Bino & Sarah
Mubein “Bino” Tarahi, 43, construction manager Sarah MacDonald, 36, social worker Adaan Tarahi, 2
Sarah: My girlfriend and I had planned to have a kid after I completed my master’s degree. But then I finished, and she told me she had changed her mind. I was tired of waiting. In 2014, we broke up. I still wanted a kid, but I wanted to do it with someone who would be as invested as I was.
Bino: My situation was similar. My boyfriend and I had broken up. I wanted to be a dad, but I didn’t want to do it alone.
Sarah: I signed up to a website called Modamily, which connects prospective co-parents. I matched with a few guys, and they said all the right things—“I have a great relationship with my mom; I’m a feminist; I just want to be a dad”—but there was no spark.
Bino: Sarah and I matched, and we met in May 2014 at Starbucks at Yonge and Wellesley. This meeting was obviously different from standard dating: it was less about my needs and more about who would be good for my future child. Sarah and I were in sync, and it turned out that we lived on the same street in the Village.
Sarah: There was instant chemistry. I decided to lay it all out there. I asked Bino about his dealbreakers, which were simple. He didn’t want someone who wasn’t fully devoted or didn’t respect his privacy. I told him that I needed someone honest, patient and understanding. I can be emotional and reactive sometimes.
Bino: We talked about a co-parenting agreement that would detail nearly every eventuality. Sarah had so many things already thought out—even the fact that the child would take my last name. We ended up agreeing that if we had a boy, I would choose the first name, and Sarah would choose the middle name, and if it was a girl, we’d do the inverse. We were at that Starbucks for hours.
Sarah: I also told Bino I wanted a police record check….
Bino: I wasn’t expecting that. When I went to get it, the guy at the desk asked why I was applying. I said that a girl I met had asked for it. He started laughing, so I had to tell him the whole story.
Sarah: After our initial meeting, we “dated” for a while. Bino loves meat, so I had him over and cooked the biggest steak I could find—even though I was vegan. Then he had me over and cooked a special lentil dish that his family would make in Palestine. After about five dates,
we decided to host a brunch party for our family and friends. Initially, it was like an awkward high school dance, with all the bears on one side and all the lefty political queers on the other. Someone had the brilliant idea of having everyone share what they loved about us. It was one of the most magical days of our relationship, and the ultimate interview. And it helped the groups come together.
Bino: We decided to try for a baby in August—only three months after we’d met.
Sarah: Bino just came over and gave me a little cup of sperm. Bino: Fourteen days later, we were pregnant! Sarah: We told everyone. Adaan was born in May 2015.
Bino: We had planned to alternate having Adaan at our houses in six-month segments, since we lived so close to each other. But toward the end of Sarah’s maternity leave, she got very emotional about it. She said she wasn’t sure about having Adaan sleep at my place.
Sarah: So one day Bino called me and said, “Do you want to buy a house together?” I was like, “Yeah.” Ten days later, we bought a semi.
Bino: Sarah and Adaan each have a bedroom in the finished basement. I live on the second and third floors, where I have my own kitchen and two bedrooms, one of which Adaan uses if he’s upstairs. Where he sleeps doesn’t really matter. We put him to bed together. He calls my floors “Baba’s house” and downstairs “Momma’s house.”
Sarah: We’re very respectful about privacy. If Bino has a date over, he’ll let me know, and I won’t knock on his door or let Adaan go up. If we’re both free, the doors are open, and we all hang out as a family.
Bino: If I’m cooking in my kitchen upstairs and Adaan gets bored after a half-hour, he goes back downstairs. It’s good for him.
Sarah: Neither of us has been in a long-term relationship since Adaan was born. Really, we’re exactly like other families, except that Bino and I don’t have sex. We do everything that Adaan sees his friends’ parents doing. He hasn’t started asking questions about our arrangement yet, but we plan to be honest when he does.
Bino: At some point, he might see the differences, but for him right now, he has parents who love him, and that’s what matters.
Sarah: I’m just so proud of what we’ve done. We created the family we wanted, and it’s beautiful. In fact, this experience has been so amazing that we’re doing it again. We’re pregnant. Our second child, another boy, is due in March.
Bino and Sarah, who are both gay, matched on the co-parenting website Modamily in May 2014. Their son, Adaan, was born a year later
They share a four-bedroom semi. Bino occupies the top two floors, which Adaan calls “Baba’s house”; Adaan and Sarah each have a bedroom in the finished basement, which Adaan calls “Momma’s house.” Unless one parent has company over, they all hang out...