Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Parenthood an altruistic act?

A guest post by TikunOlam

Fascinating post on DYS's site about MO women choosing to become single mothers. There was an interesting discussion regarding the motivations of these single women as though their motivations are somehow qualitatively different than the motivations of couples who choose to have children.

This is an already overpopulated world with not enough resources to go around. In fact, most of the world lives in poverty. In addition, there are countless children already in this world in need of families. Some of them live within minutes of you and me.

I don't think there is anything altruistic about becoming a parent. Children do not ask to be born. You are not doing the world a favor by bringing a child into it.

Is it the natural course of things? Sure. Do some cultures and religions dictate that one "should" procreate? Sure. But an altruistic act? No way. We have children because we want them, believe that we "should" have them to fulfill a religious or cultural obligation or because we got pregnant or impregnated someone by accident and felt it our moral obligation to raise the child that we created. For the record, I think that single women who are equipped to be good mothers should be supported in their desire to become mothers.

I chose to have children because I wanted to be a mother. I knew that being a mother would be the single most fulfilling thing I ever did in my life. Being a mother has far surpassed my expectations and brought me my greatest joys in life. While I have no doubt that my children will only add in a positive way to this world now that they are here, never for a moment, do I kid myself into believing that I did anyone a favor when I chose to become a mother.

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