More couples are choosing to remain childless, and some are celebrating their decision in odd ways.
The Daily Mail reports “vasectomy parties” are a growing trend among childless couples as a way to celebrate the style of living people can have without children. One party invitation asked friends to come celebrate the sterilization procedure in “a house filled with sharp furniture and exposed outlets,” according to The Sun.
Other couples have hosted car or boat “showers” to celebrate the luxury vehicles that couples say they could not have afforded if they had children. Some are adapting baby shower themes and games for the parties, too. A picture from one party showed a jar labeled “Baby Name Suggestions,” only the word “Baby” was crossed out and replaced with “Boat.”
Amy Blackstone, who writes for the blog WereNotHavingABaby.com, explained the reasoning behind the child-free parties in an interview with the New York Post.
“Our society is all about celebrating traditional milestones. You graduate, you get married, you have a child. But that’s a very narrow path and isn’t indicative of many people’s experiences,” Blackstone said. “So why not decide to celebrate your choice to not have a child?”
Here’s more from the report:
East Harlem resident Marie Assante, the 33-year-old owner of Assante PR agency, never wanted kids, so she couldn’t resist posting a “birth announcement” last week — when she purchased a new car.
“After nine months of hard labor I’m excited to welcome Stormy Sonata into my family of one. She came home at 5:44 p.m. and weighs 3,460 pounds,” Assante wrote.
“The labor part refers to the fact I’ve had my own agency for nine months,” Assante says.
Fewer young adults now say they plan to be parents, according to a University of Pennsylvania study. The 2012 survey found that 42 percent of students planned to have children, down from 78 percent in 1992.
Not everyone should be or should want to be a parent. Still, the growing choose-to-be-childless movement is concerning. Plans are different from desires, and a recent poll from The Economist found that many people world-wide are having a smaller number of children than desired.
“Judging by the collective desires of parents and would-be parents, more suffering is caused by having too few babies than too many,” according to the research.
Researchers found that financial problems were the biggest issues for most families who wanted more children. Poverty, the cost of living, economic turmoil in countries like Greece, expensive infertility treatments and other factors played into peoples’ less-than-ideal family situations.
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The research seemed to indicate that, whether before birth or after, parents and their children are not receiving the support they deserve from society. The lack of support appears to be more than just financial, though, given America’s current prosperity.
There appears to be a cultural push against having children. The women’s magazine Marie Claire recently published an article about a growing movement of women who say they regret having children. Disturbingly, the article seemed to point to the children as the problem rather than a dearth of support for struggling moms.
Feminists also have been quick to criticize women who hold motherhood in high regard. Earlier this month, Ivanka Trump faced criticism for celebrating motherhood as “the most important job women can have.” Back in February, some feminists also got upset when international singing sensation Adele said she found purpose when she became a mother. Several responded with concerns that the artist believes her son contributes more to her life than her career.
The abortion industry also discourages parents from taking on the task of child-rearing, selling an unrealistic ideal that women can wait until a more perfect time to be a parent – a time that, realistically, may never come. Women are encouraged to abort their unborn children if the timing isn’t perfect, if they are still in school or if they are not settled in a relationship or career. They are told that they can choose to become parents when they decide the timing is right.
Yet, the very fears about stability and prosperity that are leading many to choose childlessness could end up causing more financial troubles in the future. A number of European and Asian countries already are struggling with economic problems, in part, due to underpopulation. Fewer children are being born and raised, leading to increasingly older and unsupported populations.
Human Life International’s Joseph Meaney reported in 2012 about a United Nations study that confirmed the dangers of an aging population. According to his report:
A recent major study by the United Nations admitted that ageing is now a worldwide “megatrend” in both developed and developing nations. Demographic Winter is arriving at breakneck speed. Within ten years, there will be over 1 billion elderly persons on the planet, and this will double to 2 billion by 2050 even as global population numbers start to decline.
While this situation poses many problems for industrialized nations, it is the poor nations of the world that will face the greatest human suffering. Most have near to nothing in the way of old age pensions or structures for the elderly.
The report warned that the “most serious impact of ageing populations would be in developing countries without safety nets or adequate legal protection in place for older people,” and pushed for reforms of Social Security type programs, including introducing “national pensions” for the elderly. China, for example, recently adopted an $8 a month national pension for senior citizens. Such small amounts would be laughable if the problem were not deadly serious.
Certainly, couples should not feel forced or pressured to have children; but it appears that the opposite is occurring in our culture today. A child’s life should be treated as a blessing, a gift, and parents should be encouraged and supported in their desires to raise a family.