Just wanting to become a parent isn’t a reason to become a parent


For me and those I am surrounded by, it almost seems as if having children isn’t a choice, but that it is the only option—that undoubtedly, they will have kids one day; the question has strayed from do you want kids to how many do you want to have. And while my point is not to say that no one should want kids, it is to say not everyone should.

Most juniors at my school are in an environmental science class this year, and that alone should be enough to scare us all away from having children. For one, I fear the concept that there is no more space or resources for them, but even disregarding that, what world do I want my children and grandchildren to grow up in?

A world possibly without snow, and species going extinct, and cities disappearing. That is no world I want to leave for anyone.

I will find people saying “reproduction is the sole function of a species,” and that is almost laughable to me at this point.

Exploring the nonscientific side of the pressing debate of if everyone should have children, there is the societal lens to the issue. I will find people saying “reproduction is the sole function of a species,” and that is almost laughable to me at this point. Likely, when humans made their first appearance on earth and population was struggling, this was true; however, with technological advances and all of the things humans do outside of solely surviving, I find no reason to think that not having children is affecting the productivity of humankind.

As a sixteen-year-old, I am far from when I will actually have to decide if I want children, yet the looks I get when I say “I am not sure I want children” is comical. It always renders people completely startled. Truly, I don’t believe that any highschooler posing me this question truly understands what they are signing up for as a parent. If someone is willing to give years and thousands of dollars to raising a child, they should do so, but those who aren’t probably shouldn’t. As a sixteen-year-old, I should not feel like that is my only goal. 

That brings me to my next point: economics. Aside from environmental and social implications affecting such a pressing problem, not everyone can support a child. Love and emotional support go so far, and children shouldn’t be burdened by parents who made irresponsible financial decisions and had a child. Just because you want a child doesn’t mean you are ready to take care of one emotionally or financially.

Children, like anything, shouldn’t be an expectation. Society has to move past the idea that reproduction is the sole purpose of modern life because it simply is not. Everyone deserves a parent who wants a child because they want a child—not because they feel like they must have one to be a significant member of society.