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The ‘No kids’ debate continues

Writer Anne Kingston takes on the impassioned—and often cruel—reader letters about her controversial article


 

We knew “The Case Against Having Kids,” the August 3 cover story, would elicit response and debate. But we weren’t prepared for the deluge—well over a hundred letters and more than 1,000 comments on Macleans.ca (at last count). Clearly, the subject struck a nerve—and as one email indicates, even a gastrointestinal tract or two: “Disgusted,” was its subject line. “It made me nauseous to read the article…in fact, I’m not even sure what was the point of the article aside from promoting yet another fad and the ultimate age of selfishness.”

So to recap the point of the article: to examine the small but growing strata of people who are choosing not to have children. The moment was ripe: Corinne Maier’s manifesto No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children, which sparked furor in France last year, was about to land in North America. Increasingly those who are voluntarily childless are taken seriously as a statistical cohort and as the subject of research. Additionally, a number of high-profile women, such Cameron Diaz, have recently said they have no plans to have children.

The topic is so new in mainstream discussion that many readers assumed it has to be anti-child—reading “The Case Against Kids,” rather than “The Case Against Having Kids.” One inflamed letter writer even suggested it’s not safe to send trick-or-treating children to my house on Halloween (It is! Honest!). A pregnant woman expressed her displeasure, concerned the article could affect her domestic harmony: “But I have got to say that I, being a mom-to-be for the first time, due in 5 weeks did NOT appreciate my husband being welcomed home after a hard day at work to this headline.” Some readers complained the story was one-sided: “I presume you’re going to give equal space to “The Case For Having Kids,” a reader fumed, as if civilization itself didn’t provide that.

Most of the mail came from parents, which isn’t surprising: despite declining fertility rates in Western society most people do have and continue to have children. Many wrote to testify that being a parent is the most wonderful and gratifying experience life has to offer—the corollary being that those who opt out are deficient somehow. Chris Boyd, who writes that he has one young child after years of thinking children weren’t for him, summed up the sentiment: “I now feel genuinely sorry for those who focus on their selfish existence too long and end up lonely and bored and childless,” he wrote, adding:  “Oh, and number two is due in December, I guess our lives are over based on 40 Good Reasons to Not Have Children. Really, I could give you 100 reasons you should.”

Ironically, such judgment is at the very core of the stigma felt by those who are childless by choice: The fact they don’t want what so many people desperately want, that they’re opting out of an experience frequently described as life’s most profound, makes them suspect; they’re viewed as  social outliers or “selfish.”

One email referred to people without kids as “living a ‘lifestyle’ of barren self-gratification.” Yet that wasn’t my observation researching the story. Many people who choose not to have children had given thoughtful, careful (sometimes anguished) consideration to the decision. They were acutely aware that parenting is an experiment, one they cannot control, and they weren’t willing to take the risk for varied reasons. Others just knew intuitively from a young age that they weren’t cut out for parenting. As one woman told me: “I don’t think I could be the kind of mother my children would deserve.”

There’s a reflexive assumption, it seems, that people don’t have kids because they want more stuff—bigger plasma TVs, holidays, a SubZero fridge. Reader Melanie Wallace echoed another viewpoint, one voiced by childless people I spoke with: that she believes she can make a greater social contribution if she didn’t have children. “I, too, do not feel the ‘calling’ to parenthood, and very much appreciated your efforts to help your readers understand that those of us who choose to remain child-free are not narcissistic ego-maniacs,” she wrote. “On the contrary, we are often giving back to the world as much as any traditional parent. Through choosing not to parent biological children, I have found that I have the time, energy and resources to “nurture” the world and the people already in it in new and creative ways.”

Some expressed gratitude that Maclean’s was addressing the topic and hoped that it would foster greater understanding—and result in less pressure being placed on those who don’t want children to have them. One woman wrote: “Many people seem to think that they are entitled to give me their two-cents worth on my decision not to bear children. I hope this article enlightens the public as to how rude, inconsiderate and ignorant their comments are.”

(The tone of some of the mail suggested they weren’t imagining the censure: “Bravo to those brave—k child-free couples,” one reader wrote.  “If they fail to see how their genetic seed could possibly enrich this world, I for one, do not want their progeny either. Perhaps they should go one step further and voluntarily sterilize themselves, lest they change their minds once that biological clock starts ticking.”)

A few parents even shared what they feel unable to say publicly: that had they to do it again, they wouldn’t. One woman wrote: “Parenting is full of worry, upset and grief. A lot of doors close when you have a child. Yes, the good tends to outweigh the bad. I love my kids and would give my life to protect them, but if I could turn back the clock and go back? I’d have chosen to be child-free. I glad to know after reading your article I’m not the only one.”

An educator wrote in to voice her support. “As a society, we should applaud these people,” she wrote. “Too often, over my 20 years as a teacher, I have taught children who are ‘raised’ by parents who obviously regret having had kids. Those are the parents who have no patience or time to spend with their children. They are the ones who resent their kids, let the teachers do the raising, and then blame us when their children are a disappointment to them.”

Maier, the author of No Kids: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children and an outspoken social commentator in her native France, also came under attack. She wrote No Kids as an antidote to the romanticized view of parenting currently in France where generous state subsidies to those who procreate has resulted in a rise in the fertility rate. In it, she admits she  has had regrets about having had her two children, a statement that provoked some to judge her as a “bad mother” for being so candid.

No Kids is worth reading: it’s a scathing, witty social critique that offers an often farcically extreme overview of the huge sacrifices involved in raising children and the current culture of hyper-parenting. To quote it out of context is tricky and can be misleading, as I learned when I repeated one of Maier’s most intentionally incendiary lines: “If you really want to be host to a parasite get a gigolo.”  When I interviewed Maier she said she expected people would know she was being ironic and provocative: “I hope that people will understand the book and laugh about it and see themselves in it,” she said.

Thirteen-year-old Bryton Swan was offended by the quote, and for that I am sorry:  “I found your article very insensitive and thoughtless,” he wrote. “First of all I have no problem with people who don’t want to have children but when people start calling kids names like “parasites” and such, its rather pointless and irritating. It’s like if someone is having a birthday party and they go out of [sic] there way to not invite you.” Excellent point: name-calling is hurtful and invariably will weaken one’s position in any argument.

Many readers wanted to shift the conversation to the social consequences of the decision not to procreate: “Why worry about nuclear waste, global warming and extinction of species, if you and your offspring won’t be affected?” asked one reader. Marcia Redmond echoed the theme: “I am a 58 year old mother of three adult children—soon to be a grandparent. I am content, even grateful for all that experience has brought to my life—and it has not been all easy, what life is? I feel my choice has tied me to the future—something I do not see in friends my age who chose the ‘no kids’ option.”

Jan Nelson, on the other hand, cited the imperiled eco-system as a prime reason not to bring more children into the world: “Melting glaciers, growing landfills, pesticides killing fish, growth hormones in meat, factory farms making lives miserable for animals, monoculture destroying the taste of vegetables as well as the soil, increasing allergies, MRSA, AIDS, SARS, H1N1, acid rain, dioxins, formaldehyde in clothing, melamine in food, smog alerts, floods, fires, droughts, endangered and extinct species, milk that goes rotten instead of sour, jellyfish blooms, deforestation, obesity in North America, starvation in Africa, buying water, plastic containers for everything, bees unexplainably dying off, oceans acidifying, shellfish and coral reefs dying, carcinogens, mutagens, six billion plus people. These are the reasons not to have kids!  Do you really want to bring children into this mess?”

Of course, whether or not to procreation is not only a personal decision; it has political ramifications. When I interviewed the University of Toronto economist and demographer David Foote for the story, he mentioned that no single issue affects a population more than its fertility. Andre Villeneuve picked up this thread in an email, arguing that  “by refusing to have children Canadians are committing demographic and cultural suicide.” He writes: “Yes, raising kids is a tremendous investment that means hard work, sweat and tears.  But when was a great future ever built without sacrifice?”

We’ll leave it there for now, with last word given to an email that managed to be critical and encouraging: “ ‘No Kids, No Grief’ is a paper-thin exploration of this topic,” the reader wrote. “I hope to see more on it in future issues.”  If the breadth and passion of the responses is any indication, there’s an untapped gold mine here to explore.


 

The ‘No kids’ debate continues

  1. The bottom line is, children deserve parents who truly want them, not parents who were pressured into having them.

      • tell me about it. And common sense, it seems, is getting less common all the time.

    • When I was younger and childless I was an object of pity among my family and friends. It was considered natural to get married and have children and if you didn't you were weird. I often felt isolated and it was torture for me to go to weddings and christenings knowing that I would be grilled about my status. I took a very self-derogatory approach to my childless, husbandless status and replied to their queries with comments like the right man didn't come along, it would be selfish to have a child just for the sake of having one etc. etc. I didn't have the courage to say this is a personal choice and I really think it is none of your business if I have a child or not. I left them feeling that in some way I was abnormal and jealous of their child and husband filled lives. Better they pity me than to suffer their righteous indignation.
      The whole idea of having children is deeply embedded in every religion. Procreation is the very basis of marriage in most faiths and people who fail to do so are not fulfilling their duty. It is, I suppose, the natural order of things. Single women were often seen as witches and were outcasts in most societies so it was evil to not get married and have kids. That people are shaking off this yoke and defying the trend to become one of the yummy mummy set is heartening for me. I didn't have the courage to speak up.

    • exactly!
      I just laugh at people who think being a parent is the only way to being enriched and fulfilled. GIve me a break!
      I volunteer, I am a big sister (for that loving soul who's PARENT couldn't be bothered to be there for her).
      I feel sorry for parents who judge us who haven chosen not to be parents. I guess misery does love company.

    • Honestly, the truth of the matter is:

      Thank you to those individuals that recognize that they do not want children, and who understand that they would not make great parents for a variety of reasons. This type of self-awareness, decision making and confidence is exactly what we as a society need. People who don't want children are doing themselves, and future children a favour by realizing that they are not meant to be parents and simply do not want children. Recognizing that it would not be 'fair' to bring a child into this world only to regret it later should be applauded.
      Thank you for making responsible decisions around parenthood. We are a better society because of common sense individuals like yourselves.
      mega78 (a mother of one, and hopefully more)

    • The bottom line is, we built a Social Safety Net Shovelling Massive money, in pensions and health care at old people. That safety net is ONLY SUSTAINABLE IF PEOPLE HAVE CHILDREN WHICH BECOME TAXPAYERS.

      We're all going to see the effects of what happens when there are not enough babies being born to support the aging population, like Japan has for the past two decades.

      People who don't have children, but then depend on their taxes as seniors are selfish and irresponsible, and we're about to see the consequences over the next twenty years.

      Time to stop shovelling resources to old people, and start spending on young people to have children so we can rebuild the SUSTAINABLE demographic structure we used to have.

      • interesting take on the subject, however if your saying it's my responsibility to have kids so their tax dollars will support people your fooling yourself, if you want to have kids for that reason go nuts, pump e'm out. But personally I, choosing not to have kids also choose to save/invest my money wisely to retire with money to spend.

  2. I still think the whole thing is simple (not easy, but simple). People who 1) want children; and 2) think they'd be good parents should have them. Others should not. If someone makes a decision that's different than yours, mind your own business.

    • Very good point! It seems some folks honestly think they have the right to judge others! signed, Mother of two.

    • I could not agree more! These people need to mind their own business and get a life.

      • I agree – don't judge people for the choices they make. Being a parent is only one of countless characteristics that can define what someone contributes to society.

    • I agree but would go a little further:

      If you find yourself in the unenviable position that I did; that of being with a partner who you love but who is absolutely sure they want the polar opposite from you when it comes to the issue of having children, you really should separate before kids come along.

      Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a partner is to let them go and achieve the lives that they set for themselves.

    • I miscarried. We waited too long. I lost another. Circumstances were not right – even my maternal instincts, that were off the charts as long as I can remember, wained. The hardest thing in my life to come to terms with is that I am not/will never be a mother. No one will ever call me mommy. I could list 100 things that I will miss out on, many of them selfish like all the firsts, consoling their grief and celebrating their accomplishments. Sometimes not being able to wipe away their pain, but growing with them from the experince. I will never grand children, a table full of my offspring and their spouses at Christmas, etc. Please stop judging me because I do not have children until you have walked a mile in my shoes.

      • I am sorry for your losses and I hope you can eventually find some consolation in friends' and relatives' families.

  3. How many of the "childless by choice" folks believe in evolution? Their "choice" is a brutally transparent revelation of the value they place on their genetic heritage — zero. Any lower self-esteem would be sub-terranean. Fortunately, they are a dying breed…

    • LOL agreed let them keep their genetic material out of the pool thanks!

    • "not": I believe in evolution and I don't want to have kids. I also have a lot of self-esteem, and quite frankly, whether or not I want kids is none of your (or anyone else's) business. Do you believe that the human race is advanced by having kids just for the sake of having kids? Do you think that children enjoy knowing that they were only conceived out of a sense of obligation? Does that help THEIR self esteem?

    • That's a very limited point of view. Many people decide to not have children because they can't afford to raise them, nothing to do with their self-esteem. Try living on a minimum age and then think about having a child. You apparently have lost touch with many people's reality. One out every nine Canadian children lives in poverty (http://www.campaign2000.ca/rc/)

    • I firmly believe in evolution, but my genetics aren't near as important as my memetics, and those I can pass on to young or old.

      One could similarly argue that someone who feels the best way to leave their mark on society is through their genetic material is probably someone who feels they have little else to contribute.

      Such a person would be similarly wrong

    • "Their "choice" is a brutally transparent revelation of the value they place on their genetic heritage — zero"

      As a person who invokes evolution, this is a very surprising statement. Have you ever heard of Hamiltonian or inclusive fitness? If you have, you would surely realize how ridiculous that statement is. If not, I suggest you read a little more about it before sounding enough like an authority to draw any conclusions about the behaviour of those who make a different choice.

      • Indeed – I have more than 70 cousins, and they've all had many children. As someone who's never felt the urge to breed (though I spoil my nieces & nephews), I suspect that a disinterest in childbearing is a genetically based, completely benign variation of normal behavior, especially when humans have developed ways of avoiding unwanted pregnancy. Certainly, it's not something wackadoos like "not" should feel is a mark against my heritable or acquired traits.

        If there were not reliable birth control, none of us would get to make the choice about remaining childless unless we successfully avoided all heterosexual vaginal intercourse or rape.

    • I am heading into my final year at the University of Waterloo where I am majoring in Environmental Studies and Business, and minoring in Biology (where there is clearly NO debate about the validity of evolution, it's of course a FACT). To say that not having children and believing in evolution/low self esteem are related, and not mutually exclusive is very ignorant…If you want to have children…go have children….but why would it in any way mean that you don't believe in evolution or have low self esteem if you do not procreate…Having children should be the most important decision of your life, and should not be taken lightly, or be made because of any "obligation" that is felt…People who have unplanned children are more likely to become single parents, and are at higher risks of being emotionally and financially affected in a negative way, and these hardships are passed onto their children….A person is doing no one any favours adding to the gene pool if they are not ready and willing to become parents…that is a sign of intelligence (and intelligence = belief in evolution)…Ignorance is the greatest threat to evolution, so maybe you should think twice before having children, and passing that on.

    • By this logic the 'pro-children' crowd should be out there having as many babies as possible. And, all caricatures aside, most people who choose to have children aren't having ten or twenty. If you loved your "genetic heritage" you'd be out there makin' babies all day long, consequences be damned.

    • What's the percentage of people who believe in evolution and who have kids who would've died or lost their partners during childbirth were it not for the involvement of modern medicine? If natural selection were actually left unimpeded the world probably wouldn't be so vastly overpopulated and struggling for resources. I believe in evolution too and I'm childfree. I'm simply not arrogant enough to think that my genes are more important than anyone else's and that the world isn't so underpopulated that it's worth me sacrificing all that parents are so ready to explain MUST be sacrificed in order to add my offspring to the genetic pool. I have enough self esteem to know that I'd rather be happy than bitterly obliged and that I can make a better contribution to our overpopulated planet by not having kids. Have 'em if you need 'em, respect those who don't, after all, WE'RE the ones freeing up resources for your kids and providing for OURSELVES in our old age by not spending our life's product in producing more kids. We're also contributing to your children's welfare with our tax payments and not asking for anything back. Your choice to have children is a brutally transparent revelation of the value you place in your superior genes, sadly, your unintelligent comment just as brutally illustrates that you're not quite as clever as you like to think you are. Figures. Thankfully my unborn offspring won't have to suffer in a world populated by people of such breath-taking ignorance.

    • Awesome. So I can start telling people who have kids that their contribution is "genetic heritage" – which, let's not forget, includes psychopathic tendencies, cancer propensities, and physical repulsiveness just to name a few genetic traits. Thanks a lot, folks, for making humans crazier, sicker, and uglier to boot.

      • Love the fact you mentioned 'physical repulsiveness'. That ought to be a certifiable reason not to breed. Along with all the genetically inherited problems.

        • @Marushka

          One of the many reasons I've decided not to have children is that I'm not very physically attractive and a range of genetic traits which, if passed on to hypothetical children would likely lead to school yard trauma. I take no pride in the fact that I'm making the species better, but I'm happy that in addition to preventing school yard bullying, I'm also improving humanity.

    • Funny. The article says that most child free couple are being in the well educated and good-earning category, usually associated with self assured persons. Maybe the reasoning should be reversed : you hope your child accomplish what you never could. A successful person doesn't need to live through other or younger generation.

    • Wow, If it wasn't for you telling me that because i don't have children by choice that meant i have low self esteem i would have never known lol. My wife and i enjoy not having children, it's partially due to not having any urge to have them, but even more so to the fact that our lifestyle that we enjoy together doesn't involve having kids. We love to travel and experience the world together and appreciate things that other countries and cultures have to offer. Many friends of ours have children, do we envy them, yes sometimes, but vice versa they envy our freedom and experiences that they will most likely never get the chance to have. But children like other life altering decisions are a choice that if they are had should hopefully in the best of situations be something people seriously consider weather or not to do, take in all the reasons for and against then make the best educated decision based on their personal situations and feelings of wanting or not wanting kids. But also just like these other large life altering decisions some people will be 100% happy with their choice one way or another, some people will not and may regret their choice. If people consider their choices and hopefully are happy with them that's all that matters, not everyone will be, that's life, but i hope for those of you reading your happy with your choice in this matter which ever choice you make. The most important thing is it's your decision, and one way or another you can't go wrong as long as you do what your happy doing.

    • I actually think that human kind SHOULD go extinct, it has nothing to do with "self-esteem issues". Quietly – by stopping the breeding. Check out http://www.vhemt.org

      Also, saying that "evolution" is the key behind the need to breed is a faulty assumption. Ever heard of altruism?

      • Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. What does he/she mean by "EVOLUTION"? What evolution? a war-prone race, highly selfish and individualistic, only concerned about consumerism and achieving financial wellbeing at the expense of killing the planet? Buddy, think twice before uttering such nonsense!

    • To your comment, you can believe in evolution, choose to be child free and still think that you have good genes. If someone has a very fine firearm, does that mean they are stupid for not firing it?? I am 35& very proud that I have no children the courts have made me aware of. I am old and do not sleep soundly& I do not earn much money. So what that I have good genes. Alot of this "flack" being thrown by people with children is surely driven by envy.
      What would you give for peace and silence? Or to be able to do international travel?? I go all over the world taking pictures& I would NEVER have gotten here if I had kids!!
      http://davidflurkey.imagekind.com/

    • Why are you so angry with the childfree choice? Does it harm you in anyway? Does my decision not to have children adversely effect you? The childfree are not judging or belittling you for having kids so why would you do it to them?

  4. I agree! My wife and I childless for a variety of reasons, and being raised in a severely disfunctional household certainly encourage me either. This is what I believe: If you want children fine, but think long and hard about the responsibilities that come with it, like loving the little buggers even when they're acting in a distinctly unlovable fashion. And then think hard again.

    • Love this one. Childless because he KNOWS he'd be unable to learn any lessons from his own terrible childhood.

      • well that's useless and insulting conjecture on your part. what gives you the right to condemn this man and provide insights into his psyche based on three lines of a post?

  5. Above should read "certainly didn't…"

  6. Raising children and grandparenting are so much a part of my self image that I cannot comprehend choosing not to have children.

    • But you don't have to choose not to have children. Just respect other people's right to make their own choices.

      • I respect other people's choices. Some people are not meant to have children. Unfortunately, some don't realize it until after they already have some.

    • Children as a self image tool? That's not selfish? Why must we be defined by what we have and don't have instead of who we are at the core?

      • You're too feeble minded to understand. Children are not a self image tool! A parent is who I am.

    • Only weak people need other human beings to gratify their own existance.

