The Childless by Choice Project began when Laura Scott picked up Madelyn Cain’s book The Childless Revolution back in 2003. Was there really a childless revolution? Were other women choosing a life without kids?
Yes, and no. The Childless Revolution highlighted the fact that more and more women are childless but most of the pages featured women who were childless by happenstance or circumstance rather than choice. What about those women, like Scott, who had intentionally chosen to remain childless? What about their husbands and partners; surely they had something to say about their decision? Or did they?
Motivated by her own introspection and curiosity, Scott read everything she could get her hands on related to voluntarily childlessness. Her literature review was followed by years of research including a survey of 171 childless by choice individuals across the United States and Canada and a road trip that took her to ten of the United States and two Canadian Provinces to interview childless by choice couples, affinity group leaders, social scientists, demographers, historians, and authors.
What did she learn? Plenty.
Scott learned that some of the assumptions people make about the childless by choice don’t hold up under scrutiny. She found that the decision to remain childless is not made in a vacuum. The childless by choice are influenced by peers, partners, parents, siblings, fears, hopes, ideals, dreams, belief systems, the world around them, and their own sense of self. She would come to understand that the decision to remain childfree is more than just a lifestyle choice; it's a process of discernment.
Scott determined that the childless by choice generally fall into four categories depending on how they came to the decision to remain childless: Early Articulators, Postponers, Acquiescers, and the Undecided. She observed that humor, particularly the self-deprecating kind, is a great stigma management tool for the childless by choice. She discovered that she was not childless, she was “childfree” and that some of the self-described childfree are not “free” of children at all, by choice.
Want to know more? The Childless by Choice Project has now gone beyond the research stage with a book titled Two Is Enough: A Couple's Guide to Living Childless by Choice and a documentary film currently available on DVD.
Laura Scott is President and Founder of 180 Coaching, an Executive and Life coaching service, specializing in reproductive decision-making, and has appeared on numerous TV and Radio shows including the Today Show, BBC, CBC TV and Radio, and CNN.
Please explore this site further to learn more about the survey, the book, and the documentary and check back on this site for updated information and content as Laura Scott's journey of discovery continues...
Click here for additional requests for information or media inquiries.