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‘Platonic Parenting’ is Making Headlines — But What Is It?

Van Jones just welcomed his third child — a daughter — with a platonic friend, a union the television personality calls conscious co-parenting.

“After COVID lockdown, I got clear that I wanted another kid. I discovered that my friend Noemi also wanted a baby,” Jones told TODAY Parents this week. “So, we decided to join forces and become conscious co-parents. It’s a concept that I hope will more people will explore and consider.”

Jones, who shares two sons with his ex-wife Jana Carter, continued, “This is a special time for our families. I feel grateful, joyful and blessed. As we create a safe and loving environment for this blessed young soul, I respectfully ask for privacy. Thank you for all the love and support.”

Unlike co-parenting in which divorced or split-up couples continue raising their children in a united fashion while living separately, or parallel parenting in which former partners who can’t along at all parent independently alongside each other, platonic co-parenting — which Jones is approaching consciously — involves raising kids with a platonic friend with whom you may or may cohabitate.

We’ve seen cases of non-romantic parenting, from Ross and Rachel (Friends) to Maggie and Emma (Playing House) and Julie and Jason (Friends with Kids). And with the declining U.S. marriage and divorce rates and an increase in college-educated women having babies out of wedlock, it’s clear that tradition isn’t the only avenue to childrearing.

Platonic parenting could work for friends who respect each other’s values enough to want to pass them down to a child or people wish to be parents without the challenges of a romantic relationship. And when non-couples can parent peacefully? All the better for the child.

These celebrity moms make us all feel better when they share the highs and lows of parenting.

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