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What do you agnostics think about "co-parenting", two people interested in parenthood but not necessarily a relationship. You can range from 50/50 custody to one having primary custody and the other being the one "with visitation". I have made three attempts, but all were run aground by the mothers' health problems. But alot of believers of course don't believe in conception outside of godly love etc. etc. Since we don't believe in souls and other such notions, and realize making babies is simply science, I wondered if there is a higher acceptance or interest by those unfettered by religion.

AntiTheist 3 Nov 24

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I say get a dog.

I don't trust him with ANY SMALL MAMMAL


Us agnostics?

Cinco Level 5 Nov 25, 2019

This question is phrased strangely. Do you want to raise and love a child as a full-time parent, or do you just want to have a child in your life off and on? There are any number of ways to become a fulltime parent to a child that don't involve foisting off 50% of the load onto a near-stranger.

It doesn't sound like the situation you've described here outlines enough commitment on your part to consider parenting another human being, since your primary goal is to immediately split the responsibilities involved, even if it's with someone you don't care about that much. I wouldn't be willing regardless of what belief system or degree of non-belief was involved.

Yes, these kinds of circumstances exist, but they are most often the accidental result of an unplanned pregnancy or unhappy divorce. Why would ANYONE go out of their way to purposely enter into such a difficult arrangement? Your proposition doesn't hinge on "you agnostics" [sic] or religion. It's a bit insulting to assume greater acceptance of a poorly constructed idea just because religion wouldn't be a factor. Belief or non-belief is NOT the issue here.

Either you want a child, which is a 100% lifetime commitment and responsibility, or you dont. It really sounds like you aren't 100% committed to being a parent.


Raising a child is very difficult even when there is a relationship to support it. If you're not committed 100% to being a parent, it's selfish to bring a new child into the world. Maybe volunteering at a charity like big brothers / big sisters would be mutually beneficial.


A view of parenting as a transactional agreement between to adults, completely ignores the point of parenting,.. raising a happy healthy functional kid. It takes a huge time commitment, way more than i think youre aware.


Parenthood is a relationship.

skado Level 9 Nov 25, 2019

Are you being flip, or trying to bait us agnostics? Because it sounds like you haven’t thought this out beyond the “making babies” part. Even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship with the child’s co-parent, you are DEFINITELY in a relationship with them, and will have to navigate numerous lifestyle choices with them in mind. For the rest of the child’s life. Or did you just need them to babysit while you work and date or whatever?

As a parent, I’m offended that you are taking this commitment so blithely and selfishly. I have a “daughter of the heart” who bears the damage created by parents whose disappointment that parenting isn't cookie-cutter overflowed into verbal and physical abuse. So maybe take on something with less of a chance of ruining a child's life. Maybe the Big Brothers program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is going to screen out this fool.....1st he is falsely defining co-parenting.....usually refers to blended families and marriage with step children....2nd he insulted women via "health issues"....last this freak knows nothing about deadly pregnancy risks.....maternal death is high statistically inside USA....future children deserve the well planned health and home of both parents to be.....this creep should consider vasectomy even after ACE grades in child psychology child development early childhood education and basic Mazlovian SELF ACTUALIZATION.... his sperm is likely as stupid as his question to us Atheists and Agnostics


You're right, of course. I let it touch a nerve and over-reacted. Thank you.

@Lauren trolls are varied like rapists....why they target any innocent person is all about control....I refuse to validate any concept that betrays human rights and Feminist nerves have been on edge ever since my Vietnam War "training" 1972 with concussive tinnitus conductive hearing loss....war is loud and PAINFULLY dishonest


Perhaps you should try to foster a child and see how that works out for you before you have one of your own. It is a very hard job and it never ends.

@ToolGuy Yes, that can be so, however who knows it may be the best thing that has happened to the child and the best thing for the person who does the fostering too. It all has to start somewhere.


