking to my colleague and she had heard of the website."

Modamily is similar to a dating site but instead of looking for a date, members are searching for someone to have a child with. Rather than being a single parent or choosing an anonymous sperm donor, the co-parent would be equally involved in the child's life.

"I don't believe that to find a man or not to find a man has to be a concurrent goal with children," said Bowden.

The site's extensive questionnaire matches people based on their religious, financial and moral preferences as well as parenting styles. Dozens of people who were initially strangers are now part of a modern family.

Dawn Pieke from California was in a long-term relationship that ended when she was 40. She met Fabien Blue on the site and they are now co-parents of baby Indigo.

Rachel Hope has co-parented both of her children. She says her focus was on finding the best father for her child rather than the perfect husband. Using Modamily, she expects to be pregnant with her third child this year.

"Everyone on here is ready to take that next step and whether they are romantically dating or not the point is they're ready and we're going to help you find someone," said Modamily founder Ivan Fatovic.

Fatovic says Modamily is about providing options.

Attorney Amy Hickman says in the state of Florida, two unmarried people can be on the birth certificate but should get a legally drafted paternity and parenting agreement.

"What are the education issues going to like, financial expectations and support issues," said Hickman.

Leslie says she hasn't made any decisions yet.

"A weight is kind of lifted," said Bowden.

But whether she chooses adoption, a sperm donor or co-parent, the option has taken the pressure off.

"I don't have to wait, I don't have to feel like a victim of romantic circumstance. I get to take this into my own hands," said Bowden.

And in the meantime, she could also find Mr. Right. Leslie says a family is about love, not waiting around for Plan A.

"And if there's someone out there for me they'll accept me for me and whoever is coming along with me," said Bowden.

 

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