The decision to become a parent

The decision to have a child (or not to have a child) is an inherently private matter. While some individuals feel an inherent need to bare children, raise these children, and ultimately pass on values to these children in order to feel that their lives are complete; other individuals do not feel the need to have children in order to feel fulfilled in their lives. However, many couples (and individuals) feel pressure from family members, friends, and society at large to have children. So, many people have deliberate over whether having children is a choice we can make or whether it is a choice that is made for us.

Clearly, there are a number of individuals who are making the decision to postpone pregnancy and delay starting their families until much later in life. The fact that many individuals use birth control and contraceptive implies that they have a choice in determining when to have children. However, these individuals must also face the question of whether they will choose not to have children at all. Even if individuals feel as though they are not ready or not willing to accommodate children in their lives, they may feel pressure to have kids in order to please family members or in order to “fit in” with friends (or members of a social circle) who do have children.

Some people may feel that having children is simply a part of life, a rite of passage that all individuals must face. However, it is crucial for us to understand that while some people are equipped to handle the responsibilities and demands of parenthood, others are not. Those that are not should, therefore, not be forced into a choice.

Couples should not succumb to pressure from their family members to have children simply because it is a part of our tradition. If an individual does not want to have a child, then he or she should not be ostracized or criticized for this decision. In the end, it is better to have a number of couples (or individuals) in our society who make the decision to remain childless, rather than simply becoming parents only to be inadequate parents to innocent children or provide insufficient care and support.

Without a doubt, there is also pressure from society for couples to have children. After all, having children is a “natural” biological process that ultimately secures the fate of the species. That being said, in today’s day and age, it is unrealistic to imagine that the fate of the human species is at risk for dying out as a result of infertility. Overpopulation is a very real issue that we face worldwide. Further, we must find a way to ensure that all of the individuals on this planet have sufficient resources for their individual survival. So, couples should not feel pressured to have children if they do not feel that they are ready or willing to commit to having children.

In summary, individuals can make the choice to have children just as well as they can choose not to have children. Having a child is a choice, a personal choice, and it should by no means be influenced by pressures from family, friends, or society.