The Current

How 2 strangers struck up a platonic relationship online to have a child together

When Tatijana Busic and Brendan Schulz decided to co-parent a child in a platonic relationship, their friends and family had a lot of questions. We explore how strangers are coming together to raise children in non-romantic relationships, and the factor motivating them to do it.

We look at why people are having kids through platonic, co-parenting relationships

Brendan Schulz, a gay man, and Tatijana Busic, a heterosexual woman, met through Modamily, a website that connects people who want to raise a child in a platonic relationship. They are now raising their son, Milo, left, together, while Busic also has a daughter, Isadora, at right, from a previous marriage. (Submitted by Brendan Schulz)

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When Tatijana Busic and Brendan Schulz decided to have a child together, their friends and family had mixed reactions — and plenty of questions.

Schulz, a gay man who always dreamed of being a father, and Busic, already raising a child from a previous marriage, met on Modamily, a website that connects people who want to co-parent a child outside traditional routes like marriage.

While they may have seemed like an unlikely pair, their partnership was no mistake.

"This is actually, by design, exactly what we wanted," Schulz told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti. "In fact, it's better than I think either of us imagined it."

In a society where people are taking longer to launch careers and start families, Busic and Schulz aren't the only people turning to platonic, co-parenting relationships to make their dreams of raising children come true.

In 2017, CBC News reported 2,000 Canadians were registered on Modamily, and 1,000 had signed up with Family By Design, another co-parenting website.

While statistics on co-parenting are still emerging, the Centre for Family and Research in the U.K. has said elective co-parenting has been more common among gay men and women. One 2015 study found an increase in co-parenting arrangements between heterosexual men and women.

To learn more about co-parenting, and why people are doing it, Tremonti spoke to:

  • Brendan Schulz and Tatijana Busic, co-parents raising their son, Milo.
  • Rachel Hope, author of Family by Choice: Platonic Partnered Parenting, and mother of two children through platonic parenting arrangements.
  • Andrea O'Reilly, professor at York University's School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

With files from CBC News. Produced by Danielle Carr.