What’s trending now?
Platonic co-parenting – when two or more people who are not romantically involved make the decision to raise a child together.
Platonic co-parenting has created a new type of family structure where people choose to come together specifically to raise a child. They may be individuals who do not have an existing partner to bring up a child with or long-time friends who want to raise children together.
Platonic co-parenting requires clear communication between the parents on how they wish to raise the child in terms of custody, medical care, education, spirituality and so on. Some choose to have legally binding agreements to ensure that each parent fulfils their responsibilities.
Why is it important?
Platonic parenting gives individuals who want children but do not want to bring them up on their own, the opportunity to have a family with someone in the same position.
Many single women over the age of 35 who have focused on their education or careers are opting for this type of parenting. Others who feel they are not financially able to raise a child alone, are finding that co-parenting makes the load lighter.
Some same sex couples have embarked on co-parenting by teaming up with another same sex couple or with a single man or woman. If they don’t know each other, the prospective parents generally meet up multiple times before finalising the decision to raise a child together. Once they’ve decided to go ahead, the parents then work out how they wish to conceive the child, either through artificial insemination, natural insemination, or in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
This new trend gives brands the opportunity to speak to a new kind of target audience: the unconventional family. Through inclusive marketing, brands can show consumers their products or services are not just for the traditional family but for everyone, irrespective of the family structure.
The Kellogg’s Cornflakes ad campaign #Familymornings is a good example of this, featuring a single parent and his five children. As Kellogg’s puts it, we embrace diversity, different cultures and celebrate families of all shapes and sizes.
In order to remain relevant in the future, businesses will need to engage with these new, modern families and ensure that their marketing messages speak to them.
What is the butterfly effect?
In some countries, the law is catching up by allowing two or more individuals to have parental rights to one child. California allows two or more persons to be legally recognised as a child’s parents while in the US state of Ontario, a maximum of four people can form a legal agreement to co-parent a child.
Rachel Hope, author of the book Family by Choice: Platonic Partnered Parenting, predicts that in the future, homes will be built to accommodate not just nuclear families but also platonic co-parenting families. This will allow the parents to coexist with their children or live very close to one another.
Who are the pioneers?
Platonic parenting websites such as Modamily and CoParents have acted as catalysts for a growing number of platonic parents. These sites bring together people who want to find a co-parent to raise a child with or to source a sperm donor. Modamily has approximately 25,000 active users from around the world and according to its founder, Ivan Fatovic, approximately 100 children have been born from parents who found each other on the site. The CoParents and FamilyByDesign websites have a combined total of approximately 100,000 registered users. According to the former, all an interested party needs to do is register their personal needs and then browse through the comprehensive database of profiles.
USA, Canada, and the UK.
By Losego Motshele
East of Johannesburg born, Losego Motshele, is a young spirited intellectual with an interest in fashion forecasting and South African pop culture. She is a genuine enthusiast who sees trend researching as a way to stay connected to society. In her spare time, Ms. Motshele contributes to a body of work called ‘The Orange Flow’, that is her personal project.
Well on her way to being a trend researcher, Losego has knowledge of what influences people’s interests as she is a final year student specialising in the business of fashion, as well as majoring in Consumer Buying Behaviour.
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Image credit: BBC