      • Only the weak in intellect resort to insulting people they don't know

        • I've called people on here weak in intellect for what they've said because it defied logical reasoning, I even called one guy a tyrant because that's how he came across from the hateful and abusive vitriol he was spouting. I don't know these people but from their opinions I've surmised that they are lacking in intelligence or are unnessecarily belligerent. I make no apologies for telling them how they appear to me just because I don't know them. However, your comment above is somewhat hypocritical. You call someone feeble minded for insulting somebody they don't know and yet by calling them feeble minded you're insulting someone you don't know. Forgive me if I'm wrong but this back and forth name calling strikes me as being childish and unproductive. Particularly when you call a stranger stupid for insulting you when they don't know you… Erm… Nope, still can't make any sense of that…

          I don't know you, I'm sure you were a great parent and are a wonderful grandparent. Hence, you have my total respect for what you've done with your life, I'm very sure that it's a tougher job than I could do well. The world needs more good parents, not necessarily more parents. What you said from a moral standpoint was fine, I agree 100%. Just a little befuddled by your hypocritical reaction when up to that point you were perfectly rational.

    • I hope you really meant that you couldn't imagine yourself ever not wanting kids, and not that you find it incomprehensible that there are people out there that are not just like you.

    • I feel sorry for you. You have let yourself disappear and that is sad.

      • I feel sorry for you that you think a person can't be a parent and still be complete and have a full life with their own interests.

        Because of my children I will never disappear.

      • Tough break, Minerva: When you die "you" disappear. Unless you are actually your parents and you're not. You're an individual, your children are individuals, you won't experience any of their experiences after you're dead, you'll have disappeared.

    • Part of your self-image? I am sure you have more meaning & worth than the need to raise children. I cannot comprehend the need to have children to defy my image!

      • It's not a need. It's who I am, and who I was meant to be. I was meant to be a parent, I love raising children. I'm good at it and it's fulfilling.

        to live soley to gratify my selfish desires would be a meaningless existence.

        • and those who don't have children are also "who they are and were meant to be". Given people credit for knowing when they don't want to raise children or knowing better than to put a living being into this world, without it having a choice, and forcing it to live for the next 70+ years because you were so desperate that you needed someone to love you and to be loved. I think your final comment about childless people having "meaningless existences" defines your close-mindedness and inability to rationalize how the world works and that everyone has different desires and reasons for those desires, and most definitely children don't add all the meaning to an otherwise empty life. You silly silly person. s All you've done is follow your animal instincts to procreate, just as wild animals do, so you haven't really made an incredible decision. And only time will tell if your children end up being decent law-abiding accepting and generous adults – or the dredge of society. Because remember, the criminals, the greedy, the ignorant, the manipulative, the mean, the closed-minded….those were all raised by people who thought they made good parents too.

          • Well, three of my children are university grads, and hard-working decent people. My youngest is still in elementary school. They are my contribution to the next generation, and to the betterment of society. Procreation is not an animal instinct. Parenting is a noble calling. If you choose not to have children, that's your choice, but don't criticize me for choosing to have children.
            It seems to me that you are the silly one, choosing not to have children because you are afraid of raising a criminal.
            If everyone chose your path, there would simply be no "next generation" Our species would cease to be, and our past left to the fossil records.

            Not the legacy I choose.

        • Might you comprehend that it could be possible that your desire to have children, given that it was something you feel you were meant to be and is entirely right for you no matter what anyone else might think, could be equally defined as 'selfish'?

          To me, doing exactly what you feel is personally right for you IS selfish, even if, in some circles the act that is right for you might be considered selfless. If we all choose what is right for us we're all selfish to some degree. I might call bringing up kids a meaningless existence (if I was the sort to enjoy slinging mud and deriding others' choices). But I don't because choosing what is right for you isn't meaningless, it's selfish but not meaningless.

    • I am glad that you are so happy with your children and grandchildren. I know many happy families and I am glad for them. I also know people who have had decades of worry, distress and disappointment because of their children. I know people whose children have died. Deciding to become a parent carries a risk of the greatest unhappiness of your life, and it's something you can never walk away from as you would a stressful job or a friendship that goes wrong. If some people choose not to take that risk and that is the right decision for them, who are you or I to criticize?

  7. I do not have any disregard for individuals who chose to not have kids nor do I assume them to be automaticaly selfish…there are other ways to contribute to society…or not.

    Still I found it difficult to even begin the article and I could not finish it so viscerally did I disapprove of the espoused philosophy. I feel like parents as a whole are being looked at as stupid for their sacrifices to their kids and for their society by people who will benifit from the sacrifices of others that they would not make themselves. What if we were all that "smart'. No kids …no future. Even though I did not read the article in it's entirety I don't think I assesed it wrongly.

    I use the word sacrifice to make my point….at the end of the day what I get back from my kids vastly overrides any sense of sacrifice.

    • Now you know how we feel. People that choose not to have children are shamed and reviled publicly for their decisions every day – by family, friends, strangers and society at large. I'm thrilled that my friends and siblings have had the children they desire, and though they may not entirely understand my decision, they have come to accept that I do not want to have a child. All we're asking is for some understanding and recognition that not everyone wants to have a child – just a little respect.

    • I did not understand the article to be in any way disparaging the efforts made by good parents for their kids. I think there is always risk involved in becoming a parent, but I also believe that the more a person puts into the task, the more likely they are to derive great joy and satisfaction from it. I don't want to see anyone calling parents or childless adults "selfish" or "stupid". Parents who make the kind of sacrifices you are talking about are making a very visible contribution to society in the unselfish raising of their children. But those who choose not to have children may choose to nurture others and to contribute to society in many other ways that may not be quite so obvious to parents. All persons can choose to be selfish or generous with their time and resources, whether they are raising children or not.

  8. There's a reflexive assumption, it seems, that people don't have kids because they want more stuff—bigger plasma TVs, holidays, a SubZero fridge.

    It seems that Kingston didn't even bother to read the initial article. Those 'reflexive assumptions' were provided by the article, not the responses.

    • Kingston wrote the initial article. Chances are pretty good that she knows what it says.
      And I just reread it. It didn't make any assumption that the childless by choice remain so because they want more stuff. No, that point of view, though not the only one, was repeated over and over again in the comments to the article. Unfortunately, that's simply not true in all cases and it begs the question of why that seems to be such a prevalent assumption. The reasons that some people forego parenthood, as the article demonstrated, are many and varied. Kingston was simply trying to spotlight the existence of this minority group whose choices are so often misunderstood and judged harshly. The most inflamed responses, on both sides of the issue, are those coming from people who aren't seeking understanding, but rather are seeking to impose their perspective on others through anger and derision. And it's such a shame. They're both valid lifestyle choices–choices, by the way, that no one has the right to make for anyone else–but some of the people on both sides of the debate simply refuse to accept (and I'm careful to say "accept" and not "adopt") a point of view contrary to their own.

      • They can hurt your career, your marriage, your social life, your bank book. Why bother?
        and
        I didn't want to make such a major lifestyle change…
        and
        “Both instinctually (‘Euuuw! You think I should do what to my body?') and intellectually (‘And also to my career, my finances, my lifestyle and my independence?').”
        and
        they refuse to pay what economists call the “motherhood premium”
        and
        children kill desire in a marriage and can be demanding money pits.

        You are going to seriously suggest that Kingston didn't raise all of these "reflexive assumptions" herself?

        • That's not what I said at all. You're referring to something completely different. The line you quoted "There's a reflexive assumption, it seems, that people don't have kids because they want more stuff—bigger plasma TVs, holidays, a SubZero fridge" was a commentary on the *responses* to her original article–the responses were the subject of the second article which you've quoted from. Furthermore, this quotation doesn't refer to many assumptions; it only refers to one: It seemed to her that a lot of the responses against childless-by-choice individuals assumed that they did so because they were selfish and just wanted to have more stuff. And in her estimation that assumption was reflexive, i.e. automatic. Yes, she did raise many reasons in her article as to why people may be choosing not to have children, but she never claimed that she didn't discuss those reasons. This quotation refers to a pretty pervasive attitude in the posted responses toward people who choose not to have children, not to her original article.

          • So then, you are suggesting that Kingston is taking issue with people citing the very same reasons that she herself raised, in their responses to her article. Instead of disingenuous, you prefer to read it as Kingston being confused that people were not responding to her article, that raised these reasons, and just raising the topic out of thin air.

          • So then, you are suggesting that Kingston is taking issue with people citing the very same reasons that she herself raised, in their responses to her article. Instead of disingenuous, you prefer to read it as Kingston being confused that people were not responding to her article, that raised these reasons, and just raising the topic out of thin air and coming up with those reasons on their own, unprompted.

          • Nor did I say that, and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop trying to put words in my mouth. I simply said that she made an observation. She read the comments made by many people and noticed a disproportionate number of responses assuming that those who choose to remain childless do so because they just want to have more stuff. On the contrary, she says, "that wasn't my observation researching the story. Many people who choose not to have children had given thoughtful, careful (sometimes anguished) consideration to the decision … and they weren't willing to take the risk for varied reasons." People who choose not to have children do so for various reasons, some of which she raised in her article. I think it probably surprised her, like it did me, that so many people, rather than considering all the other reasons why someone might choose not to have children, decided to focus on the idea that "they're all just selfish and want to spend the money on themselves instead of on children".

          • Now it seems that you are putting words in her mouth. She said responses were reflexive, yet she offered the very same reasons, many times, maybe even a disproportionate amount of times. It also seems that for every one response that actually cites those reasons, there are five that complain that those vicious insinuations are all they see.

          • of course she brought it up. Don't you see, that was point. "A refelexive response"–that people who don't want to have children are automatically considered selfish. That's the stigma that they face. Meanwhile, there are loads of other reasons why they might choose to remain childless, but people don't seem to consider that. How are you not getting this?

          • It can't be a reflexive response if Kingston offered that response herself, in the first place.

          • Where do you get this stuff from? Read the article again. She never made a blanket statement that people who choose to remain childless do so because they are selfish. That was the opinion of masses of people in the comments. I don't even know why I respond to you anymore… You're doing exactly what I said in the first place. Instead of striving for understanding, you're trying to make me agree with your opinion. I'm suggesting that people agree to disagree. Those folks who have children, rather than make all manner of claims about people they don't even know should just say, "Okay, you chose a different lifestyle than I did" and leave it at that. It's really not that difficult a concept.

    • … and then it occurred to me that Kingston was the author of the first article! How disingenuous can you be? First offer up an article that suggests a bunch of reasons people make such a choice, and then suggest that others are coming up with these 'assumptions'. Is it too much to ask for a little credibility?

  9. There's a reflexive assumption, it seems, that people don't have kids because they want more stuff—bigger plasma TVs, holidays, a SubZero fridge.

    It seems that Kingston didn't even bother to read the initial article. Those 'reflexive assumptions' where provided by the article, not the responses.

  10. On the one hand, we are a living species with an instinctive and pragmatic need to procreate. Whatever additional benefits kids may bring, one cannot deny that essential fact.

    At the same time, we are cultural animals, not strictly driven or bound by biological imperatives (having only two kids is still diminishing one's potential procreative abilities, for example).

    At the end of the day, both sides were shouting past each other in a rather alarming fashion. I'd suggest people need to stop looking over their shoulders so much, and avoid justifying their own decisions by trashing the alternatives. It's not helpful.

    • "At the same time, we are cultural animals, not strictly driven or bound by biological imperatives"

      Thank you for pointing this out and very well said by the way. WRT this discussion, there has been a magnificent oversimplification of the biology and human behaviour, and I am glad you finally mentioned that it is far more complex that what essentialists have people believe.

  11. I think the whole "debate" on the original comment thread demonstrated a worrying trend in our culture (not just regarding the choice to have kids). Too often, we seem to feel a need defend our own choices by contrasting the "opposite" decision as flawed for all (rather than simply not the right choice for ourselves).

    I read a lot of comments from childless folks with some questionable assumptions about what it's like to have children. Really, most any investment of our efforts (marriage, friends, volunteer work) that has no obvious tangible benefit is tough to defend with strict logic..

    At the same time, a lot of comments from parents seemed to take the whole thing a bit personally (mind you, when the author in question suggests that we have crappy sex lives, less happiness, limited careers, etc., one can get a bit cranky). But the defense of having kids rang equally hollow, for the same reason I mentioned above – a lot of worthwhile things in life make no objective sense when judged in cold, logical terms.

  12. We need to exclude childless people from voting or participating in elections,those who do not want to contribute to the future should not have say in it.They always live for here and now,nothing else.They don`t care about the long term effects of their decisions,everything is always'I`m gonna be long gone'.They are the ones who enact these expensive govt programs to take care of their social security and for govt interference in our lives,bankrupting us.

    .I wouldn`t want people like these even teaching my children,what could you possibly learn from some one who believes in irresponsibility.And we let these people participate in everyday affairs,we need to put stop to this nonsense.They spend all their money on vacations,drugs and alcohol and when they retire,they have nothing saved so they want the government to take care of them.Even immigrants are waking up to the fact that they are asked invited in to the country to pay confiscatory taxes to take care of a bunch of dope smoking hippies.Thank god.We`ll see who you`re gonna ask to take care of you then.

    • Where do you get your evidence that childless people blow their money and expect society to take care of them? Do you have facts to support this? I will have to pay taxes all my life for the baby bonus parents receive, education, subsidized daycare, etc. Voting is not contingent upon having children, nor should it be. What about couples who are desperate to have children but are infertile? By your logic, they shouldn't allowed to vote either since they aren't contributing. They might be spending all their money on in vitro and have nothing left to pay for their retirement. I can make a good case for parents spending all their money on their kids and expecting to have the government to retire. But painting one huge and diverse group with the same brush, as you have, is insane and fallacious. Also, just because I don't want children doesn't mean I am going to live with the intent of destroying the Earth for your kids. I plan on buying a hybrid car and living a "green" life. I'm just doing it for the animals, not my kids. But who cares about why if we get to the same conclusion? I have managed to demonstrate how incorrect EVERY ONE of your arguments are. I feel dirty replying to such nonsense…

    • Where do you get your evidence that childless people blow their money and expect society to take care of them? Do you have facts to support this? I will have to pay taxes all my life for the baby bonus parents receive, education, subsidized daycare, etc. Voting is not contingent upon having children, nor should it be. What about couples who are desperate to have children but are infertile? By your logic, they shouldn't allowed to vote either since they aren't contributing. They might be spending all their money on in vitro and have nothing left to pay for their retirement. I can make a good case for parents spending all their money on their kids and expecting to have the government to pay for their retirement. But painting one huge and diverse group with the same brush, as you have, is insane and fallacious. Also, just because I don't want children doesn't mean I am going to live with the intent of destroying the Earth for your kids. I plan on buying a hybrid car and living a "green" life. I'm just doing it for the animals, not my kids. But who cares about why if we get to the same conclusion? I have managed to demonstrate how incorrect EVERY ONE of your arguments are. I feel dirty replying to such nonsense…

    • Wow, I'm almost at a complete loss for words. What a completely ignorant and intolerant point of view. Thank goodness you'll be inflicting children on the country who will be raised in such an undemocratic and toxic environment. What productive parents they'll end up being.
      I may not have or want children in my lifetime but I pay taxes that contribute to my country and your children's education. I only hope someone is able to teach your children anything after being raised by someone who believes in putting down others. I only hope your children somehow grow up to be more open-minded than you.
      BTW, when I get the chance to stop taking all my vacations, drugs and alcohol and decide to change my mind and have children, I'll make sure to give you a call. Sounds likes "Parents all stick together" and I look forward to your unconditional support!

      • JT76 and adb215 can get angry all they like at Tom Mays for his point-of-view, but they should try to remain open to the broader point he makes (since I know you dope-smoking hippes are all very open-minded).
        If everyone opted out of procreation like you do, the pension cheque and the social safety net is going to be pretty slim for you in a few years.
        At the same time that you are enjoying coming on here and being self-righteous about the high-mindedness of your decision to stay cloistered with your cats and budgies, some people are busy bringing up the next generation of Canadians who will work to support you in your old age.
        You depend on us, way more than we depend on you. Hey, don't they call those kind of creatures 'parasites' when they occur in nature?

        • Yes, certainly my comments were in anger. I think I have the right. I thought I grew up in a country that allowed ALL of its citizens (with child or not) to express their opinions freely and make decisions about their lives without fear of criticism or bullying.
          Simply because you say that I not having children means…I'm an unproductive, fund-sucking, anti-social participant of society, won't suddenly change my mind on wanting or having children.
          Is the argument really that the people who have called us selfish parasites are actually angry with us because there are less reponsible, globally and socially conscience people choosing not to raise children.
          What do say about people having children for no reason at all, milking the EI cow? I guess it doesn't matter to you how kids are raised or the values they hold, as long as there are enough heads in the future to keep the tap running for your precious future pension.
          I think its irresponsible to think the government is your only source of social security. I work hard so that I can support myself in old age. (Don't worry however, my tax dollars will still be there for you in the future).

          • You certainly do live in a country that allows you to express your opinions freely.
            But who ever told you that you live in a country where there is no fear of criticism (which you also equate to bullying, but which is a different thing altogether)?
            Implying that your statements – -on an online forum that is dedicated to debate, no less! — should stand freely, with no attempt at rebuttal or examination, only infringes on the same right to freedom of expression for others that you claim for yourself.
            Grow a backbone if you want to come and make critical comments of others on a public forum, because it is not outside the realm of possibility that someone might hold a different view and criticize you in return!

          • I have no problem with you disagreeing Ceeger, or others, but you do it with an unnecessary amount of vehemence. I am not angry at anybody who disagrees with me, even with people who turn this discussion into a personal attack. I am trying to EDUCATE those who don't understand my position. I am trying to dispel the myths that people without children are unloving and selfish. We are not. We just love other things/people and help people other than those we create. Personally, I think it is very easy to love what you have created. It is far more difficult to love others. When you turn this discussion into a personal attack, you do nothing but bolster my point of view. Others view you are irrational. Personal attacks are no way to add to an argument. I welcome criticisms, and I expect it. But I don't welcome or expect personal attacks. There is a significant difference. I am a good person with many friends, thankfully all of whom accept me and my decision. And I would not go so far as to say that my genes will exit the gene pool. I am a selfless person and have considered egg donation so a woman who wants children but is infertile can have children. I am in excellent health, very intelligent and with no family history of cancer, heart disease, etc. It would be quite a shame if my genes weren't contributed. I just choose not to raise them myself.

          • To point out the obvious, you can only "milk the EI cow" if you've paid into it…

    • Tom: I am none of those things, even though I don't want kids. I don't do drugs or go on vacations. And quite frankly, I don't want pensions or any other benefits either. I have actively tried to get out of them, but they are forced on me.

      Oh, and by the way, I am a teacher, so perhaps you want to start building your bomb shelter now.

      • As a parent there is nothing more insulting then listening to a teacher evaluate your child who does not have children themselves. This practice should be outlawed and all those teachers could get jobs with the government.

        • I've known many teachers, some with children, some without and universally they complain that the biggest insult they endure is parents telling them that they don't know what they're talking about. There's been a marked rise in this lack of respect over recent years and many teachers are leaving the profession because they are being simultaneously undermined by unrealistic intervention by governments and parents. Increasingly, many children are being brought up to believe that they are perfect and that they'll achieve whatever they want not by working hard but by some bizarre entitlement. Can you fathom that a trained professional with many years of experience of educating lots of children might know more about educating children than a parent? Could you please tell me what qualifications and experience are required to produce a child or children? Being a good parent is far removed from producing children.

          A lack of respect for teachers' professional judgement combined with a sense of entitlement does not equal good parenting or sound logical reasoning. Teachers, whether they are parents or not spend more time with more children than any parent and they do so in a professional, not a social environment following years of professional training.

          As a childfree person there is little more insulting than being told that because someone has reared children somehow they are more informed and more entitled to legal rights than an individual who hasn't.

          Your logic is totally flawed.

        • Teachers shouldn't teach if they don't have their own children? I don't follow you. Don't most teachers start their careers at about age 22, after finishing university and before they've had a chance to get married and have their own children? They are professionally trained to teach and evaluate your child and have spent time with children during their practicum. Some have grown up with younger siblings. Also, I'm not Roman Catholic but I know enough to know that some of the finest teachers are priests and nuns. Yes, I know all about sexual abuse and cover-ups, and there have always been bad teachers and good, but I think the great majority of teachers in any public or private school are good people who are trained to understand and work with your children.

        • Wow Chris, you sound like a real piece of work. There must be many a teacher dreading every parent-teacher meeting they've ever had with you. Maybe you even waste some of their time giving them educational advice from something you saw on Oprah or some bad website. As they say, time is money and I'll be thinking of folks like you when I see the education portion of my municipal tax bill every year.

        • Perhaps those teachers view your offspring with a more professional and educated eye, since parents like you obviously believe your little darlings are perfect and can do no wrong. In that case, yank your children out of school and educate them at home, since you are the only one capable of evaluating them!

        • what exactly qualifies you to evaluate your children any more than a teacher who does not have any? at least a teacher has an education relating to children and their behaviour, what did you do to learn how to parent? forget to pull out?

