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It's Totally OK If You Don't Want Children

woman with brown hair standing on the street leaning against a building and looking into the distance

Your body belongs to you.

You may feel pressure from family, friends, or society in general to defend your reason for not wanting children, but you don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean other people are going to stop asking you about it. Even though it is literally no one else’s business, someone at some point is probably going to tell you what they think about your choice.

To help you feel empowered in your decision, here are some ways you can respond to people who give you their opinions, despite your decision not being up for debate in the first place. And for free or low-cost access to the methods of birth control that can help keep you childfree, make an appointment to visit a provider at your nearest The Right Time health center.

When someone says, “People who don’t want children are selfish.”

You can say: “I am not selfish for not wanting children.” There’s this notion that if the only person you have to take care of is yourself, that you’re selfish. But there’s nothing wrong with pursuing a life that fulfills you and doing the things you love. If your ideal lifestyle does not include parenting, that choice is the right choice for you.

When someone says, “People who don’t want children hate kids.”

You can say: “Childfree people can still be important figures in children’s lives, and in parents’ lives.” Just because you don’t want children doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t like children. You can still have children in your life in all sorts of ways, whether it’s babysitting your nieces and nephews, or coaching a little league team, or acting as the troop leader of the local Girl or Boy Scouts troop, or being a pediatrician.

Children benefit from being around all different types of people. It shows them there’s more than one way to be, and more than one way to live. It gives them perspective so that when they figure out who they want to be, they’re comfortable being that person.

When someone says, “People who don’t want children will change their mind later.”

You can say, “You don’t know me better than I know myself.” People might say you will change your mind about having kids, but the decision to not become a parent is valid at any age. Whether you are 15, 25, 35, or 45, your choices at those stages in your life should be honored. It’s wrong for anyone to think they know better than you about what you should do with your life.

The providers at every The Right Time health center are there to support you on your journey (whether you are not going to have kids, you’re not sure yet, or you want them someday but not now) by helping you find a method of birth control that will suit your needs and meet your expectations. Make an appointment at your nearest health center for free or low-cost access to all the methods of birth control.


Updated April 2022



Dara Mathis is a freelance writer whose work focuses on pop culture, feminism, and motherhood. A Florida girl at heart, she lives in Maryland with her family, which includes a yappy mini-Schnauzer.

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