Out: Love and marriage. In: "Co-parenting"?

Melani, 42, a senior sales consultant from New York, has also joined Modamily.com. ‘Ideally, I’m looking for the whole package – love, man and a child – but I’m also 42 and, although I’m in great shape, my biological clock has almost finished ticking. I need to be as proactive as I can.’ Melani is looking for 50:50 involvement with a co-parent, providing equal emotional and financial commitment to the child. Ideally, she’d like her son or daughter to live with her, with the co-parent nearby. None of her three previous boyfriends wanted children and she’d also dabbled in internet dating. ‘I found online dating more like a “virtual bar” and not a place to meet people with a big interest in family life. People on Modamily have no problem voicing the desire for children.’…

Since Modamily’s launch in 2012, membership has rocketed to 4,000. Its first baby is due this summer. Most members are based in the US; the UK is the second largest market, with 800 members so far. Ivan also has several hundred members in other parts of Europe, Australia and Brazil. All are committed to a mutual involvement in the child’s life. Most want a co-parent within easy visiting distance, but some European members are open to cross-country partnerships. Typically members are high-flyers who, having invested years in their career, realise that time is running out to have a baby – or they are women who were in serious relationships that suddenly ended, shattering their dreams of motherhood.

The thorny question of conception is addressed up front, whether through IVF in a clinic, a home insemination kit or old-fashioned sex – referred to as ‘natural insemination’ or ‘NI’. Members post profiles of themselves, covering everything from their preferred method of conception to their education and parenting views. The site advises members to use artificial insemination (AI) rather than NI.

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