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Childfree by Choice
Childfree is the active, cognizant choice to never have children. Childfree individuals have existed for as long as humanity -- you likely have at least one friend or relative who never had children. The prevalence of the childfree “movement” is only now gaining rapid attention, which is why it suddenly seems as though a large number of people are suddenly abstaining from reproducing. In fact, practicing “childfreedom” is nothing new, and millions of people have lived long, productive lives without ever giving birth by choice.
Why Choose to be Childfree?
The childfree community cites a myriad of various reasons for abstaining from having children. Some have a strong desire to focus on their education or career, while others want to travel the world. Some choose not to have children because they have a hereditary illness or disorder that they do not want to pass on. Some simply do not want the responsibilities of raising and caring for a child, while others just don’t like children, period. There are dozens of reasons for choosing to be childfree, each equally as valid as the next, and each as varying as the reasons why people do choose to have children.
Why Bother Getting Married if You’re Childfree?
Because being childfree has nothing to do with marriage and relationships. Indeed, most childfree people do marry, go to work, own homes and do everything else that couples with children do. The only difference is that instead of coming home to their children every night, childfree couples choose to focus their time and efforts on other things. The myth that people should marry solely for the purposes of reproducing is silly and completely archaic.
Isn’t it a Sin Not to Have Children?
That depends on your personal beliefs and interpretations. Nowhere in Christian or Judaic literature does it state that we are all required to give birth to children. While the Bible does say, “God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth,” (Genesis 1:28), it says nothing about the sinfulness of never having children. If it did, what would become of those couples who want children, but cannot have them? Are they sinners, too?
Besides, calling it a “sin” not to have children assumes that we are all practicing the same faith. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics and atheists who choose to be childfree -- and the beliefs vary significantly between all backgrounds.
Childfree vs. Childless
Many confuse the concept of being childfree with being childless -- that is, without child, but not by choice. Childfree and childless are not the same thing; while the former chooses not to have children, the latter does want children, but has not yet done so for some reason. Childless individuals want to have children at some point, but they may be waiting until they are older, they are more financially stable, or they just cannot conceive. Childfree individuals will never have children, regardless of their circumstances, because it is not something they ever want to do.