Co-parenting, sometimes referred to as platonic parenting or parenting partnerships, recently hit the headlines with a BBC2 documentary shining a light on the experiences of individuals starting their family outside of romantic relationships. Yet until now there has been no research looking at family relationships and child wellbeing in these families.
My name is Dr Sarah Foley and I’m a psychologist at the Centre for Family Research and since spring 2019 researchers I have been meeting co-parenting families to learn more about their experiences of parenthood, parent-child relationships and children’s wellbeing. As well as travelling up and down the UK to visit families, I’ve been skyping co-parents across the globe and finding a real diversity of family form and formation. For example, some individuals/ couples met their co-parent(s) via a website whilst others have come together with friends. Overall the study aims to increase understanding of parents and children in this new family form, provide co-parenting families with a chance to learn about other families in similar situations and inform policy and practice. The study is ongoing and if you’d like to hear more or are interested in sharing your experiences with me then please complete the webform or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a member of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, which has an international reputation for its innovative research into ‘new family forms’. The study is being led by Prof Susan Golombok who has conducted some of the earliest studies of same-sex parent families and families who have used assisted reproductive technologies.
Who can take part?
- Co-parents with a child aged under 12 years.
- Taking part in the study involves being interviewed, filling in questionnaires and a parent-child play activity.
- Participation is confidential and does not require all co-parents within a family to take part. Children are also invited to take part if they wish to.
- As a thank you, families will receive a gift voucher.
- The study has received ethical approval from the University of Cambridge.