    • Woah, are you serious or is this a fake post? How about not paying for the school YOUR kids go to, because, you know, I pay for that. Or pay for YOUR wife's hospital bills when she had your children, because, oh yeah, I paid for that as well.

      Now the argument that one should have a child to take care of you on your old age is just a selfish and irresponsible as you accuse other to be. Before pointing a finger to someone remember there are 4 pointing back at you.

    • I am a stable, educated, intelligent person who has never done drugs and have not had more than a long-weekend off in six years. I help pay for your kids to go to school and recieve adequate health care. I also contribute to those who collect disability, welfare and unemployment (which I am not eligible for). Selfish? I think it makes me a contributing member of society. I pay taxes, donate, and volunteer. And yes, I vote too!
      I recycle, I drive a fuel efficient car and I often walk to work.
      I do not hate kids, I don't think people should stop having them, I just know it isn't for me and I get tired of some people, mostly women, treating me like a sub-human because I have chosen a different path. There are some fantasic parents out there that you just know were meant to have kids. Unfortunately, they are far outnumbered by people who just did it because, "that's just what you do".
      As for me- the gene pool is missing out.

      • If you work, you are entitled to EI should you lose your job. Don't make out like EI only benefits those who have kids.

        • Sorry I had to cut out a lot so that my reply would fit.

          I am self employed so I do not get EI if I cannot work unless I have been employed by another firm for a certain number of weeks. I do still pay into CPP and obviously income tax. I do have to contribute to CPP (1.4 times what the employees have deducted) and to EI (an equal amount of EI to their contributions) for any employees.

          So I am paying for it one way of another :)

          And I did not imply that only people with kids get EI (which obviously is not true) just that I don't.

    • Wow, my husband and I are childless. We don't do drugs, we own our home in California and we have over $100,000 in the bank. We are both college-educated and I don't think we qualify as drug-smoking hippies.

    • By your reasoning we need to exclude socialists from voting as well since they only want something for nothing. And how much does it cost the rest of us to educate all your brats?

    • So are you going to lobby the government to allow me NOT to pay the taxes for your children's schools? And…should I also not pay taxes that go to the welfare moms and the child subsidies and the health care that pays for these children's sicknesses and for their mothers to give birth?

      That sure would allow me to use more of my money towards the other things that I quite enjoy doing in my childless spare time like volunteering for animal shelters and growing and tending my gardens for the hungry!

      The only thing that's irresponsible is your ignorance!

      I feel sorry for the humans you bred.

    • Wow. It always amazes me that when an opinion or perspective is voiced, such as was done in this MacLean's article, some people must take it as a personal slant on their own lifestyle or viewpoints. Then it becomes personal, defensive, and unfortunately more a reflection of their character than on the viewpoint that was shared. Keep it respectful Tom Mays and Ceeger. And of all things stop making uneducated stereotypes of individuals who do NOT have children. The tables can easily be turned to offer stereotypes of those who HAVE children, and there are many that have been made. Let's not get pathetic and petty about each other, when really the focus should be on the viewpoints offered (rather than to the individuals you direct your comments).

    • your views make no sense and there ignorant i certainly hope that someone like you will not be teaching my nieces and nephew anytime in the near future all you teach is that somehow people without children are dumb and inept but you yourself have proven it to be the other way around you are being irresponsible for being so one track minded shame on you the only one that us child free people should feel sorry for is someone like you because all you spew is self hatred may you live a long unhappy lonely life!!!! because that's where you will be and by the way if you hadn't gathered i chose a long time ago not to have children because i didn't want to and i do have and education and as well work and pay into EI and we are in Canada no where else its called freedom of choice so maybe crawl back under the rock you crawled out of for another 100 yrs if you don't like it

    • Sir, I don't have children. I haven't smoked anything since 1972. When I retire, most of my income will come from my own savings over a lifetime of work; that is, what I have kept for myself and not given to various charities to benefit other people's children, or spent wisely in support of local businesses and to help others earn a living and support their children. I care about the future of the world because I have nieces and nephews and other children in my life and I'm capable of concern for young people all over the world. Why don't I have children, you might ask? It's none of your business, sir. But say the reason is that I've had six miscarriages and don't have the health and stamina at age 45 to start adopting children. I can't vote? I shouldn't teach? I'm irresponsible? I'm not going to insult you for having children who may or may not be good citizens. You will not insult me.

    • Excuse me Tom Mays? Who do you think you are? You think that because people don't have kids, they are not contributing to society and therefore, don't deserve to vote? Nice.

      "They spend all their money on vacations,drugs and alcohol and when they retire,they have nothing saved so they want the government to take care of them." Really? Who do you think if funding your childrens' health care and education? EVERYONE – inlcuding us childfree folk.

      Normally I'd follow that up with a "You're welcome" but in your case, forget it. You're not welcome. I don't want you teaching your children hate towards those that are different than they are.

    • Ya Tom, that makes a whole lotta sense. But, if childless people can't have a say in elections, etc, than certainly our tax dollars should not go towards anything pertaining to the little rug rats either. Being childless I resent having my tax dollars going towards the school system that teaches little morons from parents like yourself.

      Your ramblings that all childless people are dope smoking hippies only remarks upon your ignorance – another good reason some people simply should not be parents. God help us all.

    • What a disturbing point of view!! Where do you get this opinion from???
      My husband and I think the exact opposite. We ALWAYS vote, pay our taxes, & have never needed government supplements because we could not feed our very happy "family" of 2. Yet were always left to wonder why the heck we are paying taxes for another person's child's education while we have loaned & paid our own college ways? Why other kids health care, yet not chose to get taxed on more important issues to us such as our aging parents care instead? Or for welfare families of 4 or 5? Why are we the ones stuck with taxes and bills that we have chosen not to create! We don't have a choice in that matter of where our hard earned money is spent by our government?? Someone needs to pay for these kids! If we're as selfish as you say we are, why are we having to?

    • oh people, stop responding to this idiot. He's just yanking your chain because he sits at home, unemployed & friendless and needs an outlet and people to think what he says is important. Rather than defending yourself against this person, just be happy who you are and know that you've made the best decision for yourself and go out and volunteer and help your community, whether you have kids or not. If this writer can be SO dumb as to make comments such as "childless people should not vote" and the like, then you can imagine only 2 things. 1) he doesn't have children and never will because of his personality and inability to attract females to have children with and he's miserable about it OR 2) he HAS children…and doesn't that just scare you.!??? Now HERE's a good example of why not everyone should have kids.

      • I agree with you completely!

    • I live in the UK, it's recently been revealed that 60% of tenants living in council accomodation don't pay rent, us taxpayers do it for them, it costs the average working household £476 a year (that's CAN$861 or US$785 by todays exchange rates). Many of these tenants have children, guess who pays for their education, healthcare and benefits? You got it, us, the working taxpayers. Perhaps you'd like to re-assess who the parasites are here? I pay into my own mortgage and savings, I will be able to retire because of my savings, despite all of the "parasites", I might even employ a few of the better ones if ever I need care in my old age and thus help to eliminate at least some of the unemployment that burdens our society.

      I'm interested to know how you figure out that I'm a dope smoking hippy because I'm childfree? Your logic is flawed, debate is not about insult, it's about proving facts that justify your argument and right now, you're only justifying mine; that it doesn't take intelligence to create children.

      • Great reply, Pete! I don't think we have quite the same situation with council houses in Canada, but we all pay high taxes and support children and schools and health care whether we have ten children or zero children. I wouldn't have thought of calling those children parasites until I read some of these comments calling me a parasite!

        Like you, my retirement will be taken care of mostly by my own savings/investments and home ownership. My government pension won't amount to much. No parasitism there.

    • When most of the world's problems are caused by overpopulation, it is the breeders who are selfish and uncaring about the future. It's always all about you and your precious snowflakes – who may well grow up to be psychopaths or rapists and child molesters. After all, all criminals have parents, right?

    • And what's next? Maybe you'll say that we should exclude gays? Or people who are muslim? or people who are 18 and don't have family's yet because they don't care either or because they don't know enough yet? I absolutely support your right to have your opinion on the subject no matter how little minded and ignorant i believe it to be. You say i don't care about the long term effects of my decisions just because i choose not to have kids? therefore i must be an irresponsible, constantly vacationing, druggie alcoholic? You should first consider that there are millions of people who have family's and yet they use drugs, alcohol etc. The reason that we childless people aren't the only people able to use drugs, alcohol etc? Well that is because it comes down to many factors. One big one is morals and having a conscience, i don't do drugs because i have never had interest in them, influenced by my friends and family that they aren't good and i don't want to do them, and alcohol? nope none of that either, i don't drink, period, ever, there are plenty of people out there that are irresponsible degenerates but having kids or not is not a pre-requisite for these things, they are simply choices that everyone makes for them selves weather they have kids or not. So don't try to categorize me just because you don't agree with how i live.

    • Well, I don't want kids and have even elected for sterilization. I do not do drugs and am actually VERY anti-drug. I don't drink either. Saving for retirement is my top priority, I do not expect SS to be there by the time I retire, which is unfortunate for those who do not have the foresight to save. I care very much about what happens to this planet and the future of those on it which is why I volunteer and donate to charities.

      So, you are right, I am a selflish pot-smoking hippie.

  13. What about my tax dollars paying for your child's education, health care, baby bonus.. etc. Also, all the unfit families who are jobless but have kids to reap the reward of government money. Clearly you need to think before you speak.

    To each, their own.

    • At least he and those families you are mentioning have children,those are the kids you can`t be bothered to have,so do not complain.Unfit families,ha!We should not take care of people who only think about themselves.

      • I wish the administrator had not deleted Tom Mays' original post. Although I think he is wrong, and not really contributing to the discussion, censorship is NOT the way to go. Comments that are "inappropriate" will be dealt with by intelligent discussion. Censoring unpopular views is the first step to censoring popular views. Don't report people you disagree with them. "Attack" their arguments in a logical fashion. It is the BEST way to weed them out.

      • Tom, Your right in taking offense, not all families in that situation are taking advantage. But to say that their aren't any of those out there that do take advantage and that do have kids with no ability to take care of them financially or other wise aren't thinking seriously about the kids. I mean if you are dead broke, on welfare and keep having kids not only are you being irresponsible, but neglectful to those children as you don't have the proper necessity's to take care of those children, and yes then the repercussions effect society in many ways including tax dollars on everyone.

    • wow get your head out of your A** buddy, get over yourself. Yeah so there are some completely dumbwitted people who reap the reward of government money for a hell of alot longer than they need to but there are also families out there that need that support lets face it, crap happens, men cheat, women cheat, relationships end, jobs arent always there. being in a family that needed assistance for 6 months so I could eat, I think you're being an inconsiderate shrude who thinks of no one but himself. put yourself in the shoes of others for a moment and realize you're not the only one living in the world. so no, cleary YOU'RE the one who needs to think before he/she speaks. and ps you were a child once, you went to school or had the opportunity to, you had health care. way to stick your foot in your mouth bud!

  14. Many readers wanted to shift the conversation to the social consequences of the decision not to procreate

    Well this is a strange observation. An article that itself claims to be promoting a manifesto against procreation, this somehow is unrelated to the effects a declining birth rate. Where is the shift? Is there no sense in examining the issue as it relates to the whole of society? Clearly, at the end of the day, it comes down to individual decisions that should be respected, but have we become so focused on the individual that we can't even examine implications on the society as a whole? Can we not also advocate for shaping our society in ways that are friendly to the development of children?

    Kingston also identifies the bogus argument that bringing children into the world is devastating to the environment. This conflates all sorts of legitimate concerns that are rooted in our development since the Industrial Revolution, and confuses it with an argument that we should not have a self-sustaining birth rate. the guilt for the effects of industrialization should not be laid at the feet of our children. If we are to overcome the effects, it will be up to our children and we should foster as positive an approach to their development as we can, and we should promote values that serve the whole of society.

    • The reply is not against a self-sustaining birth rate but a birth rate that keeps increasing. The world's birth rate to death rate ratio is currently 20:8.

      • Sorry, I thought we were talking about Canada. You are offering the argument that we should stop populating ourselves and rely on immigration for sustaining our society? Simply stated, immigration on that scale would be disastrous, the liberal attitudes you find in Canada are not found so readily in the developing world, it takes time to develop that. Afghanistan today is probably only a little advanced in their openness to other cultures from when the Taliban was in charge. Do you think we are going to solve the developing worlds overpopulation problem through the elimination of the Canadian population? A culture that actually has no overpopulation problem. As I said one of the other times that argument was offered, if an apartment building is on fire, you can choose to flood a house three blocks away but it will do nothing for the apartment building and it will destroy the house. Those firefighters can stand their moral high ground that they did something.

  15. As a child of parents that probably should not have had children, I have alot of respect for people that recognise that they are too selfish/busy/have no desire to have children. It is alot better for the child to be wanted, rather than having parents that thinks you are a burden they wish they could unload.

    • What does selfish have to do with anything. How can you be selfish with something that doesn't exist.

    • As a parent who planned her children, although was never confident about her parenting skills, I probably shouldn't have had my children. I was right, I made a lousy mother, and can look forward to regret and anguish and worry for the rest of my life–I do love them dearly. So thanks, all of you who made it inconceivable not to have children (ha, get it?) way to injure not one, but three lives. Next time you want to lecture someone on how selfish they are being for not jumping on the mommy bandwagon, take time for a second think. Something to think about, Irongirl, not that I know your situation, is maybe your parents are burdened by the parenting, not the kid.

  16. The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000+ comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing no to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    No, the best earthly reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

  17. (1) The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000 comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    (2) As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing no to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    (3) The best (earthly) reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

  18. (1) The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000+ comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    (2) As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing no to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    (3) The best (earthly) reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

  19. (1) The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000 comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    (2) As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing no to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    (3) The best (earthly) reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

  20. I'm a parent but as we are going through some extremely tough teenage years we do not feel the need to push others into having children.We didn't have a child for anything other than selfish reasons,our wish to have someone to love and cherish to maybe feel immortal by living through our child.As for fertility rates instead of looking at one country maybe we should look at the world population which certainly seems to be using up the earths recourses just fine.

  21. Yes – lets leave the water undrinkable, the dumps overflowing with garbage, toxic waste, air pollution, no manufacturing, a plethora of bankrupt companies, complete lack of leadership, global warming, no fishery, no poles, complete oblitertion of more species than scientist can count etc etc. With a resume like that – it is not a question of having children rather children are the only way to save the planet. The last 100 years have been shameful, selfish, irresponsible, self absorbed etc etc. etc.!!!!

    • Another global warming – eh, excuse me, now you like to use the term 'climate change,' right? – eco-nut that would prefer to see the forest primeval swallow up the rise of civilization,.
      Yawnnn!
      In special honour of you I shall drink my water from a plastic bottle tonight, and scare a cow into farting.

      • You might want to read this, Ceeger, I have a feeling that the people who compiled this research are well educated scientists, not 'Eco-nuts'.

        http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/f

        I really wish that only intelligent people could reproduce, one of the very many reasons I don't want children is because so many of the more intelligent, emotionally stable, hard-working people I meet are choosing not to have any or to only have one whilst so many of the stupid people I meet have three or more. It'd be pretty cruel to my child or children to thrust them into an unstable world surrounded by people so bereft of the ability for logical discussion or research. Society ostensibly backs up the right of all to breed but the current government taxes the intelligent ones who do and ensures that they are given little assistance whilst the uneducated and lazy are FUNDED to out of everybody elses' pockets. Ridiculously high government handouts (housing and money) are the reason that the UK has the highest teenage birthrate in Europe. These aren't good, stable family homes in general, they normally consist of unmarried teenaged girls with little or no financial stability struggling with motherhood that's not fulfilling or as easy as they expected it to be. Once in the trap they are left with scant option for more income other than getting pregnant again. It's children making children and bringing them up badly in exchange for pocket money that the hard working public (parents and non-parents) are legally bound to give them. It's a sick system. You don't need to make a cow fart, Ceeger, you spout enough BS by yourself that you can leave cattle unafraid.

  22. (1) The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000 comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    (2) As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing no to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    (3) The best (earthly) reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation and do a good job of it. If you think you're up to the job, recognizing how important it is, you should do it.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

  23. No one mentions that many of us who are childless, but NOT by choice, are often treated the same horrible way as those who choose not to have children: branded selfish, incapable of understanding real love, etc. etc. etc. It pains me to be painted with a broad brush by people who don't know or understand the many areas of grey that come into play when a couple remains childless. Now someone suggests childless couple be disallowed from voting!? The herd is mooing and they want us to follow along or be ostrasized.

  24. i think everyone here needs to step back and really read what they have written….we live in a country where we have freedom of choice, freedom of speech…that doesn't mean you are to use that freedom to insult and belittle other people. Freedom of choice is just that; each of us makes choices that affect our lives, good or bad. some people, though, when it comes to having children, DON'T have a choice…infertility is a huge issue, some people never overcome it, and therefore are childless–not by choice.
    We spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments, because we desperately wanted children…we were blessed with one, who is the light of my life. People who judge me by saying i should have had more children, or that we're lucky to only have one to deal with, have no idea of the pain these comments cause. they have no business telling me what i should/should not do, nor do i have any business berating them for having 4 children that they can't support or care for properly.
    i support the children in my community in many ways: as a coach, a Sunday school teacher, scout leader, fundraiser and more. i support my daughter in her school, activities and life in general. how dare any of you tell me or any others that we did not make the right choice?

    • i totally agree with you i have children which i wouldn't change for anything however who are these people to tell whomever, they are selfish just because they chose not to have children. It is a personal choice .They are not there to pay the bills if you want kids that bad have them yourself.

  25. I'm a mother of 2 children, 32 and 25 and grandmother to a 5 year old. When my children were very young I thought they were the most wonderful little creatures on the earth… then they became teenagers and young adults and I thought I'd lose my mind! There were several years of my life that I regretted the decision to have children and the huge emotional drain it caused. Now that they are older, wiser and have turned into amazing adults I am glad that I did have them. Yes it was difficult being a parent but as I taught them many lessons along the way they also taught me. I wouldn't be as strong or as reslient as I am without the experiences both good and bad that I went through as a parent. Having said that, I totally understand and support individuals that make the decision not to have children. It is a personal choice and one the rest of us should respect

  26. Frankly, I am sick to death of people asking my boyfriend and I why we don't get married and have kids. I find it intrusive that anyone would even ask. You don't see me asking my neighbor why her and her husband who have four kids, continue to both afford to have a pack a day each smoking habit and have the nerve to complain to me that they are “barely making ends meet”. I knew since I was a kid I didn't want children and maybe I am selfish. I love my career and the fact that I can spend 60 hours plus a week working at it without feeling guilty I have to come home to children that deserve to be fed, clothed and loved. Sure, my boyfriend and I enjoy our nice home, our toys and some great vacations but we also make huge contributions to charities and our nieces' college funds. I am not trying to say that the experience of having children isn't wonderful for some people. I'm sure it's amazing for the people that choose it, but I have also been there to witness friends who felt pressured to have kids and now wonder if they made the right choice.

    • I think it might help you to be more sympathetic to people who ask you why you don't have children if you understood where they are coming from. Most probably aren't indirectly accusing you of being selfish. Rather, most of them are probably people who realized that they grew as people and developed more fulfilling lives as a result of having children themselves. They simply hope for the same for you.

      • Being someone at the receiving end of the same questions, I can say that if this is indeed the case, then all of these people have no understanding in how to make the tone of their voice match the lovely intent of their question. And the ones who said, "Don't you feel guilty?" must simply have been suffering from poor word choice, yes?

        • William S. Burroughs in A Thanksgiving Prayer: "Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind their own business." I only ever had to hear that line one time to understand its significance.
          So, I promise to never ask you why you don't have children, and also to not ever care whether or not you feel guilty about it. Okay?
          But if I could make a suggestion to every tenderheart who has ever been asked an indelicate question: you'll realize greater benefits from advising their questioner to mind their own business, which includes their manners, than you will from crying about it here.

      • Or they could mind their own business.

        I believe caring for the elderly as a caretaker helps you develop as a person, but you do not see me going around scolding people for putting their elderly family members in a nursing home.

      • I don't think people who ask indelicate and quite frankly intrusive questions deserve sympathy. They require an education in social graces and require it QUICKLY! How do they know that the people that they're probing haven't tried to conceive and are living difficult lives in coming to terms with the fact that they can't? How do they know that the couple that they're questioning might be going through emotional turmoil over the issue because one partner wants children and the other doesn't? They often follow up their questioning with that awful quote: "I used to be JUST LIKE YOU! I never wanted kids either but then they came along and my life was made complete!" That's particularly unhelpful when the couple are wrestling with the decision because one wishes to remain childfree because it gives false hope to one partner and undermines the other. Given that their own parents did a poor job of teaching them how to behave when in the company of total strangers, I'm not filled with sympathy for them, rather dislike because they're the sort of people who'll glibly bring up their children to be as rude and graceless as they are.

