Choice Matters: Our new manifesto

Choice matters, in more than one way. That is why we’ve launched a new Choice Manifesto allowing people from across the world to commit to celebrating small families and helping to empower others to have the same freedoms.

The Choice Manifesto

I am one of millions who believe that: 

  • all relationships should be healthy and consensual
  • everyone should be free to receive modern sexual and reproductive healthcare
  • everybody must be free to choose if and when to have children
  • the choices we make about having children matter for the future of all of us
  • there is more than one kind of family, and people can define theirs however they wish

I commit to:

  • supporting the empowerment of women and communities that don’t have the opportunity or the freedom to make choices about family size
  • celebrating and supporting the choice to have a small biological family to help humanity live in harmony with nature
  • making informed and considered choices about whether to have children and how many children to have, if I haven’t already completed my family

Too many people, especially women and girls, still lack the power to choose what happens to their own bodies and lives. Advancing women’s and girls’ rights, improving access to education, and enabling everyone to freely use safe and effective contraception are key to a better future.

Choosing to have a small biological family is one of the most powerful environmental actions individuals can take. However, those who choose to be childfree or to have only one child often encounter unfair stigma and judgement, as revealed by a recent Population Matters poll.

Our Global Small Family

We are excited to be building one big ‘Global Small Family’ (GSF) of choice champions who care deeply about humanity and our one and only planet, celebrate positive choices, and recognise that there is more than one definition of ‘family’. Meet some of the wonderful GSF family members below and don’t forget to add your signature to the Choice Manifesto and join us!

Woman sitting on rock
Woman sitting on rock

“My family is my community and my friends. I am a childfree person by choice and I hope that we can live in a world where people have the choice to choose what kind of family they want.”

– Ellen, Canada

“Even though my husband and I both absolutely adore kids and are in a privileged situation to be able to have more, we’ve decided to have one, and only one. The world is heavily overpopulated as it is and those of us privileged with a freedom to choose should make sure that our choices are responsible and serve the best interests of our planet. After all, children will need a healthy planet in order to live healthy lives.”

– Natalija, Netherlands

“My family is Ian and Minnie cat. I feel privileged to have choices and want them to matter. Caring for my mum before she passed away and my relationship with nature have been the relationships that matter the most. I hope people’s choices regarding family can be celebrated whatever and whomever they choose.”

– Joanne, UK

“We decided on a childless marriage. If needed, we are open for adoption. We don’t like to add pressure by bringing one more life through us.”

– Chinnamani, India

“My significant other and I have adopted a family to be our “grandchildren”. We get to spoil them and then send them home when we are tired. They are not biologically ours, but cannot imagine being more attached or more proud of them if they were.”

– Heather, US

“My late wife Joka and I decided to stop at one. We were living and working in Africa at the time, she as a health visitor setting up clinics in rural villages, me as an agricultural research scientist. We both concluded from the different perspectives of our work that humanity was increasing its numbers faster than either health services or food production could match. Joka opened a morning crèche there so our young son had many play-mates. He has grown up to be a very social person, has a university degree and a wonderful partner. They have come to feel strongly on environmental issues, decided not to have a car, nor to fly, and decided entirely themselves to have no children of their own. Instead they have completed a fostering course and take care of foster children.”

– Richard, UK

We have many more wonderful testimonies from GSF members that we are excited to share with you soon – stay tuned!

Join the Family!

Join our growing family of people around the world who believe that #ChoiceMatters and who have committed to supporting empowerment and choosing a small family size. Sign and share our Choice Manifesto today!


Do you want to find out more about our important work? Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with all things population and consumption.