You finally meet your Miss/Mr. Right. This person is funny, smart, ambitious and not to mention great in the bed. It’s been months, and you still haven’t seen any red flags. No drug or gambling habits, no baby mother/baby daddy crawling from out the woodwork. Everything is going great. You start thinking long-term. You can’t help but think to start planning for a future together, then one of you casually mentions having children. Something like “I think you would make a great parent when the time comes”. After all, everybody wants to have kids right? Wrong! Your Miss/Mr. Right declares that they don’t want to have kids. You give them a look. You know the same look you would give them if you found out that they didn’t believe in God. “What do you mean; you don’t want to have kids?” As if asking such a question is going to change their mind. It doesn’t and it won’t.
We take for granted that everybody should want to have children. We often forget that people have a right to choose whether they reproduce or not. All around us, we see people having babies as if it is a competition (truth be told, for some people it is). Their ‘biological clock’ starts ticking and they go coo-coo. The bible did say “be fruitful and multiply…” that line or some version of it is oft-quoted when people are trying to convince somebody that they are going against God by not reproducing. The second part of that bible verse says “…and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”. It is safe to say that the earth is not in need of replenishing (but we could always do with more fowl and fish). In fact, it is the opposite. Some of us could do the world a huge favor by not reproducing (especially in places like Jamaica). We can’t deny that a lot of our social problems are as a result of every ‘Tom,’ ‘Dick’, and ‘Harry’ and ‘Pinky’ wantonly reproducing. I will not get into the supposed link between unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and crime.
So, why would somebody capable of reproducing, not want to? The reason people have for not wanting to bring a life into this world should be completely justified, whatever it might be. Why should these people be viewed as selfish or weird? I know individuals who don’t like animals. They don’t want to see them, be around them or own them. I am not comparing animals with babies (well maybe I am). If we can look past somebody not wanting to own pets, then we should be OK with someone not wanting to bring a child into this world. Having a child is a lot of responsibility (something too much people take for granted) and commitment, much more so than owning a pet. I am ashamed to say that I know individuals who had kids just because they could, even though they had no means of taking care of them. But what about people who have the means but still don’t want kids?
There is nothing wrong with making a conscious decision to have a baby as long as you are financially, emotionally and physically able to take care of one. Conversely, there is nothing wrong with making a conscious decision NOT to have a baby EVEN if you can financially, emotionally and physically take care of one. Some might say it is unfair to be able to conceive and care for a child and still choose not to when there are people out there hoping and praying for a miracle. Those who have difficulties conceiving spend exorbitant amounts of money for the opportunity to bring their ‘bundle of joy’ into the world. When all else fails, some turn to adoption, because society (or the Bible) tells us that our lives cannot be complete without having children. Having children is a blessing…you are not any less blessed if you can’t or decide that you don’t want to have kids.
Whatever our feelings are on this issue, we need to remember that a man/woman should not be viewed less than a man/woman because they are unable or choose not to reproduce.