So you don’t want kids. Here’s how to respond to unwanted comments

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A growing share of childless adults in the U.S. don’t expect to ever have children, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Some people gave specific reasons, like medical conditions or finances, but a lot of people said they just don’t want to.

If that’s you, you might find yourself facing unwanted commentary or questions. Angela L. Harris can relate. She’s child-free by choice, and she says people often question her choice or want to know all the details.

Harris has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and is the founder of #NoBibsBurpsBottles, an online community for Black women who are child-free. She says, first of all, to remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation: “If you don’t feel like explaining, don’t explain. Your life is your life.”

Harris tends to share. “I explain my choice all the time, especially if someone’s curious about it,” she says. “That’s the way we’re going to decrease the stigma.” Sometimes Harris’ responses might be more sincere; other times, she opts for levity. “I think there’s a playful and joking way in which you can respond,” she says.


https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2023/04/26/01_custom-499d6e059c62a07adb39a2a85ac1d476b87324f8-s800-c85.webpAna Galvañ for NPR



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