My ex-husband is a wonderful father. We divorced when our daughter was five. We see eye-to-eye on parenting Claire, now 29.

Terry and I are both atheists.


Do you already have a child and the mother is making excuses to prevent you from seeing child?

You need a court order.

If you are trying to make a child with a near stranger?

It sounds horribly poorly thought out. And the fact that he's "made 3 attempts" already is terrifying. I'd recommend he become a foster brother in Big Brothers association of he just wants to be partially involved in a child's life.

I'm even wondering "troll?" at this point, since he addresses our community as " you agnostics", as if we're a bunch of drones who group-think and he's not "one of us."

@LisaFultonave I was thinking about a foster care idea - I've known some very successful cases.


I wonder about @Jolanta 's suggestion. We've never had kids. The closest I've come was a Big Sisters / Big Brothers match for the last 15 years.

But I have a close friend who was a career foster mother. I couldn't tell you how many fosters they had over the years. When they decided to retire, they adopted their last two and broke away. As far as I know it was extremely satisfying for them and her. BTW... They also have two daughters of their own.

Additional: Fosters have a lot in common with adoptees or natural children. There is a lot of responsibility involved. Care including raising and medical support is of course a full-time commitment. The foster agency may give some help -- I don't know how much.


It might work if you went into it deliberately. It seems like it's always the result of a nasty custody fight though. My son's doing alright, but I can tell he regrets the situation.


Isn't that called a divorce?


I've met two men who have done exactly what you describe above. I believe it is an indication of how damaged they are.

Who could harm a boy that way to grow tall adultly against children and their mothers ?


Welcome to the asylum. Enjoy your stay.

The planet is already over-populated.
There are already entirely too many people who are parents, but have no business anywhere near children.
There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care in dire need of love and proper parenting.

I'm very unclear as to what you really want.
Do you want to be a parent?
If that's your endgame, why not adopt?
Or must your child be a biological child??


Better that than kids not having parenthood at all. As long as both parts give an healthy environment to them I see nothing wrong with that. This on the rational side. Most times it's the emotional side that gets in the way of this practical thing.


I’ve often thought of fostering but either with a partner or alone.
When a friend had a child to a father no longer on the scene a few years ago we both did some research. For a very young child it’s best if a strong attachment is made with one parent first, whilst another parent can be introduced there are suggested ages for overnight stays etc.
This study [] also implies that the set up might put undue stress on the child; but likely it’s based on parents that have split,(causing stress), and so cannot be said to be simply the arrangement.
I think I’d be asking if the two would be parents are that keen to bring up a child why would they’d not consider sharing a home to make life simple for the child?


I see you take license to weave several labels and assumptions within your post. Not only is that rather poor form, but you eliminate the possibility of clear answers.


The problem I see that could arise would be whether you both agree on the fundamentals of parenting.

Sure two people could agree to raise a child - much as divorced couples do it. But the divorced couple has a pretty good idea how the other person thinks (usually).

WIthout an interpersonal relationship between the adults - it could get problematic.

How that other person approaches all the things you consider essential parenting - big or small - may differ. And I'm not sure that could be ironed out in a business contract.


After reading The Limits to Growth circa 1970, I decided to not father children. Eventually, I married a woman with two, and 35 years later, we are still married, and our children are married with children of their own.


Can you not see that you are talking down to everyone?


I think its a great idea


This doesn't consider the child's needs, just the parents. Because of that it isn't right.

The interesting thing about your and other comments is that there seems to be a clinging to of the faith-based notion that there are “baby souls” floating around in heaven, just waiting to be sent down to Earth to be raised by some designated parents (a recent Garth Brooks song reflected this territory). People shouldn’t abstain from doing this because the child “deserves": the child wouldn’t even exist if such an agreement wasn’t executed. I think about couples who were “only going to have three kids”, and then had an “accident”; or even people who conceive in hopes to get a marrow match for treating their existent child’s cancer. Or even John Travolta and Kelly Preston having another child after their oldest child died unexpectedly; there are inevitably people who have something tacky to say about all these choices or “mistakes”.