        By your justification if I were to tell parents that they shouldn't have had kids just as they tell me that I should have kids I should be sympathised with. After all, I love my life without children, I love the prosperity and choices I have and I never feel lonely because I have fulfilling and happy friendships and lots of hobbies and interests. Should I advocate that these people put their children up for adoption in the hope that they achieve the same as me?

        When the question is reversed I think it's obvious: The answer is no. Have kids if you want them, respect those who don't the same way as we who don't want them respect other's decisions to have them and please, for the love of god, shut up about it! Not everyone wants to be parents, not everybody wants to talk about being parents, as human beings we are capable of many things, it's not the only damned subject and not one that needs to be discussed with strangers!

      • I don't think people who ask indelicate and quite frankly intrusive questions deserve sympathy. They require an education in social graces and require it QUICKLY! How do they know that the people that they're probing haven't tried to conceive and are living difficult lives in coming to terms with the fact that they can't? How do they know that the couple that they're questioning might be going through emotional turmoil over the issue because one partner wants children and the other doesn't? They often follow up their questioning with that awful quote: "I used to be JUST LIKE YOU! I never wanted kids either but then they came along and my life was made complete!" That's particularly unhelpful when the couple are wrestling with the decision because one wishes to remain childfree because it gives false hope to one partner and undermines the other. Given that their own parents did a poor job of teaching them how to behave when in the company of total strangers, I'm not filled with sympathy for them, rather dislike because they're the sort of people who'll glibly bring up their children to be as rude and graceless as they are.

        By your justification if I were to tell parents that they shouldn't have had kids just as they tell me that I should have kids, I should be sympathised with. After all, I love my life without children, I love the prosperity and choices I have and I never feel lonely because I have fulfilling and happy friendships and lots of hobbies and interests. Should I advocate that these people put their children up for adoption in the hope that they achieve the same as me?

        When the question is reversed I think it's obvious: The answer is no. Have kids if you want them, respect those who don't the same way as we who don't want them respect other's decisions to have them and please, for the love of god, shut up about it! Not everyone wants to be parents, not everybody wants to talk about being parents, as human beings we are capable of many things, it's not the only damned subject and not one that needs to be discussed with strangers!

      • I don't think people who ask indelicate and quite frankly intrusive questions deserve sympathy. They require an education in social graces and require it QUICKLY! How do they know that the people that they're probing haven't tried to conceive and are living difficult lives in coming to terms with the fact that they can't? How do they know that the couple that they're questioning aren't going through emotional turmoil over the issue because one partner wants children and the other doesn't? They often follow up their questioning with that awful quote: "I used to be JUST LIKE YOU! I never wanted kids either but then they came along and my life was made complete!" That's particularly unhelpful when the couple are wrestling with the decision because one wishes to remain childfree because it gives false hope to one partner and undermines the other. Given that their own parents did a poor job of teaching them how to behave when in the company of total strangers, I'm not filled with sympathy for them, rather dislike because they're the sort of people who'll glibly bring up their children to be as rude and graceless as they are.

        By your justification if I were to tell parents that they shouldn't have had kids just as they tell me that I should have kids, I should be sympathised with. After all, I love my life without children, I love the prosperity and choices I have and I never feel lonely because I have fulfilling and happy friendships and lots of hobbies and interests. Should I advocate that these people put their children up for adoption in the hope that they achieve the same as me?

        When the question is reversed I think it's obvious: The answer is no. Have kids if you want them, respect those who don't the same way as we who don't want them respect other's decisions to have them and please, for the love of god, shut up about it! Not everyone wants to be parents, not everybody wants to talk about being parents, as human beings we are capable of many things, it's not the only damned subject and not one that needs to be discussed with strangers!

  27. I really am stunned by some of these comments. I am selfish because I chose not to have children? How so? This world is extraorinarily over populated. There are children having children who in turn will be children having children. What about those on welfare (you know, all of those that the working people pay to support) who have more children because they get more welfare money from the rest of us? What about all those children that are living on the streets because thier parents can't handle them anymore? My decision to not have children was well thought out. I did not feel that I would be a good parent. Maybe I would be, maybe not. I did not want to bring yet another child into this world that was not absolutley 100% unconditionally loved, no matter what they did. I did not think I could do that. So, I should have a child that I did not think I could properly raise and I am selfish?? I strongly believe that it is those that choose to have children so they could be looked after in thier old age (TOM MAYS!!!!) that are selfish. I pay taxes so I have the right to vote and make decisions on how this country is run. Ask anyone who knows me about my obsession with (for example) recylcing. I have no children to grow up in this garbage dump we are creating yet I am the one giving people heck (PEOPLE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN!!!) when they don't recycle. They don't teach their children to either. So who is selfish? The ones who think they should have as many kids as possible so they have someone to look after them in the future; the ones that don't raise them with any respect, manners or work ethic or the ones who raise thier children to be sheltered and so have no idea what it is like in the real world? Take your pick. My decision to not have children was made with sound principles and shame on you for thinking that I am less than a human for doing so.

    • Well said! From what I see, parents are the selfish ones. In my own family my siblings think of nothing else but their own children and spoil them rotten with all the toys, the vacations, the cars, etc. so they are growing up to think they are deserving of all this without any contribution to society. How many parents do you know who volunteer and contribute to charities and fight for rights. I don't know any. they are too busy raising their adorable little brats.

      • I am a parent who volunteers AND gives money regularly to charities. Now you know one. Although, I'm surprised I even found time to write this reply considering the "adorable little brat" I have sitting on the couch reading a book to his "adorable little brat" brother. What a pair of monsters they are!!! I think I'll go buy them a couple of cars now.

      • Maybe it's not too late for your mom to do the right thing and change her mind about having kids.

        • Ah, suggesting a parent murder their child because you don't agree with said child. That's good, very mature. I hope that was an attempt at humour, I mean, it wasn't at all funny but that's the only excuse you could possibly offer for such an abusive comment. I'm trying to work out what "cwe" stands for, I've got 'Completely Witless' but the E's still defying me, perhaps you can help?

      • I actually do know parents who have advanced university degrees and responsible professions, and are also heavily involved in churches, synagogues, the arts community, charities, social activism, and still find time for friends and extended family. Their children are following their example. But these people are extraordinary and I am in awe of them. They have extraordinary brains, energy, and organizational skills. We can't all be that person. I'm certainly not! Oh, and some of them have some hired help at home, which most of us cannot afford. Let's all just do the best we can and contribute what we can, and respect each other for responsible choices.

    • you think if you had kids they'd end up on the streets because you're a bad parent?

      • You think that people who don't think that they'd be capable of providing properly for a child should still voluntarily be parents?

        You think that it's better for an individual to bring an unwanted child into the world just because they can?

        Please clarify your point.

        • I didn't say any of those things.. I just find it staggering that some people- people with enough resources to be commenting on an internet news comment board – have such a lack of self belief, such low self esteem that they think if they had a kid, it would end up homeless due to their own unsuitability as parents. The bobbyo comment kind of boggled my mind. I'm just curious if he really feels that way

    • Your arguments are pretty lame, trotting out the worst case scenarios (welfare queens who have as many kids as they can, how racist), which do not reflect parents as a whole. Anyone as strident as you, should NOT have children. All they would learn is how to mirror your neurotic behaviour.

      • How is criticising "welfare queens" (by which I assume is a term used to describe women who choose not to work but instead have lots of children in order to gain the highest benefit handouts they can get) being racist? "Welfare Queens" aren't a race or are you implying that "Welfare Queens" belong to a particular race? If you are then I'd suggest that you are the racist here.

        If strident people shouldn't have children then neither should people who are so misinformed that they think that there's a race called "Welfarequeenians".

  28. A parasite is an apt description for people who remain childless.

    It will be the children of everyone else who end up supporting them into their later years.

    • And you will be the parasite riding on the back of your children. Until they swat you off and place you in a government run (taxpayer funded) home. That we, the hard working taxpayers will pay for.

      • And TheHorror will be doddering over tepid soup in a state-sponsored home at about the same time that Beaver Paladin does, so I kinda doubt that your tax money will be funding it by then. So what's your point? … At least his children will be funding the upkeep of the facility built by 'hard working taxpayers' at that time, while your contribution to society will be long since dried up.
        Let's face it, the next generation will cover the bills – for all of us, even one-generation-wonders like you. So be nice.

        • it doesn't work like that;

          Everyone pays their own way, everyone pays for services they'll eventually use. I'm paying taxes now (for people using the system now), I'll use the system later. Some guy's kid is paying taxes for services they'll be using in the future too. Their parents paid taxes too, to use the system. The only way the systems fails is if EVERYBODY stops having kids, since it's sort of "the current taxes are collected for the current users of the system", but that's hardly a worry.

    • Funnily enough, I'll be supporting myself, thank you very much. You see, I'm not relying on any kids to make good for me.

      • Yet if someone yanks away your Canada Pension (which, by then, will be completely funded by the taxpayers of that future day, I might add) you'll scream bloody murder, right?
        The only supporting of yourself you'll be doing is with a cane. Our kids' taxes will take care of the rest.

        • Normally I'd tell you to take your assumptions and shove them up your rear, but I'm afraid doing so would just put them back in your head.

          Hell, if Canada Pension lives long enough to see me qualify for it, I'll be ecstatic. Having it taken away isn't a problem, because I don't assume there'll be anything left of what I've been paying into it over the years for me to take back. No, I said I'll be supporting myself — because I'm in the process of planning for it now, maxing out my RRSP contributions every year among other things.

          I wonder.. how many years of my payments will be going to support your sorry behind?

          • Good points.

          • "I wonder.. how many years of my payments will be going to support your sorry behind? '

            I wonder how many years of my payments (through tax dollars) are going to support your sorry chidrens' education and health care needs?

    • So Beaver, you create a socialist system, then you describe as parasites those who don't play along. Straight out of the Stalin playbook. Enemies of the state.

    • You think your kids are going to take care of you when you're old? Think again. My 90 yr old Grandmother raised 12 children and yet NOBODY visits her or bothers to call now that she's considered a 'burden' to them.
      Get a clue!

    • Or we can save the money we will not be spending on having a child and support ourselves.

    • Beaver I will be dead and buried by the time anyone is a child today grows old enough to take care of me. But even if that were not the case, I have been supporting other people's kids all my life with my taxes so it's only fair they support me.

    • parasite? I do more volunteer work than anyone with kids could, I donate to a few of my favorite causes, I pay more taxes than people with kids. I will have enough money to support MYSELF when I'm old – I'm young and already have contribute to RRSP's, the tax free savings account, and have a few GIC's.

      Nice logic fail, there. Still totally not having kids in the face of your flawed logic, I just don't want them. No amount of name calling on earth could ever make me want them. Why would you even argue that point, why would you WANT someone who has no interest in kids to have them? Everybody looses.

    • Actually, sir or madam, it is my own savings that will support me into my later years. I have paid taxes throughout my life to support other people's children and I haven't complained about that or called them parasites.

    • Seems fair. We pay to educate and subsidize your precious snowflakes, and they in turn pay our pensions.

    • Think before you speak, because i'm 100% certain that my tax dollars pay towards millions of other peoples kids while they are in schools, day cares, money for parents who can't afford them, foster homes, etc. So if at the end some of them have to pay taxes to support me in my old age when i payed for them in their youth i see that as pretty fair. But hey, if us childless people had our taxes reduced and we didn't have to pay anything into systems like this to support children then you'd be crying for help while i'd have a huge nest egg to retire on in 20 years. It doesn't work just one way effecting your kids negatively that we don't have our own kids, it also benefits them as we still pay the same taxes as you do to help in supporting them.

  29. As interesting as the article was, reading the comments has been even more interesting. The points made by the people who have chosen not to procreate are overwhelmingly more rational and well thought out. Perhaps this is a reflection on society's emphasis to have kids; having kids is the default option therefore you have to rationalise to yourself (and likely others) why it is not the choice for you. Besides, how you interact with and impact the world around you is surely far more important than how many people you do or do not bring to it.

    While my husband and I are looking forward to starting a family of our own very soon, we also appreciate the many reasons why one would abstain from parenthood.

    • If I might add one piece of advice (which I expect you don't need, but some others might) don't listen to anybody here when making the choice. It is an intensely personal decision both of the couple *and* of the individuals involved. Look at the issues, but at the end of the day the only person's feelings you should be considering when deciding to have a child are that of yourself and your partner. Nobody else has to live with the consequences of the decision you make for 16-20 years, 24/7, so they don't get any say.

    • If I might add one piece of advice (which I expect you don't need, but some others might) don't listen to anybody else –especially anybody here — when making the choice. It is an intensely personal decision both of the couple *and* of the individuals involved. Look at the issues, but at the end of the day the only person's feelings you should be considering when deciding to have a child are that of yourself and your partner. Nobody else has to live with the consequences of the decision you make for 16-20 years, 24/7, so they don't get any say.

  30. Common people – let's all try and be rational here. Calling people names, i.e. parasites is ridiculous. Stating that childless adults should have their right to vole withdrawn is ridiculous. We live in an amazing country where our forefathers faught for our right to CHOOSE how we want to live our lives. Lighten up! I have children but I support an individual's right to choose. The article/book isn't telling us not to have children, it's the author's opinion, not a statement on how we should all live!

    • "We live in an amazing country where our forefathers faught for our right to CHOOSE…"

      Maybe you should have opted for a different term than "forefathers". :)

      • I don't care, but whoever gave me a thumbs down for the above should realize that was purely a joke. You know, fore-f-a-t-h-e-r-s….as in father, as in parent, as in having kids, as in the source of this debate (well, half of it). Nothing more than a quip!

  31. Putting pressure on society to have kids results in people who shouldn't have kids having them out of obligation. And then you end up with a dysfunctional family and kids who aren't loved or cared for. Stop pressuring and let people choose how they live their own life.

  32. As a person who experienced 10 years of infertility then had one IVF child, one adopted child and one "surprise" child, it often amazed me how brazenly people would ask if we were going to have children. I fought hard to get my children and sometimes it's a "be careful what you wish for day !" I love my children, but it's no walk in the park – but that was my decision.

    I admire those who choose to be "child-free". They are making a conscious responsible decision. On the other hand there are those who procreate with several different partners and are not around enough or at all, to be responsible parents. Yet society is willing to fund abortions in the name of "it's my body" yet when someone cites "it's my body" and choosing not to become pregnant in the first place – they are branded "selfish" – society is totally hypocritical.

    Get your heads out of the sand and out of other peoples bedrooms…..it is none of your business – ever heard of freedom of choice ?

    • i've always found the corollary of this argument more interesting. If I am disgusted at people who have five kids by five different sexual partners, is it wrong that i'm disgusted? after all, it was that person's choice, and it wasn't illegal. Am I wrong or judgmental if I choose to vote for a political party that vows to somehow tweak the welfare state to discourage that behaviour?
      I support freedom of choice, yet at some point denying society's interest in individual people's reproductive habits dies hard.
      congrats on your kids!

      • Keith, interesting point, I think that the disgust I feel for people who have children glibly with many partners is more because they are choosing a disjointed and unstable 'family' for those children to be brought up in. I'm not disgusted by responsible parenting at all, if people think it over, find the right partner and provide a loving, stable and happy home for their children as best they can then I'm all for it. Individuals who casually pop out kids with no concern for the financial or emotional sustenance of those children are selfish. Children should only be born into stable loving relationships where they are wanted and cared for by both parents. That somebody has a right to have kids just because they want to and not because they're capable of being a good parent is a travesty. I accept that sometimes relationships fail and sometimes, one stable parent is better than one parent who's stable but at constant loggerheads with an unstable one (the first ten years of my childhood were spent in a parental warzone, the remainder was with a single stable, hardworking and loving parent who'd ben tricked into parenthood). I accept that it's not always black and white and I don't want to tar all single parents with the same brush. I'm not talking about single parents, I'm talking about serial breeders who can't establish a relationship with one partner so have kids by many casual aquaintances.

        Having said all of that, when I meet these people in the flesh, I keep my mouth shut, no point in telling them how irresponsible, selfish and stupid they are, they're too stupid to see it. Inside I'm repelled by their irresponsibility but society says it's all gravy so who am I to reprimand them?

        I only wish those who have children and think it's the best thing since sliced bread would pay the same courtesy to those who choose not to have them. After all, by knowing that I don't want children and by deciding not to have them, I'm hurting nobody else so I can't understand why my actions are branded 'selfish'…

      • Keith, interesting point, I think that the disgust I feel for people who have children glibly with many partners is more because they are choosing a disjointed and unstable 'family' for those children to be brought up in. I'm not disgusted by responsible parenting at all, if people think it over, find the right partner and provide a loving, stable and happy home for their children as best they can then I'm all for it. Individuals who casually pop out kids with no concern for the financial or emotional sustenance of those children are selfish. Children should only be born into stable loving relationships where they are wanted and cared for by both parents. That somebody has a right to have kids just because they want to and not because they're capable of being a good parent is a travesty. I accept that sometimes relationships fail and sometimes, one stable parent is better than one parent who's stable but at constant loggerheads with an unstable one (the first ten years of my childhood were spent in a parental warzone, the remainder was with a single stable, hardworking and loving parent who'd been tricked into parenthood). I accept that it's not always black and white and I don't want to tar all single parents with the same brush. I'm not talking about single parents, I'm talking about serial breeders who can't establish a relationship with one partner so have kids by many casual aquaintances.

        Having said all of that, when I meet these people in the flesh, I keep my mouth shut, no point in telling them how irresponsible, selfish and stupid they are, they're too stupid to see it. Inside I'm repelled by their irresponsibility but society says it's all gravy so who am I to reprimand them?

        I only wish those who have children and think it's the best thing since sliced bread would pay the same courtesy to those who choose not to have them. After all, by knowing that I don't want children and by deciding not to have them, I'm hurting nobody else so I can't understand why my actions are branded 'selfish'…

      • Keith, interesting point, I think that the disgust I feel for people who have children glibly with many partners is more because they are choosing a disjointed and unstable 'family' for those children to be brought up in. I'm not disgusted by responsible parenting at all, if people think it over, find the right partner and provide a loving, stable and happy home for their children as best they can then I'm all for it. Individuals who casually pop out kids with no concern for the financial or emotional sustenance of those children are selfish. Children should only be born into stable loving relationships where they are wanted and cared for by both parents. That somebody has a right to have kids just because they want to and not because they're capable of being a good parent is a travesty. I accept that sometimes relationships fail and sometimes, one stable parent is better than one parent who's stable but at constant loggerheads with an unstable one (the first ten years of my childhood were spent in a parental warzone, the remainder was with a single stable, hardworking and loving parent who'd been tricked into single parenthood with broken promises, lies and deceit). I accept that it's not always black and white and I don't want to tar all single parents with the same brush. I'm not talking about single parents, I'm talking about serial breeders who can't establish a relationship with one partner so have kids by many casual aquaintances.

        Having said all of that, when I meet these people in the flesh, I keep my mouth shut, no point in telling them how irresponsible, selfish and stupid they are, they're too stupid to see it. Inside I'm repelled by their irresponsibility but society says it's all gravy so who am I to reprimand them?

        I only wish that SOME of those who have children (by no means 'manywaystoafamily') would pay the same courtesy to those who choose not to have them. After all, by knowing that I don't want children and by deciding not to have them, I'm hurting nobody else so I can't understand why my actions are branded 'selfish'…

    • As a childfree person I admire you, you struggled against the odds for the family you wanted and you're doing what you know is right for you. You're doing a hard job, raising three children, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have the patience and dedication to do it. All I can manage is to be a good uncle but at least I know that my nephews enjoy the time we spend together. It's lovely to know that there are parents out there who understand why we feel like we do and rest assured, most of us understand how the desire to parent can be overwhelmingly strong in others. I wish you and your family all the best and thank you for the respect you've shown for my feelings.

  33. Having a biological child is the most selfish act possible for a human. it isbased on a personal burning desire that rarely takes anything but "I want" into consideration. Frankly, any idiot can be a breeder, it takes brains and thought to chose a different path. I think that all of you rabid parents are offended because you can't stand that we childless by choice are not burdening our planet with another mouth to feed and another landfill full of trash and as a result have the freedom and choice that is but a distant memory to you.

    • Ah, the old "breeder" argument. Frankly, any idiot can use that one; it takes brains and thought to think of your own argument.
      I personally don't have a problem with people choosing not to have children, nor do I have a problem with people who choose to have children. What I do have a problem with, is people from one group calling the others "Breeders, sheep, cows, etc." and people from the other group calling the first "Selfish, parasites, etc." There are pros and cons both ways, it all balances out in the end. Let's grow up a little here, folks, or many will start being appreciative of those not having kids and start wishing the "Breeders" would go the same route.

    • Correct me if I'm wrong here but, I'm pretty sure the planets problems started when previous generations ignored the responsibility to take care of it. Now my child should be the one blamed for "burdening" it? Give me a break!! My son and his peers will be the fresh minds needed in the continuous battle to help the environment. Try thinking of what they will do to help not only their future, but yours as well.

