To mark this year’s International Childfree Day, we are sharing some of our favourite testimonials from Population Matters supporters who have made the choice to live their lives without having children.
More people than ever are delaying family planning decisions and choosing to live childfree. In the UK alone, almost half of women aged 30 do not have children, an increase from just over a third of women in the previous generation, whilst the number of women who never have children has doubled in a generation.
The decision not to have children can be a complex and very personal one, and is often based on the circumstances of an individual or couple, as well as wider concerns about the impact of a growing population and increased pressure on the earth’s resources. These are just some of the stories from our supporters who have chosen to be childfree.
I tried in my early twenties to have a vasectomy, but was repeatedly met with the response: ‘You can’t be sure, you may change your mind’. I eventually paid privately for the operation, which I have never regretted. At that time in my early years, my concern was my responsibility toward the women I might encounter, in avoiding unintended pregnancies. Through the years, my awareness of the plight of our world has intensified.Bill, UK
We have no children but we adopted Misty our crazy little dog a year and a half ago. Neither of us feel a stong desire to have children and there are already so many people in the world. Not having kids is also a concrete way for us to contribute to trying to solve the climate crisis. A small family is great for a lot of reasons – it gives us freedom – financial and timewise – to do things that we love like going to the beach for a surf after work.Katie, UK
Childfree Chat: Mariana, Brazil
Since very early in my life, I have never wanted to have children. The Eco-92 conference, in Rio de Janeiro, happened when I was 12, almost 13, and though it was in another city, there was plenty of coverage for it in the press. I already had an inkling on how bad the environment was at that age. I married a lovely man who thinks as I do, so we are a happily-married-no-child couple.Marian, Brazil
My family is originally from Calcutta. When I visited Calcutta, I was just shocked that there are so many people everywhere. I was shocked to see people living on the street, and I was shocked that there were people washing there. The more people we have, the more resources we will need to look after everyone’s energy and material needs. I would have loved to have one child but I did make the difficult decision not to have any because the world population levels are still rising so fast at the moment. But I can still give lots of love to the world.Reza, UK
Childfree Chat: Kate, UK
I chose to not have children. We are all connected – we are all humans at the end of the day, and if I chose to nurture and contribute to a child’s growth and development, I knew that I could always adopt. In addition, I find I have a lot of free time and can pursue my passions and also volunteer at local grassroot charities (one in particular is helping homeless children stay safe & find jobs). My choice to love all and not focus on my own blood-family is benefiting me and, I hope, benefiting my local community too.Kate, UK
We chose not to have children quite early in our relationship. We have tried to live as simple a life as possible to keep our footprint as small as possible. We are both now in our late sixties and have never regretted our decision.Glenda & Greg, Australia
I am childfree by choice. I made this decision when I was in my 20s. From what I learnt it seemed to me that human numbers had a lot to do with the destruction of our beautiful world. However, children really are a joy and I am lucky enough to be a Step-Granny to two whom I adore.Sheena, UK