Living a life without children

Last updated 11:00 21/01/2015
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WHOA BABY: An increasing number of people are childless, but it's not always a conscious decision.

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Many people describe their children as their greatest joy, the moment their kids were born as their proudest moment, but being a parent isn't for everyone.

Childlessness among women is on the rise, particularly among the "unintentionally childless" - those who always thought they'd have babies only to find themselves at the end of their fertility without having done so.

An increasing number of women are also choosing not to have children. A 2012 study by Statistics New Zealand found 15 per cent of women aged 40 to 44 were childless, up from 12 percent in 1996 and 9 per cent in 1981.

While it's not always by choice, Census data in New Zealand shows childlessness in women aged 40 has increased from less than one per cent of women born in 1936 to almost 10 per cent of women born in 1965. 

It's not just a woman's decision either; many men and couples choose not to procreate. Are you one of them? 

Have you decided not to have children? If so, why? Do you feel pressured or treated differently because of your decision?

Maybe you always expected to have children but circumstances didn't work out?  

What are your biggest frustrations with people's perceptions of childlessness? Alternatively, what do you think of couples who choose not to have children?

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