Erica Gies writes passionately and persuasively about her decision not to have children for ethical reasons. Erica explains:
In his classic treatise ‘On Liberty,’ John Stuart Mill argued that your right to do what you want ends at the point at which it infringes on someone else’s rights. I’d argue that, given our extreme population, having more than two kids, the replacement level for a couple, is impinging upon other people’s liberty by using their share of resources. Still, government incentives are skewed, offering tax credits for reproduction, thereby penalizing people without kids. That needs to change.
People without biological kids can still give to the next generation. Adoption provides desperately needed love and stability to a child who’s already here. I was adopted, as were two of my nephews. And in recent years, I have become a stepmother to two smart, warm, fun kids. It’s a role both enlightening and challenging, pushing me to grow as I strive to be a positive influence in their lives.
When I consider their future and the healthy planet they need to thrive, I hope that we will continue to move toward greater social acceptance of being childfree, better government policies, and more widespread education for women as a soft path to reducing our numbers. For optimal quality of life, we need fewer of us.
But is it enough for people like Erica to individually consider the ethics of having kids and to take action? Or to have a real impact do we have to do it all together, collectively, as a society?
At Having Kids, we promote a model for parenting that addresses these questions collectively to be as fair and effective as possible.