    • We, as rational people, must be careful with what we say. Yes, any idiot can breed but that isn't say all people that have children are idiots. If you read through a lot of the comments here you'll find that there's a big a mixture of opinions and tolerance for the childfree amongst those who have children. The rabid lot who cry that childfree people are selfish and that they'll end up lonely and unfulfilled, that they're shallow and a burden might stand out more because what they're saying is irrational and incorrect to us. That good parents, decent hard-working people with sound morals and respectful attitudes should have children isn't an issue, it doesn't harm us (the childfree) indeed it strengthens us all as a society and as a species. That so many inconsiderate, unintelligent idiots can and DO have children is more of a problem. When I say that I don't mean that it's a problem JUST to the childfree, it's a problem to everybody, including the good parents, including their children. As I've said several times, if the ability to breed was based on high intelligence and ability the Earth's population would naturally fall to the extent that we'd have no worries with dwindling resources. We cheapen our argument by slinging mud at everybody who has children and strengthen it by exposing those so weak that they cannot rationalise.

    • We, as rational people, must be careful with what we say. Yes, any idiot can breed but that isn't saying that all people who have children are idiots. If you read through a lot of the comments here you'll find that there's a big a mixture of opinions and tolerance for the childfree amongst those who have children. The rabid lot who cry that childfree people are selfish and that they'll end up lonely and unfulfilled, that they're shallow and a burden might stand out more because what they're saying is irrational and incorrect to us. That good parents, decent hard-working people with sound morals and respectful attitudes should have children isn't an issue, it doesn't harm us (the childfree) indeed it strengthens us all as a society and as a species. That so many inconsiderate, unintelligent idiots can and DO have children is more of a problem. When I say that I don't mean that it's a problem JUST to the childfree, it's a problem to everybody, including the good parents, including their children. As I've said several times, if the ability to breed was based on high intelligence and ability the Earth's population would naturally fall to the extent that we'd have no worries with dwindling resources. We cheapen our argument by slinging mud at everybody who has children and strengthen it by exposing those so weak that they cannot rationalise.

    • We, as rational people, must be careful with what we say. Yes, any idiot can breed but that isn't saying that all people who have children are idiots. If you read through a lot of the comments here you'll find that there's a big mixture of opinions and tolerance for the childfree amongst those who have children. The rabid lot who cry that childfree people are selfish and that they'll end up lonely and unfulfilled, that they're shallow and a burden might stand out more because what they're saying is irrational and incorrect to us. That good parents, decent hard-working people with sound morals and respectful attitudes should have children isn't an issue, it doesn't harm us (the childfree) indeed it strengthens us all as a society and as a species. That so many inconsiderate, unintelligent idiots can and DO have children is more of a problem. When I say that I don't mean that it's a problem JUST to the childfree, it's a problem to everybody, including the good parents, including their children. As I've said several times, if the ability to breed was based on high intelligence and ability the Earth's population would naturally fall to the extent that we'd have no worries with dwindling resources. We cheapen our argument by slinging mud at everybody who has children and strengthen it by exposing those so weak that they cannot rationalise.

    • We, as rational people, must be careful with what we say. Yes, any idiot can breed but that isn't saying that all people who have children are idiots. If you read through a lot of the comments here you'll find that there's a big mixture of opinions and tolerance for the childfree amongst those who have children. The rabid lot who cry that childfree people are selfish and that they'll end up lonely and unfulfilled, that they're shallow and a burden, might stand out more because what they're saying is irrational and incorrect to us. That good parents, decent hard-working people with sound morals and respectful attitudes should have children isn't an issue, it doesn't harm us (the childfree) indeed it strengthens us all as a society and as a species. That so many inconsiderate, unintelligent idiots can and DO have children is more of a problem. When I say that I don't mean that it's a problem JUST to the childfree, it's a problem to everybody, including the good parents, including their children. As I've said several times, if the ability to breed was based on high intelligence and ability the Earth's population would naturally fall to the extent that we'd have no worries with dwindling resources. We cheapen our argument by slinging mud at everybody who has children and strengthen it by exposing those so weak that they cannot rationalise.

  34. I for one would like to see an article on the greater societal implications of a declining birth rate in the Western world. I am a 4th generation Canadian living in Toronto. More and more I am feeling like the minority in this city. One has to wonder what is going to happen to Canadian culture as our birth rates decline while immigration continues to increase.

    I also find it concerning that many of those choosing not to have children are educated, employed, upper and middle-class Canadian citizens. Those who, at first glance anyway, are best equipped to raise children who grow up to also be educated and employed contributors to society. Has anyone seen the movie ‘Idiocracy'? Basically, the main character, Joe, is cryogenically frozen, and forgotten about until the year 2505. By the time he thaws out, “stupid” people have out-bred intelligent people; the world is (barely) run by morons, and Joe (and the hooker he was frozen with) are the smartest people in America. I can't believe I am actually referencing such a ridiculous movie on the MacLean's message board – but while the storyline is pretty extreme, at times the concept doesn't seen that far fetched.

    • One of the lovely things about Canada is that we are multi-cultural. That is, I feel no burning desire to have my culture trump yours, nor any great fear that your culture will be used to trump mine.

      And that said, whether my genetic material continues forward has absolutely no relation as to whether my mode of thinking and ideas do. At worst, if I become outbred by "idiots" as you seem to imply, then exactly what you point out happens, I become the smartest person around, and thereby able to manipulate the masses into setting up systems that are good for them despite themselves.

      • i quite like that the English common law and language (and French civil code and language, in Quebec) trump other cultures in Canada, thanks. Multi culti makes for nice dim sum in Agincourt, tho.

    • So the answer is to outbreed those furiners and win big in the childbearing ponzi scheme that is already on the brink of crashing due to the visible end of world resources required to support them?

    • if you don't like being in Toronto because you feel that you are a minority then move that is what makes Toronto what it is and that is diversity I don't think you will find anywhere that isn't multicultural

    • Wow, Kate – you're going to hate me! After going through years of infertility, my husband and I decided not to have children (ie. decided not to pursue adoption after fertility treatments didn't work). We decided to commit ourselves to "giving life" to someone else, instead, so we became involved in refugee sponsorships. My count to date is that we've helped 18 people begin new lives in Canada. Incidentally, two of these people came here with Masters degrees (I only have a BA). Yet it seems that you're suggesting that I'm the one who should be procreating because of my education, middle-class salary and, here's the key: white skin. Give me a break. Even the people we sponsored who didn't arrive here with a strong educational background are, today, tax-paying, mortgage-paying, consuming "contributors" to Canadian society. They're having babies, too. And I couldn't be happier for them.

      • Bee, you're a credit to the human race. We are all human, our tribalistic cultures evolve and change continuously from internal and external influences, the sooner people understood this and stopped bashing everything that they consider "different" then the more peaceful and pleasant the world would be.

        It's unfortunate that when it comes to society and nationalism (the precedence of the super-tribe), many people have evolved no more understanding than a troop of chimpanzees surveying a rival troop across a jungle river.

    • What happened to the people who already lived in Canada when the white settlers arrived, Kate? Culture and society changes and evolves rather more quickly than evolution can make animals evolve.

      Anyway, re-animation of cryogenically frozen people isn't possible and I can't see it becoming possible any time soon so you won't need to worry about being overwhelmed by whordes of stupid people. Evolution takes care of itself by it's very definition.

  35. Since when do people think they have the right to enter into the personal bedrooms of others and question if they are to have children.
    As a person who experienced 10 years of infertility then had 1 ivf child, i adopted child and one "surprise" child, it often amazed me how brazenly people would ask if we were going to have children. I fought hard to get my children and sometimes it's a "be careful what you wish for day !" I love my children, but it's no walk in the park p- but that waws my decision.

    I admire those who choose to be "child-free". They are making a conscious responsible decision. On the other hand there are those who procreate with several different partners and are not around enough to be responsible parents. Yet society is willing to fund abortions in the name of "it's my body" yet when someone cites "it's my body" and choosing not to become pregnant in the first place – they are branded "selfish" – society is totally hypocritical.

    Get your heads out of the sand and out of other peoples bedrooms…..it is none of your business – ever heard of freedom of choice ?

  36. I am proud to lay claim to one of the quotes in this article ("One woman wrote:…"). I was so grateful to read this story. I had never bought a Macleans magazine before and since that article, I now subscribe and patrol the website.

    I do not like children. I never have. Even as a child, I couldn't stand children younger than me. As such, I never intend on having children. Would it be "easier" if I liked children? Certainly. It would also be easier if I won the lottery and didn't have to worry about mounting student debt. But life isn't always easy. The fact remains, I can't stand children. I love animals. Can't wait to get a dog. So I am capable of love. But I am not going to procreate simply to "vote [against] an Islamic society". I would be a terrible mother. I have a short temper and limited patience with children. I can't force myself to humour them or even care about what they say.

    Yes, Canada needs more children. But no, I do not need to be the one to bring them into the world. I am NOT selfish – I donate to charity despite my mounting debt, I volunteer my [limited] time to 3 organizations and I help my friends as much as I can. So for all of you who think you somehow have the right to give me your 2-cents worth, or label me as an unloving, terrible, selfish person, you are wrong. It is MY body, MY life and definitely MY decision. And I don't need your ignorant or rude comments.

    Bullying people into having children is so stupid on so many levels: it is likely not effective, and if it were, the children likely have bitter, resentful parents in many cases. YOU may love children, and YOU have a right to do so, and procreate. But you do NOT have the right to belittle me because I don't share your views. Guess what? Different people have different beliefs. I respect your decision to have children and don't harrass parents even though I think they are nuts. So why is it ok for you to harrass and disrespect me?

    • Wow, good thing your mother was more gracious and understanding of children than you are, then, eh? Otherwise, we would all have been spared the uncomfortable experience of wriggling in the crushing grip of your reason.
      Oh, and belitting and disrespecting you is not a right that we claim. Just a guilty pleasure.

      • So you propose I have children just for the sake of it? Just because it is a woman's "calling" to get pregnant? It's not okay that I don't have the same view as you and others? I totally screwed up. I thought we have freedom of choice, etc. Silly me. My mother is a different woman so comparing me to her is ridiculous. As is comparing me to every other woman. I'm not propising that everybody else has to understand my reasoning, I just don't think you should belittle me for having a different view. It shows how small-minded you are that you cannot accept that people don't always share your view.

      • So you propose I have children just for the sake of it? Just because it is a woman's "calling" to get pregnant? It's not okay that I don't have the same view as you and others? I totally screwed up. I thought we have freedom of choice, etc. Silly me. My mother is a different woman so comparing me to her is ridiculous. As is comparing me to every other woman. The reason I wrote that I dislike children is to point out that there are different reasons for people not wanting children. Some don't for the environment, some because they had bad experiences as children, etc. I was simply noting that some people just don't like them. That doesn't make them selfish, unloving, etc. I'm not proposing that everybody else has to understand or "get" my reasoning, I just don't think you should belittle me for having a different view. It shows how small-minded you are that you cannot accept that people don't always share your view.

        • Ceeger, maybe you should learn more from grace and understanding. After reading your reply to adb215, I'm not sure you got a grasp of these qualities yet.

          Oh and by the way, a debate is made of arguments and reasoning. Just personally attacking someone for having a different opinion than you, doesn't add to the discussion. But I guess you know that. What you call a guilty pleasure, others have another name for. Good luck in raising your children. Know that they pick up on these little things.

          • Ah, is someone cranky? Does someone need a bottle and a nap?

        • Your comment is incredibly ignorant; by your reasoning, since we are not willing to breed, our cause will die out, since no one is there to teach it to young people.

          But many of us grew up being taught to have children, even bullied into thinking we should. And we've chosen not to. How will it be any different in the future?

          It wont.

        • Ceeger your comments on evolution clearly indicate that you are this generation's Darwin. Lets explore your "logic". Childfree people do not breed, and thererfore do not pass on their "childfree genes". However, if you really believe that people inherit childfree attitudes from their parent's DNA, then WHERE DO ALL THESE CHILDFREE PEOPLE COME FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

          You, sir, are a fool.

    • I don't like children either, never did, never will. Knowing this, I had myself sterilized at age 25. In those days, it took a lot of psychiatric folk to agree to have it done.
      Personally, I prefer cats. Dogs are too needy, just like children.
      Want love? Volunteer your abilites with the truly needy … adopt a child or three in another country. that's what we childless folk do.

      • I'm pretty sure it takes lots of psych evals even today. I haven't tried yet because birth control serves its purpose, but I hope to soon.

      • I'm pretty sure it takes lots of psych evals even today. Not to mention doctors are far more scared of lawsuits in this day and age. I haven't tried yet because birth control serves its purpose, but I hope to soon.

        • I don't think the psych evals are par for the course anymore. I sought sterilization in 2002 because I wanted no children. The ob/gyn to whom I was referred asked a lot of questions, including "what if you meet Mr. Right and he wants kids?" but there was no requirement for an evaluation by a psych professional. I told him that Mr. Right for me wouldn't want kids, either. I got what I wanted with a minimum of fuss: a tubal ligation at 27, with no requirement that I 'think about it some more' or that I have children already.

          It's a big decision, and not for everyone. But it's certainly achievable, even for those under 30 with no children, especially in Canada.

      • I'm currently 25 and will soon consult with a urologist to undergo a vasectomy. I have no kids, nor do I want any (obviously). My reasons for this choice echo yours adb215's. When I told my doctor this, she was somewhat hesitant to refer me, as a young child-free man, to the clinic. So far I haven't seen a team of shrinks yet.

        If you don't mind my asking, how long ago did you have your operation done? And reflecting on your child-free life, how has it been?

      • I'm currently 25 and will soon consult with a urologist to undergo a vasectomy. I have no kids, nor do I want any (obviously). My reasons for this choice echo yours adb215's. When I told my doctor this, she was somewhat hesitant to refer me, as a young child-free man, to the clinic. So far I haven't seen a team of shrinks yet.

        If you don't mind my asking, how long ago did you have your operation done? And reflecting on your child-free life, how has it been?

    • adb215,
      you can't possibly offer forward an opinion that goes against the instincts of our very existance and not expect sarcastic and angry responses. When I initially read the article I felt dissappointed and angry about its overall tone perhaps because I do not relate with those who choose not to have children? That being said I am not in a fair position to judge your situation or those of others that contributed as I am someone who likes children. Nor do I think it's fair to judge someone based on there feelings and beliefs of this nature. You are living your truth by not having or adopting children of your own. You are not bowing to the pressures of society which may impose the perception that it is your duty to do so and you should be applauded. Trying to put myself in your shoes I'm sure it could be awkward at times and you have obviously spent a great deal of time with this subject. From your post it appears that you are a valuable and contributing member of society as you are. Not all people need children to accomplish this.

      • As an individual who's childfree by choice I'd like to thank you, Joe, please pass your rational and understanding nature onto your children, the world needs more like you. I do understand why people want children, I just know that it's not in me to want them and that if I had children I didn't want I'd be doing them a disservice. Having said all of that, sarcasm and anger isn't necessary at any juncture and belittles those responsible for doling it out, my choice harms nobody else. It's just that; a choice, it doesn't need to be completely understood by everybody else all of the time, just respected as a deeply personal choice that I and only I can make for myself and only I can accept my own personal consequenses for and benefits from.

    • I have to say good for you, you recognize your ill say it bluntly, incapabilities but good on you for still contributing to society!

  37. Honestly, what difference should it make to other people if someone does not want to have children? If someone doesn't want to have them, then they shouldn't be pressured into it, nor should they be ridiculed or harassed. It's their right to do with their lives and their bodies what they like, we live in a free country. My husband and I have three children and love them, but we have childless friends who are just as happy. I agree with Jen completely, the people who don't want children seem a lot more rational in their responses then the ones who are against them. It's a lifestyle choice, the same as being a vegetarian or believing in a religion.

  38. I support people's right to choose not to have kids. In return, I'm sure they will support my right to view them as mistaken, shallow and self-centred. This whole "movement" (though I really doubt it is large enough to justify the name) to demand respect for the child-fearing amounts to nothing more than a whining effort to avoid facing the logical consequences of one's choices. I don't walk into the Hell's Angels' clubhouse and start spouting off about how I hate riding motorcycles. People who choose not to have kids should not be surprised that they are viewed negatively by those who do — especially when they choose to get all bitchy and confrontational about it. Child-fearers have made a conscious choice to do something outside the mainstream. Now you have to own that choice and accept the fact that your choice will not be accepted by the normal people on this planet. Don't get up in my face telling me how I have to respect your decision. I think your decision sucks. You can have my approval and respect or you can have your unstained couch, but not both. Some guy named Kant once said that no one should endorse a moral proposition unless he could, at the same time, will it to be universal law. The decision to remain childless firmly violates this principle making it, I think, easy to characterize as a fundamentally selfish decision.

    • I think that the majority of the problems with humanity stem from the desire of people to make their wishes 'universal law.' How could anyone be so arrogant as to think that their way is THE right way for everyone? Kant's opinion here, demonstrates nothing more than small-mindedness.

    • I'm curious — does this apply to nuns? Why/why not?

    • The problem with your little analogy – we're not walking into a biker bar. It's a lot more like having a biker walk up, demand to know if you like motorcycles and punching you in the face if you say no. Childfree (please note – FREE, not FEAR) people and our sizable movement aren't walking into The Children's Place or Chuck E Cheese and mocking parents, we're just not hiding our decisions when (frequently very rudely) asked about them.

      I'm sorry that our existence somehow threatens your self-esteem, but that's your issue – not ours.

    • The problem with your analogy is that I generally do not tout my decision around with me. I don't walk into a daycare and declare that I am never have children. I did so on this forum because it is a discussion and I felt I could some very valid points. Which I have. BUT MANY couples who are child-free are asked, and borderline harassed, as to when they are having children. At which point some may reply never, THEN, after the inquirer has asked a very personal and inappropriate question, calls the couple 'selfish'. There is a significant difference in the order in which the label is applied. If a Hell's Angel biker came up to me and asked if I liked motorcycles and then labeled me when I answered in the negative, I would scoff and walk away. Now if you are implying that because I live in the World that I deserve the label no matter what, that is just absurd. And I can assure you that there are large numbers of people who are child-free by choice. There are groups, with chapters throughout Canada and the US (that I know of). Clearly, they are not as large as the group of parents, but we are no longer an anomaly. Hopefully we will never become a majority, but nonetheless, we deserve respect. As my mother always told me, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all! Be constructive and ADD something VALUABLE to the discussion.

    • The problem with your analogy is that I generally do not tout my decision around with me. I don't walk into a daycare and declare that I am never having children. I did so on this forum because it is a discussion and I felt I could some very valid points. Which I have. BUT MANY couples who are child-free are asked, and borderline harassed, as to when they are having children. At which point some may reply never, THEN, after the inquirer has asked a very personal and inappropriate question, calls the couple 'selfish'. There is a significant difference in the order in which the label is applied. If a Hell's Angel biker came up to me and asked if I liked motorcycles and then labeled me when I answered in the negative, I would scoff and walk away. Now if you are implying that because I live in the World that I deserve the label no matter what, that is just absurd. And I can assure you that there are large numbers of people who are child-free by choice. There are groups, with chapters throughout Canada and the US (that I know of). Clearly, they are not as large as the group of parents, but we are no longer an anomaly. Hopefully we will never become a majority, but nonetheless, we deserve respect. As my mother always told me, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all! Be constructive and ADD something VALUABLE to the discussion.

      • Another thing my mother always taught me was NEVER to ask people why they had or didn't have children, for all I knew they could be infertile and I could cause them grevous upset by raising the subject, plus that, it's because it's somebody's PERSONAL choice. I suppose that's because my mother was a rounded and fair minded individual, not a tyrant like Patrick.

      • Another thing my mother always taught me was NEVER to ask people why they had or didn't have children, for all I knew they could be infertile and I could cause them grevous upset by raising the subject, plus that and because deciding to have a family or not is somebody's DEEPLY PERSONAL choice. I suppose that's because my mother was a rounded and fair minded individual, not a tyrant like Patrick.

        • Hi Pete, it's MLL or Louise agreeing with you again! I was taught not to ask any personal questions at all. I have been all over this site saying that it's no one's business and you don't know if it's a choice or if someone has had repeated miscarriages, health problems, or if their children have died…… I'm glad to see someone else in the world was well brought up! I do wonder why you read Maclean's magazine when you don't have to, living in the UK and all that….. LOL.

    • Having kids is the most selfish thing a person can do. It makes them turn inward towards on their own little world with them and their progeny. Everything is for their spouse, their kids, their family. The outside world ceases to exists. But this is a good thing because if one has children those children should have the main focus on their upbringing and safety.

      Childfree people on the other hand have options. I have known childfree people to work with underprivileged children, volunteer in hospitals, help seniors, raise funds for the needy, work for better communities and serve others in many other capacities. People raising and nurturing children do not have time for all of this. Their time is focused on their family.

