Strangers helping each other raise babies

By Lauren Freeman - Anchor

HOUSTON - Imagine having a child and agreeing to raise it with the help of a complete stranger.

Men and women, who haven't met their mate but want children, are going to extreme lengths to have a family.

"I have a son and he is 4 years old and he is the center of my whole life," said Bonnie Thomas.

Thomas, of Houston, is looking to add to her family, but you could say she's doing it in a non-traditional way. She doesn't have a husband or a boyfriend. Instead, she's willing to raise her baby with the help of a stranger.

"I'm open to all options," Thomas said.

So how does she plan to meet the stranger who will help her raise the child? Thomas joined a website called Modamily. Ivan Fatovick is the founder.

"I noticed people on the main stream dating sites were frustrated they weren't meeting anyone to have children with, and they just weren't meeting any serious people to take the next step," Fatovick said.

So he created a website that cuts to the chase.

The site is for anyone interested in forming a modern family. In many cases, minus the dating, romance and marriage.

"If you're looking for more of a 50-50 co-parent then we'll find someone that also will complement what you're looking for," Fatovick said.

You answer lifestyle questions and the site tries to match you up with someone who has similar views.

"Then there's a whole getting to know you period. Sometimes people go on five first co-parenting dates," Fatovick said.

But these kind of co-parenting arrangements can be risky and raise all kinds of legal questions.

"Having an agreement you sign off on at home saying these are going to be your duties, these are going to be your rights, this is going to be the possession, this is going to be the support, are completely unenforceable without having the approval of the court," said attorney Bobby Newman.

"We also recommend that if you are to do that, you should see a lawyer and draft a co-parenting agreement," Fatovick said.

Fatovick also said that agreement should include topics like where the child will live, life insurance and financials, including who will pay for all the child's needs. Everything from tuition to Little League.

Newman said the website is significantly risky.

But Modamily is growing. There are 6,000 members with success stories worldwide. Thomas hopes to be the next one.

"I've always known what I've wanted," Thomas said. "So this kind of helps me to get to where I need to be."

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