Is being child free offensive to people who can't have kids?

posted 2 years ago in No Kids
Post # 2
7767 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I think mentioning it in front of your cousin was completely fine, esp given your comment was in response to someone else’s remark about babies. It sounds like your mom is the one who got offended – who even knows how your cousin actually felt? She may not have cared at all. I am currently TTC and have had one miscarriage, and it wouldn’t even occur to me to be sensitive to something like that. Your decision to have kids or not has nothing to do with my own situation. I think adoption is great and I also think being CFBC is great if that’s what feels right for you! It just literally has nothing to do with me. The type of comments that annoy me are ones from other moms usually like “just relax and it will happen” or people who bleat on endlessly about being fertile myrtles.

That said I’ve only been trying a few months so I can’t really speak for people who have struggled for a long time with infertility issues. But yeah, I think your mom was probably just having a dark moment and projecting her own issues onto your cousin. It really doesn’t sound like you said anything remotely insensitive!

Post # 3
14965 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I guess some people could be bothered by it, but it certainly isnt universal.  We’ve been TTC for 5.5 years and I couldn’t care less if someone else decided to be childfree or want to adopt rather than have bio kids.   In fact, hearing that would be more of a sigh of relief to know that I’d be hearing one leess pregnancy announcement. 

Post # 4
589 posts
Busy bee

I actually think the contrary…surely not wanting kids but having them is more offensive? If I were struggling to conceive I think seeing people become parents who don’t want to be parents would hurt. 

It’s your decision whether to have kids or not. We don’t all have to have them. Maybe, if your cousin was upset, which I’m sure she wasn’t…maybe it’s because right now she doesn’t want to hear baby talk of any form (be it people saying they want them or they don’t). My sister had a still birth last month and the general topic of children and babies is very sensitive. 

Post # 5
1373 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

As someone who is currently struggling with infertility right now, I don’t care if someone else doesn’t want bio kids. Like pinkshoes :  said it’d be nice not to have worry about that person making a pregnancy announcement.


Post # 7
891 posts
Busy bee

My mom struggled to have children… she miscarried multiple times, once at 7 months gestation.  My brother and I are both adopted.  She was not at all sensitive when I told her during my first marriage that we were intending to be CFBC.  She firmly believes that people shouldn’t have children because they feel pressured to, but because it’s something they really want.  

I’m in favor of adopting a child one day, too.  She would never be offended or shut me down if I told her I was going to adopt even though I’m likely capable of having biological children.  

Post # 8
552 posts
Busy bee

<h1 class=”entry-title”>Is being child free offensive to people who can’t have kids?</h1>

No, its not. Your body, your choice. 

You shouldn’t have a child because society thinks that you are an incomplete women if you don’t have a child. Some people aren’t cut out to be parents.

However if someone was struggling to have a baby for years, then I wouldn’t go to the person and preach the virtues about the CFBC lifestyle OR boast about my fertility either.

Not allowed:

“Unlike you, I could TOTALLY have kids whenever I want to but I’m not having kids because I want to live life on my own terms! There is NO room for children in my life even though I’m as fertile as a 15 year old!”

Also not allowed: “It literally only took one try to have our wee little one and omigosh, we are expecting our fifth one already! How many cycles have you been trying again??”.

Your cousin overheard the conversation. You are not at fault. However, you should acknowledge that is hard for someone who is stuggling to have a child to see people who don’t want kids have them. It seems selfish, and it’s entirely not right, but it is what it is.

Post # 9
5109 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

I think baby talk in any form could upset someone struggling with infertility (same with people announcing their pregnancy or talking about their kids), but that doesn’t mean that you need to totally avoid the topic, especially if someone brings it up. I think you’re totally ok discussing your own decisions about not having kids, adopting later, whatever. If you were trashing people who want kids or bragging about your awesome childfree life to your cousin, that would be pretty insensitive to her situation, but you do have the right to talk about your own life choices. 

Post # 10
1130 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with PP that your cousin is probably relieved that she won’t hear about a pregnancy announcement from you in the near future. Also, if she’s on the fence about adopting, it might make her feel better to know that adoption is your #1 choice and not a last resort. I think adopting is very admirable and would love to do so too when I’m ready! 

Post # 11
390 posts
Helper bee

I think some people struggling with infertility would find it difficult to hear such a comment – I never thought about it until I was talking to some women from my yoga group as we were waiting for our class. The yoga place has classes to help women with fertility and one of the women who was struggling to get pregnant was saying her friend invited her to a women’s group but she felt that she couldn’t attend because the group had women who were CFBC and it pained her to hear that they are choosing not have children. 

At first I found her comment very odd but I can’t judge – her experience/her struggle is very painful and I guess it makes it more painful to hear about women who are choosing not have children. 

It’s hard to say whether your cousin had an issue with your comment but I would probably refrain from making similar comments if she is around – just for the 1% that it did hurt her, I wouldn’t risk it. 


Post # 12
2855 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As someone who struggled with infertility- it’s not offensive. Just because I couldn’t have children didn’t mean everyone else had to. I’m very pro choice too and felt the same about friends having abortions – their body, their choice.

what I did find hard was my SIL talking about wanting to adopt if she was still single by 32. This was only because she is the last person who should adopt. Not least because she thinks it will be some kind of pygmalion situation.


Post # 13
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Just because you’re physically able to have children doesn’t make it a requirement. Realistically, you not wanting to have children even though you’re able will not change the fact that your cousin is struggling. Yeah, maybe don’t directly be an asshole to that person, like asking “Are you pregnant yet?” but you answering a question honestly? I don’t think it is reasonable to expect people to censor their lives. Infertility is a very difficult and sensitive topic, so I think any reaction that deems your choice “offensive” or “insensitive” is coming purely from an emotionally charged place. 

Post # 14
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

bee123456789 :  it’s not your job to censor your life to make other people feel better. It would be one thing if you were going off that kids suck and why would anyone want to be a parent ever? But the word childfree shouldn’t be something you have to hide. 

Post # 15
294 posts
Helper bee

bee123456789 :  

In real life, I do not talk about being CFBC unless someone asks me a question about my choice. 

I’m aware that some parents become offended by CFBC women for various reasons so I stay quiet. 

In your case, your cousin overheard your conversation so you did nothing wrong. I would say that it’s insensitive to discuss childfreedom in certain situations. For example, I wouldn’t mention being CFBC at a baby shower or around a woman who cannot have children. 

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