In a recent article in the Guardian, writer RO Kwon provided a compelling and insightful look into the reasons behind many women’s intentions to remain childfree, and the societal pushback they encounter all too often.
Women who do not want to become mothers for a variety of reasons frequently find themselves on the defensive when others ask questions like “when are you having children?” or “why don’t you have children yet?” There is an implied expectation that all women must want children when, of course, that is not the case.
For some women, the decision is based on concerns about economic stability. For many others, climate change plays a pivotal role. Sometimes a lack of community support plays into the choice to remain childfree for women who opt for this path. Now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic that threatens to further hamper such support, the article’s author questioned whether this may be a tipping point toward society accepting and recognizing women’s right to not become mothers. Her conclusion? It’s not likely.
There is, unfortunately, still a strong sense in this country that parenting is a moral imperative, that to intentionally refuse to do so is nothing less than a selfish act. This opinion is a pervasive one, implying that women who do not take the parenthood path are not fulfilling their destiny as nurturers, as caregivers. Of course, childfree women provide care for others in myriad ways, but these efforts are somehow viewed as insufficient.
Sadly, for many women, living childfree is not a decision they made. Women who struggle with infertility want more than anything to become parents and are childless by circumstance – not by choice.
Whatever path your life takes and whatever your wishes are, you should never have to defend your decision or make excuses for your choices. The full article, available using the link above, provides a thought-provoking and powerful statement.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we work to protect our clients’ rights, no matter what their circumstances are. Contact us to learn more!