Co-parenting with a gay man: Why straight women co-parent with gay men


An increasing number of straight women are having children outside of marriage. A growing proportion of these are doing this with gay men. In this article, Pink Families shares four of the reasons why some women are choosing this type of co-parenting arrangement. These reasons includes thinking about the child’s best interests, establishing a traditional family unit, financial reasons, and sharing the burdens and joy of parenting.

1. In the child’s best interests to have a second parent

Some women that co-parent with gay men believe that there are benefits from having a two-parent family. They believe that two parents can provide balance for their child. Some also believe that it is in the best interests of the child to have both a mother and a father. This explains why many straight women elect to co-parent with another man, even though co-parenting with another woman is entirely possible.

2. Establishing a traditional family unit with a gay man

The second reason why some women choose to co-parent with a gay man is because it allows them to establish a family unit that is similar to what they grew up with. That is, a family unit that involves both a mother and a father.

For some, the presence of a father is essential to the idea of starting a family, even if the father might be a gay man, a bisexual or queer man. Their view of family makes a departure from the picture of a traditional family unit in this respect. But in essence, their image of family still resembles that of a traditional family unit, as it relies on the presence of a mother and father.

3. Financial reasons

The third reason why some women choose to co-parent is related to finances. Co-parenting helps share some of the financial burden associated with raising a child. Co-parenting means that the women involved are able to retain some of their financial independence.

4. Sharing parenting with gay men

The fourth reason relates to parental burden and sharing the experience. Some co-parent with a gay man as it helps share the burden of raising a child. The parental responsibility can be split between the two parents. Co-parenting is also a way of sharing the journey of parenthood with another adult, including all of the joy that starting a family can bring.


Segal-Engelchin D. Erera PI. Cwikel J. Having It All? Unmarried Women Choosing Hetero-Gay Families. Affilia 2012;27(4):391-405.

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