Before I start, let me make this very clear: These are MY opinions. They may not sit right with some people, and that is very okay. I do not hope to convert people to my viewpoint, but I simply want to share them. If you disagree, I understand entirely, and if you do agree, well I am a bit surprised but pleased. Lastly, my viewpoints are subject to change. This is how I feel now, but I may feel differently in the future. Who knows?
So, I have intentionally qualified the children in my title: biological children. Yes, I find the whole childbirth process not the least bit appealing, but if that was my only reason, I guess I would be able to suck it up and have children. Although the biological process of having children is part of my arsenal of reasons as to why I don’t want to have children, I must confess that it is one of my weakest points and almost negligible ones.
That brings us to the trillion-dollar question: Why don’t I want to have biological children?
Simple: I think having children is a very selfish decision and that price for our selfishness is an extremely high one.
Let me begin with some reasons why people want to have children. Some people choose to have children because they genuinely love children and are pretty good with children. Others see it more as a status symbol, one that they need because they have achieved a certain standing in society, or have reached a particular age. Some want children because they feel that children are part of their purpose, or having children would give them meaning. For some, it seems like the most natural thing to do since they are now married or in a long-term romantic relationship. The list could go on, but I think you are seeing a particular pattern here. It all narrows down to the individuals’ own desires and feelings, plus the inclusion of external factors.
Now, am I against humans being selfish? Absolutely not, heck I wrote a whole article on why I am going to be a bit more selfish with my time and energy from henceforth. But do I believe that every action should be backed by selfish motives? Absolutely not. Now, listen to why I am not in favour of selfishness in the case of birthing children.
It is this: I do not view the world as a good place. I don’t know if I’d call it evil, but there are undoubtedly many adverse events which don’t make me see the world in a positive light. We talk of wars, rape, diseases, natural disasters, increasing terrorist attacks, and the list is endless. Are there good things that happen? Definitely. Are there people trying to make the world a better place? Definitely. However, the way I see it, I think we are all just trying to make the best out of a shitty world we have been placed in and ensure that we are successful and happy. But the fact that we may rise above and become great despite all these negativities still does not seem fair to me to bring a whole new human into the world knowing this. Let me give an analogy: Imagine I grew up in a poverty-stricken environment and by some sheer coincidences, hard work and determination, I have left such an environment, and I am in a much better place. However, if I was to have children, would I want to put them back in my initial environment and allow them to suffer the same way I did? I wouldn’t want to do that. I would put them in my current environment, give them all the tools to live their best life and allow them to chart their own path. In my opinion, giving birth is like bringing children into a world you do not find satisfactory, but for selfish reasons, you continue to have that child. To me, it is absolutely unfair to the child who never asked for this because they did not exist before you decided to go ahead and have a child.
Still, on the issue of the world being a gloomy environment generally, I don’t want to bring a child into this world because I don’t like to live life with regrets. What I mean is once a child comes into the world, the child can die, the child can be raped, the child can go through immense suffering if they contract a chronic illness, they may be depressed and a plethora of other negative scenarios. I do believe there would be things which would cause me pain in this world or even some actions of mine might cause regret or remorse. Granted. However, as much as is possible, if I can avoid these actions, I would. Now, bringing a child into this world is one I can totally prevent and save myself and the child the headache of experiencing this. For example, if the child was to die, I would blame myself because for my selfish reasons, I have brought the child into the world, and now the child’s death is the cause of pain to the child’s friends, teachers, and other people who knew the child. That is a course I could have avoided totally. The regret and remorse which would follow similar eventualities is one that can be skipped so why shouldn’t I?
Now, I do want to adopt, though. I’ve always wanted to adopt children for several years now. Let me illustrate with a story. Imagine I live in a poverty-stricken environment, but in that area, I am more financially stable than my neighbours. However, each day, I complain to my friends that I want to help people in a poverty-stricken environment miles away, in a different continent, separated by the ocean. My friends would probably think I am crazy because if I genuinely want to help people in impoverished situations, then I should start in my own neighbourhood! That’s how ludicrous the idea of having children is to me. I believe that there are many children in the world in need of a loving and stable home which I (my future self) and many of us would be able to give. However, due to our own selfish reasons, we want to birth a child which reduces how many children we can adopt and love as our own. It just goes to show once again that having children is a means to achieve our own selfish desires more than our need to show love to children and provide a stable environment for them. If the latter was the case, I genuinely think that adoption would be more of the first choice for many people as compared to having biological children (I think I may be grossly generalising here, though). For me, some children have already been birthed into unfortunate environments, and as a human, I can’t just turn a blind eye, so I’d instead adopt than birth my own.
I have to end here, or else this would become an endless rant. So, this is just a brief write-up on why I don’t want to have children. I do think that as humans, we tend to be inherently selfish in many decisions we make, but when it comes to having biological children, the permanency and high price of that selfish act seems like one too high I am willing to pay. I do not want to achieve a selfish desire at the expense of the birth of a whole other human, a human that never asked to be born, a human whose’s life is permanent until they die. It’s just too selfish in my opinion, and as a result, I opt out.