Tracy,

So much I could say on this topic but I wanted to comment on this particular line first. It is simply not true that any child free person could just change their minds and have kids. Obviously the infertile can’t but I know you were not referring to them with this statement. However, even for the fertile, there are major barriers both social and financial that might prevent a childless person who wants to have children from actually doing so. On the social front, without significant financial resources (more on that next), it takes two to make a baby. Many people simply are not viewed as reasonable/worthwhile options for procreation. The ugly/deformed, the sick, the mentally unstable, the obese, are examples of classes of persons that cannot just decide they want children and then find a willing and able partner to have a child with. Moreover these are typically the classes of people with the least financial resources so options like adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination, etc. are not realistic. These people may in fact desperately want children but through the cruelty of fate be unable. They may in fact be miserable because they cannot have children.

I don’t point this out to take issue with the main thrust of your post. In fact I am in complete agreement with the vast majority of what you have written. As a 43 year old childless male I have felt the sting of thinly veiled disgust when the topic comes up in discussion. I am a successful, relatively healthy, decent looking man, but even in my case finding a willing and able partner to have a child with is not something that could be done at the drop of a hat. To be perfectly honest I struggle just finding a date.

I only commented because I see that argument used as a talking point by persons trying to defend the childless from unfair attacks. It simply does not hold up to scrutiny and is better left out. There are plenty of other very strong, entirely truthful arguments that can be used. You hit on some of them in this article. All that said I am glad and grateful to see a non childless person sticking up for one of us. Thanks for taking the time to think and write about this topic.

Finally one other point that bears emphasis. Perhaps I am something of an outlier in this regard but I really do not have strong feelings one way or the other when it comes to the idea of having children of my own. So often it seems that only two possibilities/positions are considered in these discussions, either you really want to have children or you are totally committed to a child free life. I think I could be happy either way. I see the advantages and disadvantages of both choices. That said it’s not like I could just decide one day “I want children now” and nine month later out pops baby Dan or Danielle. I do know I have no desire to adopt so that decision would require me finding a suitable partner for the endeavor. As I mentioned earlier given my difficulties in even finding a woman willing to go out with me, finding one willing to bear my children might simply be an insurmountable task.

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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