Wasn't especting to see this kind of article referenced on HN, and it hit me hard. I'm 41, partner is too, and would give absolutely anything to have a child of my own. She was never ready until just recently.
I can't even go an hour without thinking about it...
I'm not sure I'd apply the term 'involuntary childlessness' to people who chose to not have children and later regret that decision.
I married my wife at 22, and we started not preventing at 23. Two years, three early miscarriages, three later miscarriages, and one stillbirth (our most recent pregnancy) later, we don't have any living children. Doctors still can't explain why our unborn son died. In the last ultrasound before he died, he was kicking, swimming around, with a great heartbeat, normal morphology, and a healthy placenta. The next morning, my wife woke up with a bad feeling, and we learned his heart had just stopped. Nothing turned up on the autopsy -- everything normal. Just sudden cardiac arrest.
My uncle had a son die of leukemia at age 7 or 8 (before I was born). They were lucky to have another daughter, but we have a few older friends who had one or two children that ended up losing them to freak circumstances or disease, and were then unable to have another.
These are actual stories of involuntary childlessness, not people who made a choice to wait until it was too late.
And before people pipe up with adoption: (1) we had decided to adopt before we married, but were too young at the time; (2) we started the adoption process as soon as we reached the age threshold; (3) adoption takes a long time and is expensive (but we are more than willing to wait and pay the legal fees); (4) because of our age, we can only adopt younger children; (5) there are not many young children available for adoption because there are more parents willing to adopt than children needing homes, which is a good thing; (6) we would love to adopt an older child as soon as the state would let us. But none of this takes away from the fact that we would like the doctors to figure out the miscarriages and stillbirth -- we want all our children to have a good set siblings and the healthiest start possible.
We are 7 billions people, it's actually a good thing that people have less children. 7 billions people who want a house, a car, a job, that eat meat, that travel and so: it's not sustainable.
Odd that this post was directly beneath this one in my feed: "Mothers who regret having children are speaking out": item?id=16132955
Something seems odd about the supposition and their opening data set with older, childless women - do women that are childless and infertile from an earlier age feel similarly? Why not flip this around to comparing how men with vasectomies at earlier ages feel decades later? Paternal instinct and maternal instinct overlap somewhat I presume but it’s not clear what the differences are I suspect.
Can someone explain the desire to have kids? I have never felt it. Also, I thought animals that reproduce sexually have a desire to have sex, and then kids end up happening as a result.
I've had two thoughts on having kids. Full disclosure: I had a vasectomy, which is important because I've come to learn this is a deal breaker for many women. That said, here they are: 1) I would love to have kids so I have someone to pass on the lessons and knowledge I have learned in life, and to contribute to a better tomorrow for the world. Not to mention someone to talk to in old age. However, 2) I really don't want kids. They're expensive, fraught with liability, uncertainty, costs, and there's zero assurance things will turn out well. Having children seems to be a tremendous leap of faith in yourself, and the future, and I just don't have that much faith in either.
"Involuntarily Childless" is a term I'd apply to people who can't have children for medical reasons and not people who arranged their lives such that they were unlikely to have children.
I don't want kids, but I really want to find someone to not feel alone and depressed. Since I broke up with my gf after 10 years that we had been together I feel more depressed every freaking day.
As a parent I can say, the desire to have a life never goes away, either.
Huh, interesting contrast to item?id=16132955
It is an extreme option, but you can pay if you want to have a child, and I don't mean abortion. If you have the money and the time, and a supportive family, it is doable.
> only 10% of childless women actively chose not to become mothers. That leaves 90% of women like Day. Only 9% of that 90% are childless for known medical reasons
Where is individual responsibility? 81% are not 'involuntary' childless, but delayed it until it was too late.
Solution is not to comfort 40-something children, but education. But that is almost taboo.