October 18, 2017

I Wanna Be a Baby Daddy

Hey, Bonita…

Hi Bonita,

I am a 43-year-old divorced man. The divorce was three years ago, and I think I'm ready to date again. Then again, maybe I'm not. That's not my question. While I want happily ever after, I know those chances are 50/50 at best. I am excited about my career, and I've been strengthening my friendships. But I'm unsure if I'll ever get the traditional chance to become a father. How could I ask a friend to make a person with me?

I would only want to have a child with a woman I adore and respect entirely, and who would want to stay in Athens long-term. Romance could happen, but plenty of bad marriages produce children. I think the world would be better if more good friendships produced children. Obviously, we need more amazing people, and this kind of a set-up would require a legal agreement, and a long talk about every conceivable co-parenting issue. I would think that some women would be open to me being their baby daddy without expectations. But how could I even ask? Ha-ha-halp me, Bonita!

Wannabe Dad Brad

P.S.: Wanna have a kid?


You're real as hell, and I like that. You're upfront about your choice to stay single awhile longer, and you recognize that the nuclear family does not automatically beget happy marriages or healthy children.

Platonic co-parenting is not new by any stretch, and I saw it myself plenty of times when I floated around hippie circles in another life. But it's important to note that these friend-parents that I knew personally were not of the Bikram yoga and farmers market variety, but were mostly commune dwellers who chose to cloister themselves away from society and work on a new future with a chosen family. I knew two lady friends who had a wedding to consecrate their modern family, complete with future plans for a child. Another woman simply enlisted a seed donation from a guy friend, and now they are two buddies who happily share the responsibilities of a child.

There are definitely women out there who would co-parent with you with no strings attached, but I don't know that you'll find them among the more common circles, or even your friends. That's just a very forward request in 2017. I read your question over a week ago, and I still don't have a good answer as to how to get this conversation started with a casual friend. Maybe start with someone you've known for a very long time—someone your age who has also lost her attachment to becoming a mom within the traditional setting. Keep your ears open for people expressing the same sentiments, and follow up as respectfully as possible. Don't expect someone to want to have sex with you, either, as this is a platonic arrangement, and intercourse is not needed in order to procreate these days.

Start with an old friend, and hone your approach to this quest from the reaction you garner. Never forget that it's the woman who would be carrying this child, not you, and you should respect any answer you get (no means no, and don't keep pressing on about it once you hear that no) when you ask for such a serious life commitment.

Ms. Applebum,

I am reconnecting with a girl that I have been in love with since junior high. She has always been "the one,” and I never wanted her to slip away. I was too shy to approach her back then, so now I am going to give it a go. She agreed to meet me, but I want to make sure it goes well. How can I make sure we don't just end up as friends? How do I show how I really feel for her?

Just tell her, but don't expect much. We're talking a junior-high crush here, and you're both adults now. There's no way to “make sure” this goes how you want, dude. You're gonna have to just lay it all out there and accept her response. Be honest, be brave and be respectful. I've hooked up with high-school friends as an adult, so you never know what could come of it. But I do find this to be horribly cute, and my fingers are crossed for you.