Strangers Making Babies viewers brand the show ‘wild’ as woman, 34, meets three potential co-parents after her job as a high-profile nanny stopped her from settling down and having children
- Nanny Venicia, 34, from Croydon, worked for ultra-high net-worth individuals
- Has been so committed to job she hasn’t had time to settle down with someone
- She met three potential co-parents on Strangers Making Babies, C4, 9pm
- Viewers were baffled by concept of the show with one calling the series ‘wild’
Strangers Making Babies viewers branded the show ‘wild’ after a woman who claimed her job as a high-profile nanny had prevented her from settling down and having children met with three possible co-parents.
There are currently 70,000 people in the UK signed up to co-parenting sites, looking for platonic partners to have children with – without the added complication of finding love first.
The new Channel 4 series follows a group of single women as they are matched with several men, guided by fertility specialist Marie Wren and matchmaking expert Gillian McCallum as they spend time together and work out whether or not to have a baby together.
In tonight’s episode, professional nanny Venicia, from Croydon, who has worked for ultra-high net-worth individuals living a life of glamour for 18 years and is now ready for a child of her own, met a divorcé, a father-of-two and a man who has always dreamed of being a father.
Venicia, 34, from Croydon, who has been a nanny for 18 years, longs to have a child of her own. Pictured, meeting potential co-parent Jean-Paul, aged 50
Venicia explains how her work as a nanny has taken her abroad – including to countries such as South Africa, Turkey and Dubai but now she’s ready to settle down and have a child of her own
‘I love my job – like really truly,’ she explained. ‘Knowing who their best friends are, organising their birthdays, knowing how they like their broccoli – all those tiny, tiny things.’
‘But when it’s time to go nursery, they don’t really need a nanny anymore. No one is going to care if they bump their elbow and kiss it – and it’s stressing me out. Every time I leave it’s getting harder. I feel like I’m definitely ready for a family of my own.’
But not everyone who tuned in was convinced by the idea of the show- with one writing: ‘I’m not sure how I feel about the, ahem, concept of this programme. Should be interesting. #strangersmakingbabies.’
Another added: Ok, so #strangersmakingbabies is so far more intriguing and interesting than the trailer suggested.
But not everyone who tuned in was convinced by the idea of the show- with one writing: ‘I’m not sure how I feel about the, ahem, concept of this programme. Should be interesting. #strangersmakingbabies’
Marie Wren, who set up a unique project – a blueprint for safe co-parenting schemes – explained: ‘We’ve designed an incredibly extensive vetting process.’
She devised the year-long co-parent matching project with other experts based on the adoption system.
‘All of the candidates had multiple interviews and had to fill out an incredibly detailed questionnaire,’ she added. ‘The idea was to make sure each of the candidates was really committed. They all had criminal and medical checks. It has been an incredibly thorough process.’
Venicia explains how her work as a nanny has taken her abroad – including to countries such as South Africa, Turkey and Dubai.
Nigel (pictured), 47, from Hertfordshire, who has his own fertility issues, is the first possible co-parent who meets Venicia in a bar
Vik (pictured), who has ‘always wanted to be a dad,’ said if you go into a co-parent relationship, you can just ‘focus on the child’
‘For years I’ve been very committed to my job and the by-product of that is that I haven’t been anywhere for any length of time to actually date,’ she said.
‘I just feel like I haven’t got the luxury of years between dating and getting to know each other and having a child. I just feel like timing isn’t on my side.’
She added: ‘I do want to be a mum because I have a lot of love to give. I raise these babies every day and now I’m ready to keep them.’
‘I started one month before the littlest was born. When he came out the hospital, at two days old, his mum handed him to me.’
‘I went out and bought all the baby things. The bottom line is they’re not my children. I’m done with the upset. It’s like the saying, “loss is the price you pay for love.”
Nigel, 47, from Hertfordshire, who has his own fertility issues, is the first possible co-parent who meets Venicia in a bar.
