Should I Have Kids?
Amy Cao Smith

I loved reading your article, and I am a profound proponent of personal freedom in wanting to have children. If I may, I would like to add another perspective to the matter.

Generally speaking,when contemplating children we create a hypothetical imaginarium with us at the center. Our concerns are, in broad lines, about the effect this child will have on our lives. And from that central viewpoint, we decide on the question “should we have children?”. Well, “should” carries with it a certain moral dimension (not necessarily, but lets play along), which imposes a multiplicity of viewpoints.

One such viewpoint is centered on the child. “Should” s/he have YOU as a parent? As I entered my 30th year amid increasingly frequent questions from my friends and family, answering that question became harder and harder — the optimism and arrogance of prior youth started fading. Maturity brings with increasing awareness of our own limitations. Now, instead of asking myself, “Do I want a child”, I ask, “Can I be a good parent to this new soul I’m bringing into the world, without her/his consent?”

While I haven’t settled on an answer, I do hope that whenever someone decides to go ahead and get pregnant they are fully aware of the implications, not just with respect to their own lives, but with respect to the future person’s life. Best of luck!

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