A transcript of Nina Steele’s interview for the Russian TV channel LifeNews

How did you decide to become childfree?
I didn’t make the decision not to have children. My husband and I tried and failed to become parents from 2004 to 2013. In 2013 we decided to stop trying and we have never looked back. I can no longer imagine myself having children and I am totally happy with being childless. I have a very strong marriage and life has never felt better.

Many say that childfree is all about choice. That you can choose whether to have kids or not. But it’s also about the right not to have children. Is that correct?
Having children is not a decision that anyone should make lightly because of the many implications and responsibilities that come with it. Children are precious and as such, they should be given the best start in life. Anyone who makes the decision not to have children deserves respect because they understand the enormity of it and made an informed decision not to have them.

There’s an opinion that childfree people are protecting the children even more than parents. Can you agree with the statement?
This ties into what I said previously about people who choose not to have children having made an informed decision. What we see a lot today, is people who have children without giving it much thought, not understanding the impact on the child and society in general. For example, when children are born to teenage mothers who are children themselves and often end up in care or going off the rails. We as a society pay a price for bad parenting, not just the parents. When a child who did not have the best start in life becomes a criminal, everyone in society can become a victim of that child. This is why being a good parent is so important. Equally, this is why I respect the people who choose not to have children. They understand that having children comes with a lot of responsibilities and they have decided that it is something they prefer not to take on.

What do you think of those who are trying to poke their noses into others’ affairs especially childfree people?
We live in pro-natalist societies and as such everyone is expected to have children. This attitude made sense when the survival of the human species was at stake, but with overpopulation today, there is no justification for demanding that everyone has children. It is very ignorant to want everyone to have children. There are so many issues at stake here. Among those issues is overpopulation that I mentioned above. If we all had children, chances are that the world resources would not be able to cope. Secondly, not everyone can have children and thirdly, we must accept that parenthood is not for everyone and as such people who choose not to have children deserve respect, not criticism.

Is the childfree life becoming mainstream?
Absolutely. I often criticise the celebrity culture, however, high profile childless celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Helen Mirren are making a case for the choice not to have children and are helping decrease the stigma that comes with it. There are also many websites such as my own, which are constantly challenging the status quo and making people understand that there is an alternative to having children. We all have a role to play in society. Those who have children ensure continuity of the human species, while those without children, contribute in other meaningful ways. For example, childless/childfree women can have an unbroken career, while mothers take time off work to raise their children.

Nina Steele

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