Nigel, 47, from Hertfordshire, who has his own fertility issues, is the first possible co-parent who meets Venicia in a bar
Next up, she meets with Vik, who says he has ‘always wanted to be a dad’. When Venicia asks what makes him want his own family, Vik repliec: ‘For me, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do
‘The difference between meeting a date and a potential co-parent – not a lot I don’t think,’ he joked. ‘Obviously I’m dressed up, I’ve ironed a shirt. I’m going to be wearing my best aftershave.
‘I’m really excited about it. The first meeting, I hope it’d be fun. I don’t need to tell them everything.’
He added: ‘In a co-parent, I want someone who will listen, someone who is open-minded to everything.’
As the pair get chatting, Venicia learns how Nigel and his ex gave up their lives to become parents.
‘My ex and I set up our lives to become parents,’ explained Nigel, who worked in the motor trade. ‘I gave up my business and we moved to a big house in the country.’
‘We tried naturally, unfortunately it didn’t work out so we had IVF, but that didn’t work out either, sadly. The biggest one was we went straight from IVF to adoption, then three weeks after we got accepted, we split – but it was the right decision.’
Venicia (pictured), who worries that time isn’t on her side, is matched with several men, guided by fertility specialist Marie Wren and matchmaking expert Gillian McCallum as they spend time together and work out whether or not to have a baby together
Marie Wren (pictured right, and left, matchmaking expert Gillian McCallum), who set up a unique project – a blueprint for safe co-parenting schemes – explained: ‘We’ve designed an incredibly extensive vetting process’
Venecia, whose says her age range in a co-parent is 35-42, added: ‘Knowing what he has been through to try and have a child and now he’s here and putting himself out here potentially having a child…it’s amazing and so refreshing.’
Next up, she meets with Vik, who says he has ‘always wanted to be a dad.’
‘Taking that baby home for the first time and having that room set up for them and being able to watch them going to sleep for the first time – it’s just something I’ve always dreamed of doing,’ he explained.
‘You hear of messy divorces where the child just becomes a pawn. If you go into a co-parent relationship, you can just focus on the child.’
‘I work in risk management and I guess co-parenting kind of mirrors that in the fact I’m thinking about what happens if I don’t meet the right person, if I don’t have a family with them.’
And when Venicia asks what makes him want his own family, Vik repliec: ‘For me, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. In my early twenties I picked out kids names, and when I wanted to get married.
‘My last relationship was over three years and she ticked all the boxes – apart from that she didn’t want to have kids. It was a deal breaker. It was the hardest decision of my life to make to end it.’
‘I thought maybe I could go without kids but seeing my friends with kids, it’s just made my desire stronger.’
Venicia (pictured) explained how her work as a nanny has taken her abroad – including to countries such as South Africa, Turkey and Dubai
After meeting Jean-Paul, Venicia (pictured) admitted that she always thought she’d never co-parent or date someone with children but can see now how that would be beneficial
Speaking of Vik after their meeting, Venicia turned to the camera and said: ‘He seems nice enough, but in terms of personality, he’s quite shy. ‘I don’t know. Maybe he was out of his comfort zone, or maybe it was just me. I think he was a nice guy but I don’t think it’s something I will pursue further.’
Venicia’s third potential co-parent is Jean Paul, 50, from Croydon, who has two children of his own.
‘They’re grown-ish babies,’ he explained. ‘My younger son is 14, and my older son has just turned 19. Me and my ex-partner separated about eight years ago. What happened is we did a shared custody arrangement so they’ll be with me a week, and then her a week.’
Speaking to the camera, he added: ‘The kind of dad I am, I’m very hands-on. It gives me a lot of pleasure. I’m ready for my second chance, third chance, fourth chance.’
After their meeting, Venicia admitted: ‘I always thought I’d never co-parent or date someone with children but I can see now how that would be beneficial. I’m a nanny, he’s a parent – so maybe he can teach me a thing or two – and I can correct him!’
Strangers Making Babies, 9.15pm, tonight on Channel 4.
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