      I think you are misinterpreting Kant. I think he would respect the idea that people should have a free choice in determining the moral proposition by which they live. You seem to be willing a Universal law t hat everyone have children. But that is your law in your Universe not mine.

      What I do with my uterus is my business.

  39. I can't imagine deciding for others what they should do in the matter of having children. My own experience was that I was very afraid of the responsibility of having kids – right until the moment my first child was born. One of my sisters had the same experience. The other is childless by choice and is a fabulous aunt. The difficulty is that we can't have it both ways – you can't send that child back and you can't know how you will respond to parenthood until the baby arrives.

    • Honest question for you and other women: did you feel pressured by society to have kids, and was it a factor in your decision to eventually take the leap? Societal pressure is something mentioned a lot on here by some of the child-free commentors. As a male it sort of blows my mind. Birth is physically gruesome and painful and everyone has been around barfing / dirty diaper / won't stop crying kids. How could "societal pressure" trump all that? Unless someone is in a coercive relationship or culture. Perhaps naively I always thought people who had kids saw a friend or relative with a smiling little bundle of joy and thought it was the neatest thing ever. For someone who doesn't feel that feeling, how could societal pressure trump it?

      • It could trump it because all of a sudden all of your friends are having kids and you are (not intentionally) excluded from all conversations that take place in a room where there are more than two childbearing females.Your friends with kids will call and complain about husbands not pulling their weight or the kids (they wanted so badly) driving them crazy, and then when you give the advice they ASKED for based on your own education and experience they will say "you just don't understand, you don't have kids".

        And that is okay because friends listen to friends vent but after a few years of this women on the fence may chose to have kids because it is what seems to be the normal course.

  40. oops spelling (fantastic)

  41. 6.3+ billion people living on a planet that can properly sustain only 2.5 billion humans means that many of us should righteously choose not to procreate.
    If you love children and can afford the time and money to raise them properly, limit yourself to having 2 children only, whether they are biologically conceived or adopted. Respect those of us who know we don't want to have children and would not make good parents for whatever reasons.
    The child-free folk contribute more income tax per person to fund education, health care, and everything else in our infrastructure than do parents.
    And what is undesireable about replenishing our 'Canadian culture' with immigration from many countires? Aren't we proud of being a multicultural society? I, too, am a 4th generation Canadian … so what? Being a 4th generation Canadian does not equate to being 'white'.

    • Hear, hear. There are *thankfully* several people among the flotsam here who speak from a place of moderation, acceptance and reason.

      • you think someone who thinks it's morally wrong to have more than two kids is reasonable?

        • It's not morally wrong, just irresponsibly selfish.

    • Whats Wrong to being white? Being a 12th generation Canadian and proud of being myself which includes my skin color.

      • Who said there was anything wrong with being white?

        Being proud of yourself doesn't equate to being negative of others but nobody was being negative towards you for being white. They were simply telling someone else (Kate, if I recall) that they should stop placing emphasis on the skin colour of Canadians and saying that modern Canadian culture wasn't the exclusive premise of white people. Unless you think that all Canadians are white and that you have to be white to be a Canadian I don't think you have any reason to take offence by what was said. If you ARE suggesting that you have to be white to be Canadian then I'd consider you as racist but you didn't suggest that, did you? As I said, I recall it was someone called 'Kate' who implied that Canadian national identity belonged to white people.

        Please read more carefully and stop getting overly defensive. I'm white too, in case you're interested.

  42. (1) The reason the first post of this article achieved 1000 comments was because something went massively wrong with comment threading, and many threads ended by being repeated umpteen times. The actual comment count was probably more like 150.

    (2) As I said in the first one, no one should be stigmatized for choosing not to have children. There are lots of parents who are unfit for the job and should not have taken it on. The decision to have kids because of societal expectations, a desire to "fit in", a mistaken notion that having kids will fix other problems, or a desire to have some sort of gratification from the experience is a bad decision. These are selfish reasons, and the consequences can be catastrophic – high likelihood of a ruined life for the kid who ends up with an unfit parent.

    (3) The best (earthly) reasons to have kids are as follows:
    (a) These are new human beings. If you like people and recognize that they are the greatest creation on the face of the earth, you see the worth of raising new (good) ones to make the world even better.
    (b) These are your country's future citizens. If you love your country and want it to persist, someone has to raise the next generation and do a good job of it. If you think you're up to the job, recognizing how important it is, you should do it.

    If the article had struck the tone expressed in some of the comments, namely "Having kids is a big deal. Those who choose not to do it, with a tear in their eye, because they recognize the stakes should not be stigmatized." Unfortunately the tone was more along the lines of "kids are a nuisance…they impact your career, your budget, your freedom, etc. Why have them?" a la Corinne Maier. This is blind self-absorption. Many people choose to remain childless with a much more mature attitude than the author exhibits. She didn't do them justice.

    • Hi. You've heard of adoption, per chance?

      Call me when we're out of orphans. And not just the infant white ones.

      • There are hundreds of couples looking for children to adopt. Thousands in the US. Many of these pay tens of thousands of dollars to adopt abandoned children from China. I've known one such couple, and I know several trying to adopt and being told to wait in line.

        Get informed Thwim. And cut the snark about racism. It's a non-issue here.

        • And yet there are thousands of children living in foster homes looking to be adopted.. just not the infant white ones.

          It's not racist, it's just a fact. There are plenty of kids out there, so your points about the earthly reasons to have children are completely irrelevant until there's a shortage of kids who need parents.

    • Well done +1

    • Agree completely. Kingston was being a good Maclean's journalist and deliberately attempting to stir up some controversy. Which is fine! If it's a more serious, less tabloid article, (ie. a more boring one that doesn't get us enraged) she would not have used as two of her main examples some pretty horrific people: Corinne Maier, whose extreme-left politics actually helped get Sarkozy elected in France amid populist outrage at her previous book about how great it was to be a public sector worker leeching off the state

  43. That's what I think is such a shame. Rather than try to understand where they're coming from (and each individual has a set of circumstances that led them to that decision), so many people lump them all together and say they're all just selfish. Maybe they're not. Maybe they've been screened and know that they have the markers for an incredibly debilitating, and eventually fatal, genetic disorder like Huntington's disease and don't want to inflict the suffering that comes with HD onto a child. Maybe that's a risk they're not willing to take. It's not a simple issue and so many of the comments to that original article simplified it to "they're all just selfish". Now kindly stop telling me I said things that I didn't say.

    • Life is a risk.

      Do you have personal experience with Huntington's Disease (HD)? If so, you would know that HD does not only "inflict suffering," but also joy. Unless an individual has Juvenile HD, they have many happy and wonderful years before the signs of HD began to show. Even once the symptoms of HD begin, there is still life & joy despite the sorrow.

      HD is a family disease. Unless it's in your family, I highly suggest you don't use it as an example.

      • it was in one of my good friends' family. Her sister died quite young. I saw what it did and it was very sad.

    • Surely it can not be an assumption if Kingston herself offered it as a reason, how could that ever be determined an assumption if it was offered as a premise? So either she is disingenuous or she is confused that somehow these responses were unrelated to her article, and these people came up with the reasons independently of her article. Either Kingston is disingenuous to suggest that people reflexively came up with these reasons when she supplied them in the first place, or she thinks people are not referring to her article in which she laid out these reason.

      • There's a difference between 'children are expensive and time consuming' and 'childfree people just spend their money on plasma TVs and vacations!' and a =/= b in this case.

        • Exactly! Thank you.

        • You are saying that calling children 'money pits' is not saying that you would prefer to spend that money on other things? I seriously doubt that if you count up the responses to the first article, to plasma TVs and vacations, it will come in at well under 1%. So if Kingston is trying to represent anything more than a radical fringe with her comment, she is identifying something broader than that, i.e. ' I don't want to spend my money on children' – and that premise she stated over and over again in her original article.

        • You are saying that calling children 'money pits' is not saying that you would prefer to spend that money on other things? I seriously doubt that if you count up the responses to the first article, to plasma TVs and vacations, it will come in at anything over 1%. So if Kingston is trying to represent anything more than a radical fringe with her comment, she is identifying something broader than a preference for plasma TVs, i.e. ' I don't want to spend my money on children' – and that premise she stated over and over again in her original article.

          • Calling kids money pits doesn't necessarily mean that you want more money for stuff you may or may not need. It means that you will be working, at times grindingly so, in this economy to pay for those kids. In reluctant social welfare states like the US, the decision to have children can put parents on a labor wheel that puts them in an early grave, with little time to spend with those kids they are working to help through life. Why does having money necessarily equal discretionary spending? Sometimes it means that you are a slave.

  44. thank you for supporting the childfree. I am childfree and although I will not be procreating, I do not hate children. I am not a hateful ogre. I just don't want children for my life. If others do, thats great! As long as you can say that you have no regrets about your decision on children, then you did exactly what you should have done.

  45. I glanced at the original article today at the store and was pleased to see it. Here is my 2 cents. My husband and I opted not to have children, one of the reasons we are married was our shared view that having children was not our priority. I am forever amazed at how many (usually well meaning) people question us as to why this is our choice, and when they are not satisfied with our answer that "it's just not for us" they continue to pry into our reasons and say things like "but who will look after you when you are old?" and "life isn't the same without them". Many, many things went into our decision, my age,personal health issues (that are no ones business, and not to be confused with fertility problems), my husbands demanding career,the environment, . The list is long and carefully thought out.

    I suppose my main point is that people should try to be more sensitive and mind their own business, we did the math and it didn't equal having children.

    • I share your frustrations, Mags. I have found a good way to end the queries such as "don't you want kids?" is to say simply and politely: "My husband and I enjoy each other's company too much. And being child-free allows me to contribute to the world in other ways."

  46. I can't even believe some of these comments. To judge a group of people so harshly because they choose not to have children? How can you agree that they have the right to choose and then, without a good reason, fail to respect their decision because it is different than your own?

  47. Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you need a reason not to want to have children. It seems to me there are a lot of childless people in here stating that they don't want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they don't want children. If you don't want children because you would rather sleep at 3:00 am than rock a baby back to sleep, than state that fact. If you don't want children because you would rather go to Mexico every winter than pay for child care costs, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the childless people aren't stating why they don't want children because if they did, it would prove that they are, in fact, selfish?

    • Having children is not instinctive. Having sex is instinctive. There is a difference.

    • Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you automatically feel a desire to do it. It seems to me there are lot of non-childless people in here stating that they want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they want children. If you want children because they would rather impress their world-view upon someone too young to question it than address adults, then state that fact. If you want children because you would rather people think of you as normal than having to continually justify your choice to complete strangers and family, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the non-childless people aren't stating why they want children because if they did, it would prove that they are just doing it because it feels right to them and thus that they are, in fact, selfish.

      Or in short, how is choosing to have kids not a selfish decision? Do you really intend to imply that people are having kids even though they don't want to, because it's the good, responsible thing to do?

    • Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you automatically feel a desire to do it. It seems to me there are lot of non-childless people in here stating that they want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they want children. If you want children because you would rather impress their world-view upon someone too young to question it than address adults, then state that fact. If you want children because you would rather people think of you as normal than having to continually justify your choice to complete strangers and family, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the non-childless people aren't stating why they want children because if they did, it would prove that they are just doing it because it feels right to them and thus that they are, in fact, selfish.

      Or in short, how is choosing to have kids not a selfish decision? Do you really intend to imply that people are having kids even though they don't want to, because it's the good, responsible thing to do?

    • Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you automatically feel a desire to do it. It seems to me there are lot of non-childless people in here stating that they want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they want children. If you want children because you would rather impress their world-view upon someone too young to question it than address adults, then state that fact. If you want children because you would rather people think of you as normal than having to continually justify your choice to complete strangers and family, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the non-childless people aren't stating why they want children because if they did, it would prove that they are just doing it because it feels right to them and thus that they are, in fact, selfish.

      Or in short, how is choosing to have kids any less of a selfish decision? Do you really intend to imply that people are having kids even though they don't want to, because it's the good, responsible thing to do? And if having kids is just as selfish, then get the hell off your high horse and shut up.

    • Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you automatically feel a desire to do it. It seems to me there are lot of non-childless people in here stating that they want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they want children. If you want children because you would rather impress their world-view upon someone too young to question it than address adults, then state that fact. If you want children because you would rather people think of you as normal than having to continually justify your choice to complete strangers and family, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the non-childless people aren't stating why they want children because if they did, it would prove that they are just doing it because it feels right to them and thus that they are, in fact, selfish.

      Or in short, how is choosing to have kids any less of a selfish decision? Do you really intend to imply that people are having kids even though they don't want to, because it's the good, responsible thing to do? And if having kids is just as selfish, the shut the hell up.

      • There are many ways to be self-less. Having children (can be considered) is one way to do it. So is donation to charities, volunteer work, etc. If your definition of selflessness is so narrow that you MUST have children to be self-less, then I guess Mother Theresa, the Pope, the infertile, are all selfish, selfish people. I better write a letter to the Pope. He has no business being in his position since he is such a selfish person. See the fallacy of this argument? Of course Mother Theresa was not selfish, nor is the Pope.

      • There are many ways to be self-less. Having children (can be considered) one way to do it. So is donation to charities, volunteer work, etc. If your definition of selflessness is so narrow that you MUST have children to be self-less, then I guess Mother Theresa, the Pope, the infertile, are all selfish, selfish people. I better write a letter to the Pope. He has no business being in his position since he is such a selfish person. See the fallacy of this argument? Of course Mother Theresa was not selfish, nor is the Pope.

        • How is having a child a selfless act? You have forced something into life without asking it first because you wanted to.

          Once the child is here, that is still not being selfless. That's being responsible for your actions.

          • Just in case you are replying to me and not EZDoesit, I am simply replying to the argument that not having children is selfish. I don't have an opinion of having children, if it is selfless or not. I simply argue that just because I DON'T have children, it doesn't make me selfish. Semantic distinction.

          • I fail at hitting reply buttons. That wasn't intended for you. :)

    • Having children is instinctive. Has anyone in here ever heard of mammals that don't try to mate? Since having children is instinctive, you automatically feel a desire to do it. It seems to me there are lot of non-childless people in here stating that they want children. However, few, if any, of them are stating why they want children. If you want children because you would rather impress their world-view upon someone too young to question it than address adults, then state that fact. If you want children because you would rather people think of you as normal than having to continually justify your choice to complete strangers and family, than state that fact. I wonder if most of the non-childless people aren't stating why they want children because if they did, it would prove that they are just doing it because it feels right to them and thus that they are, in fact, selfish.

      Or in short, how is choosing to have kids any less of a selfish decision? Do you really intend to imply that people are having kids even though they don't want to, because it's the good, responsible thing to do?

    • I guess I am selfish. I mean I only work 60-70+ hours a week in an emergency room caring for other people's children. I guess the 10 yrs of schooling I have and all my skills are a waste. Really I should be at home popping out babies and filling the quota. Oh and by the way– sometimes at 3am I am on shift rocking other people's babies to sleep. I wonder where their instinctive parents are?

    • Oh, how I love 'it's natural!' arguments…especially over the internet! Why is it acceptable for communication to take place over plastic keys and wires, food to be triple-process out of any resemblance to actual animals and plans, housing built 30 stories high, and yet when it comes to sex people say 'if the monkeys don't do it, we shouldn't!'

      I'll take hypocrisy for $2000, Alex…

      • Oh, I shouldn't type late at night. *triple-processed and *plants.

      • I've noticed that the people who say it's so unnatural to choose not to procreate/use birth control don't seem to take as dim of a view of equally unnatural fertility treatments.

        There are lots of things that are "unnatural," but still improve the lives of individuals. I say the people who cite nature as an argument against what they don't approve of should take the time to think about what their lives would be like without modern medicine, computers, cars, telephones and other man-made things. "Not natural" does not equal "bad."

    • My parents weren't what you call "selfish", but I don't want children because I was raised in an abusive environment. I spent my childhood helping to raise and protect my younger brother and sister; I fear I too might be an abusive parent so I choose not to subject any children to that kind of hell. Now I am called selfish because I dare to enjoy the rest of my adulthood holding on to my hard won stability and sanity. By the way, anything anyone does is for selfish reasons because all decisions center around a "self".

    • There are always going to be individuals in any species population that do not try to mate, who try to mate with members of the same sex, or who are unsuccessful at mating (in that they do not reproduce). That doesn't mean they're somehow broken, or even that their genetics won't persist. But if you really want human, individual reasons to judge, sure, I'll bite.

      Children come with a suite of behaviours that are pretty much 100% guaranteed to be frustrating and annoying until they're well into their teens. They are demanding, and rightly so; they have very little ability to affect their environment and provide for themselves for the better part of two decades. They are, for much of that time, utterly dependent on others to provide for them.

      I cannot deal with that. I am, by my nature, an introvert: I find it exhausting to be around people for more than an hour or two, and require large amounts of time to myself to 'recharge' and be able to function. I find children particularly difficult to deal with because they are – by their own natures – typically rambunctious, loud, and in need of constant attention. I know my own limits, and they're placed quite firmly outside the 'have kids' area. The fact that I don't like them much adds to the list of reasons why I won't be having them, but it's far from number one. Below that one you'd find the 'I can think of better things to spend my time and money on,' but much of htat is conditional on the existing facts that I wouldn't be able to cope with a dependent child and I don't like them much anyway.

      But, just as there are many reasons people have children, there are many reasons why people don't have them. None of which are really any of your business, or mine.

    • If you would like to know my reasons for remaining childless then here it goes: after suffering through a childhood filled with neglect and sexual abuse, I don't feel having children would be the best choice for me. Despite years of therapy, I feel very sad and wistful when I'm around children. It's not that I don't like them, but their innocence reminds me of what I lost. If I were to ever have a child, I would be constantly anxious and terrified about my ability to protect them from the kind of experiences I lived through as a child. I just don't think this would be a healthy situation for either a child or myself. I don't believe that I am selfish for making this choice. Please don't assume that people are selfish for not wanting to have children just because they don't want to share the highly personal reasons why they have made this decision.

    • Because often people's reasons are none of your business. Having children was instinctive TO YOU as it is to most other people. Still, you, as a total stranger, feel it's prudent to suggest that our reasons are driven by selfishness because we don't all wish to divulge this information to you.

      Maybe I should accuse you of having children because you have an inferiority complex and you want someone to control, maybe I should say that you want children because you want to make sure your partner doesn't leave you, maybe I should say that you want kids because you failed in your ambitions and you want to mould your offspring into a new you who achieves where you didn't, maybe I should say that you had them to make sure there's someone there to wipe your backside when you become old and incontinent. But if I did, I'd be doing what you're doing. It's likely that you had children, as most people do, because they want them, because of the love and satisfaction they feel they can gain from having them and that they feel they have a lot to give children. I don't know and frankly, I don't care, I really don't, so long as you're happy in your choice it's none of my business. Good for you, that's all I say.

      To cut the vitriol: You have kids because you wanted them, I don't because I didn't. Now let's all just respect THAT about one another and stop making assumptions and veiled accusations of character flaws. Thankyou.

  48. I can't even believe some of these comments. To judge a group of people so harshly because they choose not to have children? How can you agree that they have the right to choose and then, without a good reason, fail to respect their decision because it is different than your own?

  49. Well for one if you don't want people to misread your articles you can start by eliminating your elitist vocabulary… or leave the nest of a tabloid magasine with a 9-5 readership, these kind of people don't have the time nourish their vocabulary into something no one understands.

    Second you're a hypocrite. The sub-title of your previous article was something along the lines of "How having kids ruins your bank, career, and love-life." and then you criticise your readers for "wrongly" reading your article as "anti-kids".

    • Elitist vocabulary? If you don't understand a word or three in an article, pull out your dictionary. The English language has something like one million words and I'm sure none of us understands them all. Even those of us with Masters degrees.
      The article is not anti-kids. It merely pointed out why some people may think about why/choose not to have children, and those reasons are valid.

  50. To me this is right up there with judging people who don't stay home with their children, but return to work. I remember there being two very distinct camps when my kids were small, those who entrusted their children to daycare and those who felt that was unacceptable. I am very comfortable with my own decision to have two children and also to work part-time when they were small. In the same way, I am very comfortable with not having a dog, although that is a very unpopular decision with my younger son. I have always known that I was not a "dog" person. Many people have said I am depriving my children of a pet. I am happy that they have their opinion and I am comfortable with mine. Recently, we looked after a couple of dogs for friends and I enjoyed the experience but not enought to get my own pet. It is great to be accepting of others who choose to follow a different path that ours and to be comfortable with our own decisions. I do think that having children takes the focus off ourselves and that was a very positive and necessary thing for me, but some people don't need or desire that change.

  51. Well said. The ignorance in some of these comments are ridiculous. Currently my husband and I are on the fence about having kids, but based on the intelligence supporting both sides of the arguments here, I'd rather be associated with the childfree side.