I have hemophilia, and I know there’s a big portion of parents who will get prenatal testing in order to abort any “malfunctioning” fetuses; but I would rather be alive with hemophilia than never conceived in the first place, and I know that I wouldn’t have “popped up in another family” had my mother aborted me, like some theists cleave to believing. Similarly, I was raised by a single parent, and in my opinion (contrary to GreenAtheist’s attacks), I turned out okay without two parents. Some of you mentioned fostering, and I have had foster children before; this ideal of having two parents produce them out of a relationship didn’t turn out very ideally, but the boys were very resilient, as many children who’ve gone through adverse experiences can happen to be. I don’t wish they hadn’t been conceived because of their parents’ imperfections; and I firmly believe they can succeed in life and be excellent parents when the time comes.

Even traditional male/female couples can be subject to shaming for using surrogacy and fertility treatments; it’s “God’s will/nature’s will” that they can’t do it, so it's felt they should either foster, adopt, or find something else to do with the rest of their lives. (I was actually told the latter by one of the counselors at my hemophilia clinic during my surrogacy attempts, which is terribly ironic because my getting HIV came from my hemophilia medicine prescribed by the very same clinic). And then there are gay people who conceive either by sperm donation or using one partner or the other’s sperm or egg; most of these children too wouldn’t exist if their orientation hadn’t manifested as it did, so there’s no reason for the faithful's handwringing about “oh that poor child, if only they’d been born to a heterosexual couple.”. “They’ll be bullied for having two moms or two dads”; alas, children from man/woman activity also get bullied for various reasons.

With apologies to those who didn’t flame my question (and me personally), I have the answer to my original question, in that the agnostic community appears to be as equally hostile to the notion as the community at large. It’s clear that quite a few agnostics can be just as vitriolic in asserting their beliefs as those of-faith often are.

@AntiTheist wrong again, a child has material and parental needs. The way you described coparenting didn't consider these ergo my comment. Which is not flaming anyone. In this forum people may agree and or disagree, mine obviously disagrees. That is not vitriol nor is it flaming. If you want everybody to agree with a subject tbat is controversial then you are in the wrong site and you are making assumptions that are absolutely incorrect and unreasonable.

"Wrong again" sounds like you want everyone to agree with you (particularly me!). Ironically, I wasn't accusing you of vitriol and flaming; just remarking on the concept of "the child" being something that exists without human intervention and choice. If I had my detractors' ideal committed relationship with a woman in a shared home for 18 years and 9 months, that would be a completely different child than the one who would be conceived out of two parties' agreement to co-parent. The average one night stand doesn't evolve into a two-decade two-parent relationship either, so I presume you feel sorry for those children too. I again stand on my assertion that the children of single parents aren't deprived and can grow up just fine; and that can be with either the father or the mother. In some instances, even in divorce a child can end up with two mothers and two fathers who all contribute equally to the child's life and successes. What I want in a site is one that's not pollyannish; but I have amply seen the roots of religion still flowing through the bloodstreams of many of the people I've heard from so far. Just FYI, I won't be returning to this thread, since I had my answer previously; that's not a whiny, I want the last word tantrum, it's just to let you know that if you respond, you'll just be talking to your supporters.

@AntiTheist i was bored with your long replies, didn't really finish it. Brevity is a virtue.


From a rationalist point of view this process already exists, it is call child care or school.
In real terms I spend more time talking to adolescents than their parents and possibly know them as well as their parents. I certainly get told things they would never tell their parents.
Not what your were thinking but the outcome may just be the same.


I can't speak for all agnostics, but my opinion is that if both parties are in agreement with the arrangement and always put the well-being of the child(ren) first, then mazel tov.

Deb57 Level 8 Nov 26, 2019
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