An Unusual Co-Parenting Twist

Sometimes life throws a curveball. Carson Rennick was one of Canada’s unnoficial spokespersons for parenting partnerships. He gained this status after an interview he did for a newspaper article where he opened up about how much he wanted a child but didn’t want a romantic relationship with the birth mother. Instead, he was ready to co-parent. Julia Cunningham was also in a similar situation and was highly considering finding a sperm donor, but was prepared to be a single mom.

The two met on a traditional dating site, although Rennick was registered and active on a co-parenting website, similar to He was very open with Cunningham when they began chatting and told her to google his name to learn about his “story” and ultimate goal. The two bonded over wanting a child and four months into the relationship, have decided to go at it together, but not as co-parents, but as romantic partners.

It’s not what either of them expected or necessarily were seeking, but it just worked out that way. Fortunately, both Rennick and Cunningham are open-minded enough to understand the concept of co-parenting, and both agree that a “traditional” family isn’t necessary to raise a family, it just so happens that in their case, co-parenting  brought the pair together.

“We were both looking for the same thing at the same time and oddly enough we found each other,” says Rennick, who works as a union steward in construction. “I still love the concept of co-parenting. But, at the same time, I am glad that I found a partner in life as opposed to just a partner in child rearing.”

Rennick and Cunningham, a 33-year-old social-services worker, are very much the romantic couple. They hold hands, exchange supportive glances and laugh easily as they answer a visitor’s questions in the living room of the home where Cunningham rents a room.

“Sometimes in life when you stop looking for something, that’s when you find it,” says Cunningham. “I know, for myself, it was one of those, ‘Do I have to have the nuclear family?’ And, for me, the answer was no. I don’t have to have that. It’s not going to stop me from having a child if I’m not in a relationship.”

“Now, here we are together, and we’re like, ‘Wow, this really works.’ It’s nice and I really hope that it lasts. I’m really enjoying being with him and I really hope we end up being able to be parents together. Both of us don’t think you have to be in a nuclear family to raise a child so it is kind of funny we ended up together wanting to have a wonderful nuclear family.”

Now, while we wish them both the best, we are not posting this to give hope to others that they too will find love on our website. Our intention is to bring  like-minded individuals together who are looking for a parenting partnership situation that works best for them.


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