    We are also leaning towards childfree because we both have exhausting jobs that we feel would be compromised if we had children of our own…my husband is a firefighter and I am a schoolteacher, so we are both contributing in our own unique ways to society…and we both adore children. However, to have children of our own would stress us out to the point where I feel that I just wouldn't have as much to 'give' my classroom children if I had to support my own…and I am willing to deny myself the 'joy' of parenthood so that I can focus on other people's children…how is that selfish? So me not having ONE child is selfish, but giving 100% commitment to 20 children a year for 20 years doesn't count for anything?

    Ridiculous.

    Some people just don't want to be a jack of all trades, king of none. Let's face it: it's one thing to balance home, marriage, career, AND parenthood…it's another thing to do those things well…and from what I've seen on my life in this planet, the stress that society puts on families to "do it all" has caused more strain on families than I am willing to submit myself to.

    Having kids makes you happy: great
    Not having kids makes you happy: great

    No judgement should be made on either party. Live and let live.

  52. Something I find missing from these discussions (though I admit I haven't read all the comments yet) is the fact that having children or not is a highly personal and private matter, and anyone who asks such personal questions is being rude and intrusive. I know many people who are childless because of miscarriages, health issues, or death of a child. It must be horrible for them to be asked,"Why don't you have children?" or to be called selfish. Think of the family who recently lost three children in a fire in BC. Are those two sets of parents going to be asked by people who don't know their story, "Isn't it about time you had children? Are you selfish?" For those who choose not to have children, why would you answer anyone's questions about it? You probably wouldn't tell friends, relatives or strangers your salary or bank balance or other private information, so why should this most personal of matters be any different? I have the greatest respect for people who never mention their sex lives or decisions on having children. Let's bring back some old-fashioned good manners!

  53. As a mid 40's childless by choice woman, I was so amused by the visceral reactions and childish comments in these postings. We've never felt judged by society or anyone for that matter for our decision. Perhaps its because we're so comfortable with our choice and its so right for our lives, it never occurs to us to care about how anyone else would feel. To those outraged people who can't stand being judged for being childless, RELAX! If you are truly OK with your decision, it shouldn't matter to you what others think or say about it. We don't feel the need to discuss how much we give back to society… We don't have to justify our lives to anyone! We are simply truly happy in the deepest sense of the word and we've been true to ourselves. Oh – and we've never had a moment of regret. Not even a twinge. We are eternally grateful to the doctor who sterilized my husband over 22 years ago before we were married. He believed us.

    • I don't think all the child-free individuals feel judged. Well, I guess at least I don't. I don't appreciate personal attacks in ANY discussion, but ultimately, I don't care what people think of my decision. But I have had a few years to become comfortable with the decision. My biggest irritant is people "telling" me that I'll "change my mind" because I am "only" 24. It is incredibly superior. The problem I have with it is that people don't seem to think that and educated 24 year-old can make a life decision. I can also understand why some individuals get up in arms. Many have been bombarded for years about their decision and a comment here might just be the straw that broke the camel's back. I get that.

      • I've known since I was 5 years old that I would never have children. A good example of what has consistently been my experience is what occurred last night at work: a woman said, "Hi, Karen, still no kids?". That's really the exact "flow" of the initial sentence! I laughed VERY hard – I'm 44 years old and it must be pretty obvious by now to everyone. But my reaction is genuine as well – I am always incredulous at the deep concern that the breeders have about my reproductive status. Its amusing but raises the question of those individual's comfort level with their own decision to procreate. Why does it bother them so much? So, brace yourself kiddo, you've got until menopause to deal with the irritation (I'm assuming you're female). Just laugh it off.
        Of interest is the observation that I've never even discussed rationale with any of my childless friends about our decision. My good friend of 20 years (who is also childless) and I have never even broached the subject of children.
        Now, what do you think that means? I think its because we just never think about it – its such an ingrained, instinctual response and so simple: you either want kids, or you don't. Period.

      • I hear you, adb215, I'm a thirty year old man, I'm at 'that age' when lots of people assume that I'm just itching to find the 'right woman' settle down and have kids. For me, the right woman is as childfree as I am. My friends all know that I don't want kids, some of them have children, some of them don't, some of them will, some of them won't, because they aren't judgemental people they are my friends. They may not all understand my decision all the time but they at least respect it.

        However, I do take offence at being judged (and contrary to your feelings, I feel I am frequently) by complete strangers and having them insulting my choice or trying to cajole me because it's extremely disrespectful and plain bad manners. If someone wants to try to beat me into a corner then I'll come out fighting, that's just my nature. I'm laid back and accepting of others right up until they try to step on me or force me into agreeing with what they choose. I'm comfortable with my decisions and life choices and I'll defend them when I have to because they're right for me, I won't impose them on others or question others as to why they feel differently. It's not about being over-sensitive, it's about defending myself from the under-sensitive when they overstep the mark of social civility. If I can accept and respect the choices of others I expect the same courtesy to be applied to my choices. My mantra is to treat others as they treat me, respect me and they'll get respect back, equally, they can be rude and confrontational if they like but I'd suggest they bring their flak jackets when they do!

        • Well at this stage in my life (in law school), the only people who really find out I'm not having kids are people who know me. So they don't judge me, at least not openly. I am sure I will be judged by strangers sooner than later. But I'm okay with it. I will have my "line" to give to strangers. But if somebody does attack my decision, and I'm in a bad mood, I'll come out swinging. I'd even just say that I "can't" have children. Will likely make them feel stupid and it will hopefully get them off my back. Ultimately, my friends and family accept the decision so it's a moot point. And I'm sure my future employer will appreciate the fact that I'll never need mat leave!

          • I'm going to see the doctor on Monday and get this resolved once and for all, then if I tell anyone I can't have children, I won't be lying!

  54. and Liu the Hollywood gossip blogger, who is less pernicious but fundamentally a pretty un-serious specimen of humanity. If I were wanting to tell you how I was happily child-free, I wouldn't want to be lumped in with these two. Or the Gaia enviro types who think high-consuming First World kids are evil

  55. I have a friend that often tells me how she regrets having her child. If she could go back she wouldn't have had him. Although I can't relate I listen and can attest to the fact that inspite of her regret she is an excellent mother. She cares for him so wonderfully and has never, never, said this in front of him. What makes me really sad about the original work that sparked the debate, Corinne Maier's manifesto No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children, is that she has children who are old enough to understand. To be rejected by ones own mother is a horrible, horrible thing on its own. But to be rejected and basically told by your mother that she wishes you'd never been born – and here are all the reasons why – in such a public forum is cruel and must be completely devastating to them. The reason why people are claiming this woman is a bad mother is not because she regrets having children, it's because she chose to put her children through this. If she felt there was a great need for a manifesto such as this one she could have written under a pseudonym that would not have identified her children. I wonder what their days at school are like now.

    • hear hear.
      why does your friend regret having her child? just curious.

  56. I applaud this article. I'm so sick of the blank stares I get (from mostly women) when I say I don't want children. Like there's something wrong with me.
    There is nothing wrong with not having children and there's nothing wrong with having children when you're ready to give up your current lifestyle for them. It's a VERY tough job–the toughest. I've seen many of my friends do it and I can honestly say I am not ready for it and I don't think I'll ever be.

  57. You can contribute to the future in other ways than having kids. My husband and I are not going to have children of our own because of a number of different reasons (including genetic worries due to illness in our families) and it doesn't mean we hate kids or think the future doesn't matter. I'm in medical school at the moment because I truly want to help people and I believe that my passion and dedication lies in helping others when they are sick. My husband and I both believe in building strong communities and are very active in ours. We love being "Auntie and Uncle" to 2 gorgeous little girls and a newborn baby boy, and that is enough for us. We want our legacy to be the impact we have made on the lives of others and our community, not simply another body to add to the census.

    • Thank you Mary for putting it so well. I have an Aunt and Uncle who never had children; it's never even occured to me to wonder why, nor would I ever ask. Both are doctors (Obstretician and GP -both highly child-relevant specialties) who have, and continue to contribute in meaningful ways to the community, the world and the future. I would not be the person I am today without looking up to and being supported in my growth by these family members. There is a reason the saying goes "it takes a village to raise a child."
      It sounds like you have some very lucky nieces and nephew(s)!

  58. I find the notion that we childfree are 'selfish' incredibly intriguing. Yet no parent who has told me this has been able to give me one selfless reason to have a child. Sure, a parent has to stop being selfish once the child comes, but that is called responsibility. Why else would you have a child but to provide entertainment and enrichment to your life/ marriage? Forcing another living being into life because you want it to? That sounds pretty selfish to me.

    Everyone is selfish. We are all thinking about what is best for us. I could go on and on about why Husband and I chose not to have children, but that would take paragraphs, and I'm sure no one wants to read it. We put a lot of thought into this, and in short, we have realized that we are not parent material. We would rather regret not having children than having one and regretting it. At least the former means only we are hurt.

    • In my mind the "selfish" argument came only when Anne Kingston argued having kids ruins your life. You have to admit its a pretty selfish and ignorant excuse.

  59. (continued) I am lucky to have friends that accept my choice to not have children and do not judge me for it. My best friend has just had her second and wishes I had kids simply so ours could grow up together like she and I did, but she does not think less of me for knowing myself well enough and being confident enough to say no to kids.

    I work 40 hours a week with the kids of parents who do not have the time or ability to help them outside of school hours. My clients will often ask me why I don't have kids since I am so good with them and I reply that "I know I have patience enough for one or the other, my own kids or yours. I don't want to short change either side."

    I can honestly say I have never wanted kids. I do sometimes think about a child with curly blond hair (like me) and green eyes (like my boyfriend of ten years) but wanting a little clone that will allow me in to the mother's club is not the path I wish to take. Having said that when we have mixed parties I am often in the livingroom with the husbands and boyfriends watching sports and having a beer instead of talking about latching and breast pumps.
    :>

  60. It's always been interesting to me that we won't let people drive until they can prove they are capable but procreation, well eh go for it! I know that regulating parenthood is out of bounds, but by the same token we end up having to regulate & govern everything else.

    • I totally agree.

  61. HAVE NO CHILDREN AND NO REGRETS

  62. Lots of people choose not to have children because they feel they wouldn't make good parents. I don't see what the big deal is. Personally, I love kids and can't wait to have children of my own, but I respect those who realize that their lack of parenting skills, financial situation, or whatever, means that they shouldn't have children. It's a lot better than popping out a baby just because they were bullied into doing it.

    I think people on both sides of the debate need to stop behaving like children. There is no need for name-calling like "breeders" or "child-haters".

    • However plenty of people choose not to have children because they don't WANT them. To assume the childfree all think they'd be terrible parents, or don't have the finances/time to have a kid is silly. I'm sure SOME feel that way, but personally, I think my fiance and I would make great parents. We have a fair amount of excess money, and there's no genetic illnesses that run in our families. The thing is, we just don't want children. We're not particularly fond of them, being around them or taking care of them. I think that's the best reason of all to not have kids.

  63. Kudos to a well balanced arguement. I agree. This is a stupid debate with rabid opinions on both sides. If you want children, have them. If you don't, then don't have any. End of story.

  64. Why is breeding a fundamental human right anyway? Aptitude tests and parenting classes should be a requirement for all prospective parents.

    • Aptitude tests? Cool. And would we have a Gestapo to enforce these requirements?

    • Aptitude tests? Cool. And should we have a Gestapo to enforce these requirements?

  65. Finaly, the voice of reason. Very, very well put.

  66. lame article used to irritate people and sell issues. macleans is crap.

    • I think you summed it up nicely.

    • I liked it.

      As comments would indicate, it's a pretty hot topic and I'm glad it's getting some discussion.

    • Makes me wonder why you bothered reading it and furthermore made the effort to post a comment on it. If nothing else it's got people discussing the issue and has really highlighted the stellar opposites on each side of the debate.

    • If Macleans is crap, why do you read it and then thorougly engaged in writing comments?

  67. Wow I wish I had time to read the entire article AND all the comments – but I work and I have kids! ha ha ha ha ha. Nevertheless, I totally agree that if you don't want kids – for gawd's sake DON'T HAVE THEM. What would be the point in that? We need to respect every individual's choices in that regard. Well – gotta get to bed, and start all over again tomorrow!

  68. If people are tired of being harshly judged on their decision not have children, they could just give in and have a baby. Then they can enjoy the experience of being harshly judged on their behavior during pregnancy, their childcare arrangements (ever heard of the so-called Mommy Wars?), the food they feed their offspring, their discipline style (or lack thereof), the behavior of their children (including infants) on planes, in restaurants, and anywhere else outside their home, their child's reading skills, the clothes they wear, their preferred hobbies, their attempts to balance work and family obligations, etc, etc, etc. Let's face it–we're all about the judging these days. Make your own choices, but don't expect others to stand around giving you golf claps for making them.

    • excellent points just looking. i've never faced so much judgment as I have as a mother. IF you want to be under a microscope have a baby. People stopped me on the street to tell me: your baby's going to get frostbite, it's too cold; your baby's burning in the sunshine; your baby needs to wear a hat, etc etc etc. And don't even get me started on breastfeeding.

    • How about this, "make your own decisions and don't judge anyone for theirs".

      That sounds more reasonable than "make your decisions and expect to get blasted by every man and his dog".

      What happened to keeping out of other people's affairs? Nobody needs approval (golf claps) for the decisions they make and nor should anyone expect approval, by the same score, nobody should expect disapproval and abuse for the personal decisions that they make. Particularly when the commentator isn't directly affected by the decision another person is making. I believe that's what used to happen and used to be called 'GOOD MANNERS'. You're right, most people are all about judging these days, many people have no manners because they were badly brought up.

  69. There is no reason to get angry for those who don't want kid it's a natural process and everybody has it's own right to decide what he/she want in his/her life. __I guess people who have kids are angry because now ther are finding themself in misery that why they had kids , and now they want everyone to feel the pain, worry , stress with kids .. so selfish they are… __And most of the time I have seen that when people get through some hard time with some thing in there life then they want everyone to follow/ go through that path. __it's totally true that if you don't have kids you can give more to the world with mroe capacity and enthusiam . __those who have kids why they are angry , you are free to spend your life with your kids don't complain .. you can't pressrize anyone to have kids aur or to do anything…__some body says – that those who don't have kids have some deficiency .. I am feeling too pity about their mental sickness … this shows what's the heights ( or I can say lowness) of their thinking ..

  70. To the "child-free" from a former member:

    I never wanted kids – until I had them. I didn't understand why people sacrificed so much – until I had to. Is it possible that some of you aren't completely comfortable with your choice and that's making some of you VERY defensive.

    If you don't like kids, please don't have them. But, just because YOU can't stand them, doesn't mean those of us who love them are defective.

    (By the way, most parents find ways to have kids and still have sex, go on vacation, and achieve career goals. It did occur to the author that we parents only create more hellions by having sex after the first one … right?)

    • yup, again I agree. My hubby and I both train and run marathons as parents. Yes, it takes a lot of scheduling, but it isn't THAT bad. And i've played sports as well. My parents were also well-rounded. My mom put herself through university and worked full time after having us. It IS possible. I also have issues with "I can't stand kids" as if all kids were the same??? not any better than saying I can't stand xxx (enter ethnic, age or other group name here)

  71. Those who have kids enjoy your life's greatest gift from GOD, cherish them .. don't take it as burdon as headache .. no body enforced you to have kids .. nor can you do so ..
    So it doesn't matter how your life would be if you have kids or not , it's upto you , how you cherish your life …
    In some parts of world it's mandatory to have kids for every married couple whatever way you have to opt to have kids, IVF,surrogate mother etc etc.. .. what's the point ? if nature don't want you to have kids then why competing with nature ?
    There is a saying " If you don't have kids it means your all sins all clear , your a/c book with god is clear ! "
    so enjoy what you have and let others enjoy what they have ( or don't have :))

  72. Those who have kids enjoy your life's greatest gift from GOD, cherish them .. don't take it as burdon as riddance .. no body enforced you to have kids .. nor can you do so ..
    So it doesn't matter how your life would be if you have kids or not , it's upto you , how you cherish your life …
    In some parts of world it's mandatory to have kids for every married couple whatever way you have to opt to have kids, IVF,surrogate mother etc etc.. .. what's the point ? if nature don't want you to have kids then why competing with nature ?
    There is a saying " If you don't have kids it means your all sins all clear , your a/c book with god is clear ! "
    so enjoy what you have and let others enjoy what they have ( or don't have :))

    • Not all of us believe in god. Or sin. Or marriage. Or procreating.

  73. Being a parent has it's ups and downs, but I'm glad I made the right decision to have children. As a single parent (divorced now), it wasn't always easy, but I know when I grow old I will have the family support and love that only your own flesh and blood, children can give you (not paid employees). I strongly believe there is only one true meaning of love, and that is between a parent and a child, and if you don't have kids you'll never experience this (what a shame). I also look forward to my children having children in the future. Passing on your genes is the one gurarantee that you will live forever.

    • Seriously? LOL…do you realize how many people are in hospitals and nursing homes who don't get visits from their ungrateful children? Many thousands!!!! What a shame is right! They'll be at the lawyer's office lickety split when the will is read though…you can bet on it. Passing on your genes is no guarnatee that you will live forever. The gene pool is tainted.__P.S. I have a sister that doesn't speak to her parents and she also does evil things on purpose such as keeping the grandkids from them (among other things)…and they are the best parents a kid could have.

    • You truly typify the narrow-minded intolerant attitude I constantly encounter. Your posting is hilarious.

    • If only you'd said "I'm glad I made the right decision FOR ME to have children" and left it at that. Then I'd have had total respect for you.

      Instead you went on to tell everybody that the only true love is between parent and child and spouted that worn out nonsense about being looked after in your old age. Nojo's already said it so I don't need to but I will address the other point you made;

      Newsflash – When you die you die, you won't live forever because you've had kids, my dad died when I was twenty one, I'm alive now, he's not, I'm not him, he's not me. I may have inherited a few of his traits and physical attributes but they're MY traits, if I passed them onto children they would be THEIR traits, my dad would still be dead and ultimately one day so would I. Sorry if death frightens you but hopefully you've got a bit of time yet to accept mortality as inevitable. Saying that kids make you immortal is like saying that pickling your guts and brains in jars, wrapping you in muslin cloths and sticking your carcass in a big pyramid makes you immortal – It's supersticious clap trap, sorry if I burst your bubble.

  74. I don't think people should have children if they don't want them. to each his own. But the self-righteousness in the original piece is a bit much. The people who say they are doing it for environmental reasons–so do you live in a big house? Drive a car? etc. etc. I have a son and live in an 800-sq.ft semi. So what? The best is Cameron Diaz citing environmental reasons. PLEASE.

  75. if I didn't want kids I don't think I would get married. The whole point to getting married is to have a family(wife AND kids). She talks about how people with kids are being "selfish". Right there I have a problem, if anyone is selfish it is the non-breeders. Talking about having kids takes a toll on your finances and your career. Who cares that isn't even a debate. If someone waited till they could afford to have kids they would never have them. But if someone wants to live a cold lonely life( believe me you will be all alone) then thats up to them.

    • You can speak from experience that all child-free people are alone? Or you have irrefutible evidence? Didn't think so. Don't make claims you can't support.

    • You're making the mistake of thinking that everybody else thinks like you, that they would consider their lives cold and lonely if they didn't have a wife and children. This is fairly common when there's a herd mentality. Personally, I don't feel lonely without kids around, I enjoy the peace and tranquility (when my neighbour's kids aren't screaming or they're inconsiderately playing very loud pop music as they are right now), I don't feel unfulfilled or lonely in the slightest. Many childfree people are in serious long-term relationships, they have hobbies and varied, diverse social networks (with all of that time and money they save by not having kids they have the opportunity to). Often their relationships with their partners are very fulfilling because they can devote so much more time to each others' needs and desires. Similarly, the money they save by not having kids and staying out at work can be used to ensure that they can enjoy active and fulfilling retirements and good medical care should they fall ill.

      How many elderly and infirm people languishing miserable, alone and unvisited in nursing homes have children? I'd wager it's the majority.

      Facts, not rhetoric please, you let yourself down by spouting the tired old bingo lines. Isn't selfishness defined as "getting what you want no matter how it affects others"? I suspect it is and therefore, I'm selfish for not wanting kids and choosing other options because those options suit ME, you're selfish for having kids just because you wanted them and the decision suits YOU. Nobody's any more or less selfish than anyone else here. Please stop with the mudslinging and try to type something original, jees, it's like the parents have a book of about twenty insulting, patronising and provably wrong quotes that they can direct at anyone they meet who chooses not to have children, it's getting boring for the rest of us but I suppose it must avoid that ever so tiring activity: "thinking for yourselves"

    • if your kids start to hate you (believe me, there´s a big chance they will) you´ll be old and lonely too, no worries.

