In this paper, we present a general partition of unity-based cohesive zone model for fracture propagation and nucleation in saturated porous materials. We consider both two-dimensional isotropic and orthotropic media based on the general Biot theory. Fluid flow from the bulk formation into the fracture is accounted for. The fracture propagation is based on an average stress approach. This approach is adjusted to be directionally depended for orthotropic materials. The accuracy of the continuous part of the model is addressed by performing Mandel’s problem for isotropic and orthotropic materials. The performance of the model is investigated with a propagating fracture in an orthotropic material and by considering fracture nucleation and propagation in an isotropic mixed-mode fracture problem. In the latter example we also investigated the influence of the bulk permeability on the numerical results.