This Dating Agency Matches Single People Who Want A Baby

This Dating Agency Matches Single People Who Want A Baby

In 2018, there’s no need to wait for The One to have children. Just take, for example, The Stork – the introduction agency matching singles with one thing in common: they both want a baby, sooner rather than later.

The world’s first introduction service for people wishing to urgently start a family, The Stork helps successful men and women who don’t have time on their side. At this ‘dating’ agency, romance is but an option – couples can find their forever partner or simply choose to co-parent with a like-minded single. But does the system really work? We spoke to Founder Fiona Thomas about why co-parenting could be the future for families… 

How does The Stork work?

We cater for two types of potential members. The first service we offer is finding partners for people who want to form a romantic coupling and have children inside a more traditional framework. Unlike a normal agency, this way you know whoever you’re introduced to seriously wants children – for example, a woman who is approaching 40 simply doesn’t have time to waste, so it removes the uncomfortable questions that often have to be asked very early in a relationship.
The second element matches people who are happy to find someone they like and respect, who are compatible genetically as well as in their values and ethics, to co-parent with outside a romantic relationship – a viable alternative for those considering sperm donors.
We create detailed psychological and values profiles on each member and, if they wish, they can choose to undergo a DNA compatibility test. It’s not compulsory, but people tend to have more successful pregnancies and healthier embryos with people who they’re genetically different to. We then create the framework for member contact and liaise with them throughout their journey without being intrusive, as that can hinder relationships developing. As new members join the existing members are either alerted to their compatibility or not, depending on their preference.

What does your screening process with potentials involve?

There have been a lot of cases in recent years where people who have met online are not who they say they are. Due to this, we have a vetting process that allows us to check and verify the identity of members along with ascertaining whether company details are indeed genuine. We run the searches and do the verification that people would be rather uncomfortable doing themselves.

Do you have to meet a particular criterion to be a member?

Members don’t have to be on six figure salaries, but they do have to be successful in their field to an adequate level. This could be anything from being a 50-year-old multi-millionaire to a 34-year-old PA earning £35,000 a year. The main criterion, once the member has shown they are able to afford the membership fee, is just to be an interesting and decent human being. The most important factors for raising a child is for the baby to feel loved and wanted and to have parents who are both devoted to their well-being, despite the fact they may not be together in a romantic coupling.

Do the co-parents have to spend a certain amount of time with each other before deciding?

This is an important life decision so, of course, the answer is yes, but it’s entirely at the members’ mutual discretion. While we don’t set a limit, we do strongly suggest that people keep an open mind and avoid striking people off too quickly.
We also urge members to consider that, for the child’s sake, it’s important to foster as much harmony as possible between both parties, so compatibility and shared values really are key considerations. During the course of my research prior to setting up the company, a lot of divorcees admitted to me that some couples just aren’t right for each other from the start and despite their best intentions, cracks can show fairly soon after starting a family. People might criticise what we do on the basis that children should be born to a couple ‘in love’, but given that over half of all marriages end in divorce and a large proportion exist in a loveless or sexless state, how is co-parenting any worse in comparison?

Any financial considerations are clearly defined at the outset, so that’s one less thing to argue about for a start!

Do co-parents have to sign some sort of contract that states how they will raise the child before having the baby?

We strongly recommend that an agreement is put in place and we have a suitable legal advisor to assist with this, but it’s for the individual members to decide how they go about arranging financial involvement and contact with the child. What we do stipulate is, from the outset, anyone coming to us must be prepared to be involved and contribute financially to the child’s upbringing.

How do co-parents actually conceive the child?

Again, this is a choice for members, but all ‘normal’ methods are used, which include the most traditional method (I’m sure I don’t need to spell out what that is!); IVF for women who may have trouble conceiving or have frozen their eggs; and IUI (intrauterine insemination) devices which are available on the open market or via the NHS and private fertility clinics.

Why do you think the concept of co-parenting works so well today?

I think co-parenting as a concept works well because these days people are leaving things so late. Work, career, purchasing our first homes, shifts in attitude, societal and economic change – these are all factors that contribute to people being single for longer and pushing it to the wire when it comes to having children. Co-parenting allows people to make the decision to have children now rather than wait for ‘The One’, because if you wait too long for perfection you may miss out altogether.
Whether the practice of co-parenting between couples works so well is another matter. From our couples and the research I’ve done, it appears to work well for those who have embraced it. It’s shared values that make successful relationships, not just love and affection.

Have you found any particular complications along the way?

The complications usually come from the members’ expectations – some women come to us stating that they’re happy to go down the co-parenting route if they don’t find a romantic partner, then decide to wait longer, and longer, until they then realise they really would prefer to go the traditional way and hold out for ‘Mr Perfect’.
Despite huge advances in modern technology, we still can’t really extend a woman’s fertility naturally so unless a woman has frozen her eggs before 35, she has until around the age of 45 to conceive naturally. Nature isn’t based on her finding her ideal choice of partner. It’s at this point we have to remind our female members that if they don’t make a decision soon – whatever that may be – they may risk never having children at all. We’re never pushy about these matters, but you have to be realistic. As we say, you could wait a lifetime for Mr Perfect to appear but be just as content having children with Mr Rather Lovely!

How many matches have you had so far?

It’s hard to say how many matches have been made because we have people still at the early stages of forming a lasting relationship. In terms of babies born we have five, with another two on the way and hopefully a few more in the not-too-distant future.

Have you had any really great success stories?

One titled gentleman we matched prevented his male bloodline from dying out – almost a thousand years of family history and his name would have come to an end had he not met the lovely young lady we introduced him to. Then there’s the lady whose partner died in Afghanistan a few months before his planned return. They had planned to start a family, and she felt she would never find love or happiness again. But she’s now well on her way to living an idyllic life in the Dorset countryside with a gentleman we introduced her to. Not every story ends in a fairy tale, but it’s heartwarming when people who’ve given up hope find happiness. We’re very proud to have been part of that.


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