    • Funny, I thought I was marrying my fiance to announce my love to the world, to join us in the eye of the law and other humans, to prove our devotion to eachother. I didn't realize that YOU get to decide what the point of MY marriage is. I was further unaware that one is unable to have kids without a marriage contract… funny, I thought humans had the ability to procreate without a ceremony. /facepalm

  76. I have a hard time believing that I'm selfish, as some of the comments declare. I do volunteer work with animals and the homeless, I donate blood, I donate money to the Red Cross, I'm always ready to help a friend in need. But just because parenting isn't for me, that makes me selfish? I've just never really liked kids, I've never heard the "call" of parenting, I'm sure it's a wonderful thing for those that do. I have a few friends who seem very happy with their lives and love their kids. It isn't being selfish; it's just how I am. I can not magically start liking kids; I am not a selfish person for it. I certainly don't deserve to have my right to vote be taken away o_O

    Some people, jeeeeeez.

    • i don't think you're selfish at all. But I don't want to be called selfish for having a child either. (Not by you, but by others on this post). I think to each his own, live and let live.

    • I am sure you made a responsible decision based on self-knowledge, and no one has the right to disrespect that decision. I heard someone talking on CBC Ideas about the maternal instinct. I don't remember which program or who the speaker was, but one line I remember is that a maternal instinct exists but not all women have it. This may not be the greatest analogy in the world, but I have the least common eye colour in the world (green) and I don't think of it as abnormal, it's just part of the diversity of human beings. For some people it is right not to have children. I don't have children because I didn't meet the right man when I was young enough to have children. This has caused me a lot of pain at some times of my life, but now in my 50s I think of how difficult my life, and my children's, might have been had I married and had children. Some hereditary medical conditions have come to light in middle age that I would not want to bequeath to children; they will end with me. I contribute to the world in other ways and enjoy the children of my relatives and friends.

  77. "The environment made me not do it" is a bit much. Are we to assume Cameron Diaz forgoes the private planes? Has she looked at the carbon footprint of the average movie set? Does she buy offsets if she films in a remote location where food and equipment have to be flown in?

    If people don't want to have kids, they should have the courage to say that instead of making up these wacky and ill-conceived excuses. This is a serious decision and the "child-free" do themselves no favors when they use whiny and immature reasons like the environment, childhood diseases (we have these new fangled preventions called vaccines), or their right to die richer. They are neither rebels nor outcasts, not in the new century.

    And, frankly, anyone who compares her self-defined altruism to Jesus Christ is way too self-involved to be a parent.

    Bringing a life into this world is no trivial task. If the best one can do is muster a trivial reason for not doing so, one has probably made the right decision.

  78. Wow!! As someone who also chose not to have a family, I am very surprised at the vehemence of some of these comments. I have known from a very young age that I did not want children. My mother told me that I was "selfish" because I didn't want children. I asked her isn't it worse to bring children into the world that are not wanted? This unfortunately happens too much already. I love kids, but they weren't for me and the life I want to lead. To each their own.

  79. Thank you for that wonderful insite. This "debate" is getting carried away with unnecessary name calling on either side.

  80. I was perplexed by the number of people who were offended by the viewpoint of those who choose to be childfree. Why do they find it so offensive? Are they coming from the point of view that "thou shalt go forth and multiply" and anyone who chooses not to is a sinner, or at the very least, missing some crucial gene? It's a lifestyle choice, plain and simple. Choosing not to have kids is a choice, just like some people choose not to travel or choose not to own a home. Why is it anyone else's business? As some have already pointed out, these people should be applauded for recognizing that they do not want to go down that road, for whatever reason, and sticking to that decision. How many children are born to indifferent and sometimes cruel parents and suffer because of it? Are the anti-childfree people offended then? They'd better be because that is when their ire would be truly appreciated. I have one child and I love him deeply. We chose to become parents, but I do not begrudge anyone who decides not to become a parent. It's a personal choice, period.

  81. As a child (one of 4) who was adopted by an unstable couple who never should have been married, let alone parents, I know I am missing the emotions, the empathy, the tools and the desire to parent children. I spent my entire childhood being reminded of how much a burden I was, and that my parents only adopted us because they felt pressured to do so (oh, and there was a substantial financial encouragement package with each adoption.
    I left my parents' home the morning of the day I turned 16 and never looked back. My partner and I have a very fulfilling life and there is no part of me that says "What if….?"

    • I had a great childhood and I don't have children, nor have I felt the biological need. I always waited for it, and it never came. I'm 40 now and happily married. When I was a child lived next to a family much like yours alphamutt – lots of foster kids and the family did it for the "financial encouragement". My family was poor and I can remember my mother scraping together money to take the foster kids to the fair with us, or buy them a small treat. They NEVER got to do anything or go anywhere other than be told to do chores or go outside and not come back in until night. I always felt I'd like to help kids like that and that's what I do by volunteering for kids charities and through church groups donating gifts for kids at the holidays and other occasions. I spend much of my time doing volunteer work for other organizations as well. I feel fulfilled and if someday that biological need kicks in, I still have the option to become and adopter or foster parent. There are tons of kids out there in need, one does not have to look far.

  82. Wow – you are an amazing human being. My sister & I have a very similar mutual respect of each other's very different lives. The reason why I am so sincerely awed is because I know I could never do it – its beyond my capabilities. My sister has 3 children whom she homeschooled, sacrificed for, made do on a shoestring budget, and created a wonderful, rich life for them all. The true art of parenting and homemaking, she personifies. I am a career woman, and beloved aunt like your sister. Trust me, your sister brags about you (like I do) and is constantly amazed by your spirit and gifts. And my sister brags about me (I've heard her describe my life to uncomprehending people).

    I would go so far as to state it isn't even a matter of choice – no more than one's sexual orientation is a choice. It is a deeply imbedded instinctual response that has no rational explanation. How else would those of us without children say (as I've read repeatedly) that they've known from a young age (in my case since I was 5)? Your use of the word "impulse" truly describes the phenomenon.

    One other point is the fact you've been harassed for not conforming and having a smaller family. I know people with 7 children who are constantly judged ("they can't possibly provide properly for those kids"). Yet, no matter how "poor", when a home is filled with love, the children fare very well – I've witnessed it over and over. It is always a joy to watch people being true to their own callings and leading successful, full lives. And the children soar and succeed.

    The fact that many people feel so strongly about folks like us who don't conform to their set of rules is what so constantly amuses me. There are an awful lot of narrow minded, opinionated people who seem to feel threatened by those who live their lives differently. Is that just the human condition? It seems intolerance is everywhere in this world.

  83. I simply cannot believe how many closed -minded people think that it is your OBLIGATION as a human being to procreate. My husband and I have chosen to not have children. We are recently married and in our mid-30's and live an average life. Some may find us selfish, but I believe we just want a good life. We were both fortunate enough to have been brought up in middle-class households and only want to have a life as good as what our parents had. We moved to another province to be able to afford our first home. Now we have a hefty mortgage and all house associated expenses to take care of. Our parents are provinces away from us, so we would be forced to use daycare if we had children…something which we just don't have the money for. We know several couples who got pregnant and then found they could not afford the basics and ended up having to move back in with their parents or work an extra job to make ends meet. We chose a good life over a money stressed life with kids. Have kids if you want…but don't push your ignorant opinion on those who have made the choice not to. There are enough unwanted and impoverished kids in this world to last 20 lifetimes.

  84. Bunny. I don't care that you don't want or have children. I just find your reasoning unnecessary (and hyperbolic in some cases). For instance, you probably never heard about autism in the past because it was undiagnosed. And I bet kids are surviving illnesses a lot more now than in the past. If you look at the survival rate of ALL (childhood leukemia) for instance, it's now at 90%. I'd also like to know if you ride your bike to work and live in a green building. Ever been on an airplane? It's not just people having kids wreaking havoc on the environment. Perhaps instead of point fingers and lying blame we should focus on solutions.

    • Lisa, a little bit of recent and relevant research for you to read through, the report is available in full on the net as a .pdf but goes into the mathematical reasoning, this report is a little easier to digest and explains the conclusions perfectly well:

      http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/f

      Scientists must find cause before anyone effects solutions, that's why they use reason and reasoning is rarely unnecessary. It's not all about 'blame' or 'guilt', blame and guilt are the premise of religion which, entirely unscientific, has blinkered many a generation and caused much misunderstanding and suffering.

  85. excellent post. thank you for that.

  86. Marriage was made for the act of love and its by product is children. When creation is left out of the equation we will end up with what the world is today.

    • That's your narrow take on the meaning of marriage and the act of love. Fortunately we are protected by the separation of church and state in this country.

      • I am a Christian and I completely agree with your reply to that comment. One-liners from a catechism or whatever source do not recognize the complexity of decisions about marriage and children.

    • My best friend married too young. They made the mistake of having another baby to try and fix the problems in the relationship and ended up seperated before their daughter's first birthday. Her ex-husband never understood the sacrifices having children entails. My friend is now engaged to a man that does understand that and is a good stepdad, though they probably won't ever create a child of their union. In this example, my godchildren would be better adjusted if they hadn't been born when they were, though the new family they've created will give them a much better shot than if their parents had stayed married. We don't live in a black and white world like you're espousing.

    • NOTE: I'M ABOUT TO BE SARCASTIC:

      Yeah Paul, you're right, all of the problems in the world today were created by the few people who have decided that they didn't want children. We caused all of the political unrest, all of the diseases, all of the wars, the famine, the suffering. Wow, we're just so lucky that the rest of you don't tie us into stockades and stone us, it's even better that you let us vote!!

      SARCASM OFF.

      What irks me most of all is that creating children doesn't require any ability to think or rationalise, just functional reproductive organs, you just proved that. Unfortunately, the children of idiots with working genitals are often idiots themselves as a result of genetics coupled with poor education. Sex, "the act of love" as you poetically describe it, exists for PROCREATION, that's how nature works, marriage was invented by early humans to ensure that the offspring that resulted from sex had the necessary support to survive and to prevent interbreeding and resultant genetic mutations. Can you grasp that?

      I'll make it REALLY SIMPLE in case you can't: Evolution created sex, society/religion created marriage, evolution pre-dates society and religion by a considerable margin… Most people in the civilised, educated world agree with that principle.

      Sheesh, some people…. Sigh…..

    • Funny how the world has ended up where it is today with the majority of the populating having children…It's really only been the last couple decades that child-free has become a movement. Funny…

      • The majority of people on the planet don't have the option that we Westerners do of NOT having children. The world has ended up where it is today [tremendously overpopulated] because women in third world countries don't have any option except to breed until they get too old or die. Nice life? I highly doubt it.

  87. Having kids is not for me. I've known this since I was a teenager. I've had women tell me that I'm selfish for having made this choice. When I was married my now ex-Father-in-Law got upset because we were not having kids. He said "What's the point of being married if you're not going to have kids!" I shouldnt have kids just because I have a uterus and it's expected of me by the society in which I live. Isnt that part of what the Feminist Movement and the Women's Liberation Movement was all about? Having the choice whether or not to have children. There is nothing wrong with having kids or not having kids. I'd rather know I'm not cut out for motherhood than have kids and resent them.

  88. Oh, and people who think that buidling a mud-hut for children in Bolivia qualifies as the same level of contribution back to society as raising children who become the next generation of taxpayers, teachers, doctors, business people…well, I'm glad they are not having children I suppose. Selfish is one thing. Selfish and stupid, quite another.

    • So all children born today will turn out to be teachers, doctors and business people will they, how do you guarantee that? With an inverted welfare state in which the unemployed and in some cases unemployable are paid to create children and taxpayers' money is used to fund the upbringing and education of said children, I fear the genetic pool and social conditions involved will not yield an increased field of incredibly able and intelligent people.

      Of course, enough good people who WANT children will still have them too, most people still do have children, a big enough number for you not to worry yourself that the childfree are a serious threat to Western culture. Stupid is one thing, stupidest stupid is quite another.

      • David, how can you be sure that ALL or even MOST children born in your country will end up being successful career people or even responsible working people? Do you think most people raise their children correctly or to be responsible people? Sorry, but there are many people who don't care much about their child's education or are probably so uneducated or ill-prepared to have children themselves, that they don't instill the values necessary for their child to grow up and become well educated and contribute to society.
        There are many people who are unemployed, have low or hardly any marketable skills, or don't like to work much, but want to live off social services.

        Anyway, like Pete said, the child free people are a very small minority, so why even worry about this? I think it's better for society if people are responsible enough to KNOW they would not make good parents for whatever reasons, or know they would be better off contributing to society in other ways other than having children.
        Having children is easy, but raising them to be valuable members of society is not always easy and not always done.

    • Absolutely the best post by far ! Well said.

    • Actually, I think that building a mud hut for children in Bolivia is a higher calling and more important that procreating your own kids that are as likely to end up slackers, druggies, alkies, and useless members of society as becoming doctors, laywers and business people.
      You certainly are selfish and stupid and narrow-minded. Thanks for sharing.

  89. The bottom line is, we built a Social Safety Net Shovelling Massive money, in pensions and health care at old people. That safety net is ONLY SUSTAINABLE IF PEOPLE HAVE CHILDREN WHICH BECOME TAXPAYERS.

    We're all going to see the effects of what happens when there are not enough babies being born to support the aging population, like Japan has for the past two decades.

    People who don't have children, but then depend on their taxes as seniors are selfish and irresponsible, and we're about to see the consequences over the next twenty years.

    Time to stop shovelling resources to old people, and start spending on young people to have children so we can rebuild the SUSTAINABLE demographic structure we used to have.

    • Who says that many elderly people who haven't had kids, particularly those in double income partnerships won't have saved enough up in their lifetimes to provide for themselves comfortably and in retirement? The childfree generally approach retirement better off financially for having had more time to devote to their careers and having not had the expense of childrearing. Your argument doesn't ring true in many cases.

      • I agree with Pete, and also just because people don't have kids doesn't mean they don't contribute alot to taxes and to their society in general while they are working, and that could be many yrs. For example, I am single with no kids,and get alot more deductions from my paycheck than someone who is married with 3 kids.
        The money I pay in taxes, as well as those from anyone working, also goes to kids who are disabled and get lifetime money from the government. These are a lot more kids than you think. Money from taxes also pays for those on public assistance and those who don't have jobs, who may be receiving some sort of govt. charity care.
        I have paid alot of taxes, and also contribute on my own to charity organizations, and within my own country and state, because that's my personal preference.

        Anyway, to say that everyone who doesn't have kids is selfish and is not contributing to society is simplistic, since there could be many reasons why some people don't have kids. Some people simply cannot have them for whatever reason, or what about those who decide to be celibate and become priests, nuns, etc?
        Or those who want to dedicate their lives just helping others, but just never had the oppty to meet the 'right' person for them, to have a family?
        There's many types of people, many reasons why they may not have kids.
        Plus, alot of people WITH kids can be very selfish,uncaring people too; sometimes uncaring of their own kids, or maybe they ONLY care about their own kids and nobody else in their community.

    • There is another option. Stop suporting old people, particularly those who who are sucking our medical system like those with advanced-stage Alzheimers, those who are artificially supported by medical devices. Have these 'old people' with 'special' [extremely expensive] needs have to be looked after by their 'loving children'. Insist that people die at home, with assisted care, not in a hospital. When Mom or Dad can't recognize you anymore, pull the plug. Give a 'No Recusitation' order. Allow assisted suicide.

  90. I have know from a very early age that I don't want children. I had a tubal ligation when I was 23. When I was dating my husband and referred to my nephews as annoying rugrats he knew that I was the one. We've been married 32 years.

  91. I'm astonished that people can become so emotional and irrational when it comes to this topic. Then again, I'm totally not. I'm childless. Why? For the same reason I'm not an astronaut. Just not something that interested me. I don't think about it. Never have. Not in a position for any "accidents" so it's just not even a factor in my life. Why would anyone take time to care about this personal decision? I certainly don't care about anyone's decision to get preggo. What silly people there are out there lolololol

  92. I never wanted children, having grown up in a dysfunctional household that looked quite normal from the outside but was rotten on the inside. When I was in my early 20s I had an unplanned pregnancy. While I love my now-adult child very much, my marriage ended because of having the baby. I did not feel I would be a good parent–I had horrible examples from which to learn, growing up, and no support from the child's father. I wanted to have my tubes tied as soon as I turned 18, but no surgeon would do it because of my age. My point to all this is that *no one* should be pressured into having children for any reason. Anyone who is childless by choice should be respected for knowing their own mind well enough to not have brought children into the world for whatever reason they chose. Respect that and leave it alone, just as another person's decision to have children should be left alone.

  93. I believe that everyone should choose whether they should have a child or not. In all honesty, I think Macleans could've picked better representatives for those who chose to be child-free. Are you kidding me? A wannabe Perez Hilton gossip columnist and a woman who calls children "parasites"?

  94. All the best to you, Pete. I'm out of here too. I'm going to relax and watch some exports from your country that I've recorded: Jeeves & Wooster, Midsomer Murders, and Inspector Morse. Kind regards, "Louise"

  95. Ok, now let's see the fertility rates for some other countries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_an

    Whoa. I didn't know it was that bad. Wait, I just got an idea. Instead of telling people here not to have kids, how about getting Africa and the Middle East educated by explaining to them very slowly "The reason why your countries are so miserable is because you have too many kids. Then we have to come in and pay for your food, healthcare, basically everything you have. Then you have more kids." So what was the lesson today everybody? "If your country has 7.45 births per woman and a 15% AIDS rate for your population, use a bloody condom!"

    • Right on! I agree totally. Unfortunately, the Pope doesn't, nor do I think any Muslim leaders would either. Not sure about the Jewish folk.
      i used to dream about bombing the water supplies of such countires with birth control pills. Now that I am older and wiser, I know that unfortunately wouldn't work.
      My other idea is that Canada shouldn't give aid to or have trade agreements with any country who didn't toe a line of what we consider appropriate in terms of human right [which includes women''s rights].
      That will never happen.

    • This seems like a racist remark. I think we are fortunate enough to live in a country that is industrialized. Very narrow minded view point about the rest of the world. Canada has an abundance of natural resources to grow food, these countries do not. I think it is a matter of location and this they did not choose. Why don't they all immigrate to Canada like other settlers and steal the natural resources from the aborignals, I bet you wouldn't find this okay, but it is okay because your great, great, great grandfather did it. HMMMM….that sure would cause an uproar if it happened in this day in age. I can spot an uneducated, ignorant racist a mile away. Have some compassion for people that have no voice or choice. When I hear comments like this, I cringe because this is why the rest of the world considers Canadians uneducated.

  96. Many brilliant people come from extremely dysfunctional family. Just because a child comes from a family that doesn't want them vs a family that spoils them doesn't mean they are better off. Too complicated of a topic. To each their own. I feel sorry for the childless, don't know what you have, you don't know any different and never will.

  97. i my self am a pre teen and i find this article affencive like if u wanna have kids have kids if you don't then don't. it's kinda like when in Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Called Hermione Granger a mudblood and really its rediculous putting pressure on people to kids.

  98. As a 41 year childless by choice woman, with many, many friends with children, I can honestly say that I know what I'm missing…the good and the bad. My heart breaks for friends who struggle with fertility issues (and there are many) and for those who are without partners and dying to be mothers (again, there are many). They don't judge me for my choice and I don't judge them for theirs.

    Don't you dare accuse me of being selfish…you don't know my story. You don't know that my older brother has special needs or that my father had a stroke 15 years ago that left him unable to speak to walk or that my mom has had three mental breakdowns since then.

    These are not my reasons for not wanting children…I just don't. No specific reason. I knew a long time ago that I didn't think I wanted kids, but I didn't think I had the choice. Thankfully, I do and who are you to judge me for it? I'm not judging you. In fact, I have tremendous respect for parents…good ones, that is. Unfortunately, just being a parent doesn't make you a good one.

  99. I think that people who choose not to have children are often more informed than those who have children (whether by choice or accident). Case in point: my best friend recently said to me, "I can't understand why you don't want to have children. How can you not want an adorable little baby to cuddle and dress up in cute little baby clothes and buy toys for?" This struck me as an incredibly naive view of children, and also demonstrates her lack of awareness of the true essence of parenting.

  100. Deciding to have children or to not have children is an individual choice. We shouldn't force one person's point of view onto another, but yet we try to do it again with this issue. It's however no incredibly surprising, because people judge others about whether they are religious, about a decision to be married versus commonlaw, and a decision to have or forgo abortion, among others.

    Each person has their own reasons for the decisions that they make about their lives. This is yet another example how one way of live shouldn't be forced on all.

  101. hahaha to the idiot who claims our taxes go towards supporting "dope smoking hippies". how about the uneducated people having 6 or 7 kids they can't look after properly, who grow up without the love and attention necessary for proper development?
    who do you think pays for people on welfare?
    it's a known fact that the world is overpopulated; just because canada does not feel the full extent of this, i.e. our resources haven't run out, there is beautiful, uninhabited land, doesn't mean we "need more people".

  102. congratulations to the good parents of the world who nurture and "sacrifice" for their children. breeding is a biological urge
    that many people choose not to follow for thought-out, intelligent reasons.
    i don't see enough half-wits opting for such a decision. any hooker or drug user can get knocked up.
    again, great job to all the good parents out there, i wish there were more of you, i truly do. but calling childless individuals
    "selfish" is pretty shallow. the more people emerging onto this