4 Places to Find Other Child-Free Women

Jun 7, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

If you’re child-free, you know that finding other child-free people can be hard. You might know folks who don’t have kids, but you might not necessarily know if it’s on purpose or if the person has been struggling with infertility for years.

With “Why don’t you have children?” being such a loaded (and terrible) question, there has to be a better way of finding other child-free humans. Fortunately, visible and robust child-free communities exist, and it’s getting easier to find them.

Here are four resources targeted at us child-free people.

More: I'm Childless, But Your Child's Education Still Matters to Me

Tie My Tubes: A Radio Documentary Series

Tie My Tubes was created by Brie Ripley, a child-free woman in search a tubal ligation who’s often told that she’ll regret it when she’s older. In the first episode of Tie My Tubes, called “A Double Slap in the Face,” Ripley, who was 22 when she began looking for a doctor to permanently sterilize her, records a conversation with a doctor she asks to tie her tubes and also tackles the racist history of forced sterilization of women of color and the irony of women who do want to be sterilized, but can’t find a doctor willing to do it.

The second episode of Tie My Tubes is forthcoming, but in the meantime, check out the project’s Facebook page for updates and resources.

Mater Mea

Mater Mea is a website and a podcast about black professional women and motherhood. In Episode 6 of the podcast, “I Ain’t Birthin’ No Babies,” host Anthonia Akitunde talks to Shauna Stewart and Lelita Cannon, two child-free black women, about their decision not to have kids and what it’s like to be a child-free woman of color.

“I Ain’t Birthin’ No Babies” is a super-important listen. It reminds us that race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and other identities, as well as these identities in a historical context, impact the experience of being child-free.

"We have this image of the black family that we’ve been holding onto for so long,” says Stewart. “There was a point in time when we weren’t even allowed to get married, and now we can get married, now we can have kids, but we forget that there are segments of the black population who don’t want to have kids, and we don’t make room for them.”

More: Child-free people are sick of being judged for their choices

We’re {Not} Having a Baby

We’re {Not} Having a Baby is an online community for child-free people. Amy and Lance Blackstone have been married and child-free for more than 20 years (they got married in 1995). According to Amy, they created the community, which includes a blogresearch about the child-free (Amy is a sociologist who studies it), stories from other child-free folks and more, because “we wanted a place to celebrate our choice, find camaraderie with other child-free people and bust myths — based on social science knowledge — about what people think they know about who makes the choice and why.”

If you recognize Amy and Lance’s desire to find a child-free community that reflects a diversity of experiences and motivations, this is definitely the place for you. It is difficult and frustrating to feel like you’re the only one, and frequently as child-free folks, we do. W{N}AB is here to connect us to one another, making us feel a little less alone.

My So-Called Selfish Life

Therese Shechter makes films that disturb what we’ve come to believe is sacred. Her documentary How to Lose Your Virginity interrogates the very notions of virginity and sexual purity and how our collective obsession with it screws up our sex lives.

In My So-Called Selfish Lifeher latest work in progress, Shechter talks to women across the reproductive spectrum who, like her, are child-free. Among her questions: Are we selfish for not having kids? What does selfish even mean? Will society ever accept a woman’s decision not to have kids? Could our other accomplishments possibly matter as much as having a baby would?

“I want women, especially young women, to know they have a choice on whether or not to become a mother,” said Shechter. “This film is going to look at the ways in which our society should be affirming that choice, from the conversations we have with our families to how we’re depicted in popular culture to gaining our full reproductive rights.”

Visit the My So-Called Selfish Life’s website to tell your own story of being child-free, learn how you can support the project, find resources and connect on Facebook.

More: I'm one of those women passing on pregnancy for the sake of the climate

By Chanel Dubofsky

Originally published on HelloFlo.