I’ve decided that I don’t need to give birth to a child to have a fulfilling life. That fact seems to cause nothing but concern to those around me. A common response I receive is, “What if you later regret not having one?” Well, if in my later years I regret not having one, then I have a regret. However, how much better to have THAT regret than to give birth and regret having a child – then I have a regret and an unwanted child. There are plenty of kids that need an adoptive parent, foster parent, stepparent, or mentor, if I decide I need to raise a child later. I’ve heard “Adoption isn’t the same”. That’s true – it’s not the same, but is the goal to raise a happy, healthy child into a stable, well-balanced adult or is it to carry on my bloodline? My brother has done his duty carrying on our bloodline with a beautiful daughter and a son. I’ve also heard, “Who is going to take care of you when you are old?” This question makes the hair on my neck stand up – do people really raise children to ensure comfort in old age? Who says I’m going to make it to old age? If I do make it, what’s to ensure my children will step up? If I plan it right, why can’t I arrange for myself in old age? A close friend of mine always tells me, “Once you have one, you will love it.” Probably, but I observe my friends with children (F.W.C.) and, although they love their children very much, they don’t seem to love themselves; forgetting to nurture themselves, develop themselves, care for themselves or grow. My friends cease to exist – they become “parent of baby X” and their lives completely revolve around their new role. The comment that irks the most, however, is, “You’re being selfish”. Listen up, we are ALL being selfish. All of us, except a handful who made solely altruistic choices, make choices for our own personal gain. People decide to be parents because they want a mini-me, they want the satisfaction of creating and raising something they can call their own, to bring meaning to their lives or to help them hold on to their youth. Parents are just as selfish as those of us who are childless. We, perhaps, are even less selfish. The world doesn’t need another person on this over-populated planet. My carbon footprint is much less than my F.W.C – no disposable diapers, no plastic toys, less gas wasted shuttling from softball to birthday party. I’m amazed at how much “stuff” accompanies the child when my F.W.C. come to visit me. I’m not belittling parenthood – it’s a difficult role. I am, however, speaking out to those who find fault in my decision. I don’t have an overwhelming need to bring a child into this world. My life is fulfilling now. If I need to make my mark in this world, I will find another way to do so.