Childless by choice

Essay by LebaneseprincessHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2005

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Are you seriously debating the issue of whether to have children or not? If so, then congratulations on at least considering your motivations in this life-changing decision.

Being undecided can bring a host of problems in itself; therefore, most of us like to make firm decisions in whatever life-changing circumstance we find ourselves at the moment. However, in this case it can prove so difficult as to span the entire length of one's adult reproductive years. If you are wondering how to narrow down the time, you might like to think about some of the suggestions in this two-part article.

First of all, simply making a list of the pros and cons of having children can give you some idea about what you might be dealing with. Consider in this list the financial impact of a child on your livelihood, the personal demands and lifetime commitment. Are you prepared to discuss this at length with a potential mate? Can you reach a mutual agreement in advance of marital commitment? More than anything, you and your mate must be in total agreement on such a decision, for it will affect both your lives forever.

Do you have any genetic defects that might be better not passed along? Yes, there are many joys and rewards in having children, so list all of these as well. Weigh these pros and cons objectively, carefully, and decide if you are sure you can live with the consequences, negative and positive.

Keeping a daily journal for several months to a year and recording your thoughts about having a child might help you decide. If you can't be consistent in your desire for a child over a length of time, perhaps you don't need to reproduce.

Do you crave immortality by passing along your genes? Is there...