Website Matches Women With Baby Daddies, Not Husbands
What do you do when you need an immediate answer on whether Uganda is in east or west Africa, the weather forecast, or discounted Canadian drugs? You jump online of course. Now, if you jump online and visit modamily.com, you can get a baby.
The new site seeks to put together people who would like to engage in the process of “the shared raising of a child between two loving, committed, and financially secure adults.” Targeted toward older adults, the website aims to help “solve the problem of quickie, clock-ticker marriages and resulting divorces.”
According to a recent article on ABC News, Modamily’s founder, Ivan Fatovic, makes this sweeping generalization as well: “If [love and marriage] don’t happen, people end up marrying someone they’re not crazy about and get divorced in a few years,” he said. “In two out of three divorces, a child is involved. When a child is introduced, the mom and dad don’t get along and are fighting with each other. My thinking is that we can find two people that put the child first.”
I have trouble unpacking a lot of this: All couples don’t get along once a child is brought into the family? Two strangers who meet online will do a better job of putting their child first?
Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe it does make sense to trust Fatovic, his generalizations and his website. I mean, he’s 36 and has a background as a Hollywood agent and in finance. This is starting to make more and more sense.
While the site is new, they are offering the first three months for free, but then members will pay $50 a month. The site does little matching, nothing as elaborate as eHarmony’s pages of personality questions. Basically, Modamily users will “shop” for partners just as we peruse Amazon for gifts and Zappos for shoes. Users who find a “match” receive no guidance; there’s no help once the two would-be parents are linked, other than a suggestion that one hire a lawyer to negotiate a contract in regards to finances, obligations and the like (just those little nagging issues).
Both the FAQ and the About pages make sure to address the obvious question: Are women expected to have sex with men met on the forum? The answer can be summed up as “Sure, if you want to.” Again, this organization is hands-off after the hookup. The site does tell you that if your finances can handle it, you might use other methods, like IVF. IVF averages $10,000 per attempt. So I’m paying $50 a month to be part of a forum where I can find the perfect baby daddy to make a child with—to the tune of $10,000 per attempt via a method that averages a one-in-three success rate? Does anyone else smell a Designer Baby?
But don’t worry if you don’t have that much cash. In a radio interview, Fatovic gave this specific, detailed, helpful advice: “Members might also use some kind of at-home insemination method.” Good point, Fatovic, turkey basters are about $2.99 and are sure to get the job done.
Fatovic says this is not a hookup site, but I am creeped out by this: In its first week, 20,000 people visited the site, 70 percent of them were heterosexual men in their forties and fifties. This scares the shit out of me. I did online dating for about five minutes and quickly discovered that lying was the norm—about everything from age, to occupation, to marital status, to height (women who do a lot of online dating told me to call them “height liars”).
And, sorry, but the sample profile posted on the site is of a very, very attractive woman who looks like she’s barely 35. Her screen name is “Kittensandpuppies.” Her tagline is: “Looking for someone to make me a mommy!”
Um … ewwwww.
What will Modamily parents tell their children about how they came to be? I used the method of telling mine what they needed to know, and allowed details to fill in as my children got older and asked more detailed, specific questions. When they were very little I told them that their mommy and daddy loved each other so very much that their love filled them up and had nowhere to go but into a baby. To this day I think of that as a metaphor, not a lie.
If these parents tell their child they were wanted, that’s one thing, but their children will be born out of desire only, not love. You might counter with the option of adoption, especially single-parent adoption, but the process being touted here seems too random, too fast. Adoption is a rigorous, complicated process. The rapidity of the Internet and the situations we’ve all seen people get into there don’t square with something as huge and life-changing as bringing a child into the world.
If you are going so far as to enter into a contract with a stranger, to promise to share a responsibility as long term and emotionally charged as parenting, what other word comes to mind but marriage’s base principle: commitment. And how could one agree to make such a commitment based on having matching “financial statuses, professions, and nutrition preferences?”
Look, I do not disparage the people who want to have a child and see their window of opportunity closing. Even though I had my own three children easily and from within a loving, stable relationship, I have many, many intimate friends who were not as fortunate. The loss of what one does not have is just as terrible a grief as losing what one does have. But I do not think a social networking site is the answer.
Modfamily.com, and the copycat sites sure to pop up, are deplorable for taking advantage of people in the midst of such a primal emotional crisis. Niche dating sites are niche dating sites, but this is more than that, much more, and the stakes here are simply too huge.