“If I don’t reproduce, my family tree will end.”

Jillian, 37, USA

I am an only child who was also adopted at birth by parents who wanted a child for many years.

With that said, I’ve led a very special and privileged life. My parents devoted their life to me – especially my mom, who was a “stay at home” mom and provided me with a picture-perfect childhood. I have wonderful memories of growing up and continue to have a very strong and special bond with my parents.

You may ask why wouldn’t I want to provide the same for my own children? Or give my parents the beauty and miracle of a grandchild? Well…. I just never really had the desire. Many of my female friends have always had the desire to be a mom and raise children; me, not so much. Perhaps being an only child, growing up around adults, I’ve always been an old soul and identified more with mature adults rather than the kids I grew up with. I never really liked kids – even when I was a kid.

As an adopted child, I have always been very fulfilled and truly recognize my family as MY family. However, there’s always been a small piece of me who has wondered about my genetic bloodline. If I don’t reproduce, my family tree will end. If I don’t reproduce I’ll never have another genetically-similar human on this planet with me. That’s always been quite a big nut to crack for me. When I think of not having a child, this always creeps into my mind. I guess I always thought I’d have a child (since that is the societal norm to follow), however, I’ve never really had the burning desire. When I think about it now, it does not even excite me. Rather it gives me anxiety, fear, and is quite overwhelming. Given all those thoughts, why would I want to do this – by choice?

My husband and I met 10 years ago. It was after I went through a nasty marriage and subsequent divorce. A marriage which was built on lies and deceit. Divorce, while incredibly challenging and embarrassing, was the best decision I could have ever made. It led me to my now husband and best friend. Our connection was instant and, while I was skeptical, I really always knew he was the one. We got married five years ago. We lead a very fulfilled, happy and wonderful life. We count our blessings every day.

I recall on Christmas Eve of our first year married, we sat at a restaurant talking about how we weren’t ready for kids yet, but perhaps, at this time next year, we’d be ready. Next year came and went, as did more years, and the desire never came – for either of us. Now, in our late thirties, we tell people that kids aren’t for us.