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From Dr. Amy Blackstone, childfree woman, co-creator of the blog we’re {not} having a baby, and nationally recognized expert on the childfree choice, comes a definitive investigation into the history and current growing movement of adults choosing to forgo parenthood: what it means for our society, economy, environment, perceived gender roles, and legacies, and how understanding and supporting all types of families can lead to positive outcomes for parents, non-parents, and children alike.

As a childfree woman, Dr. Amy Blackstone is no stranger to a wide range of negative responses when she informs people she doesn’t have–nor does she want–kids: confused looks, patronizing quips, thinly veiled pity, even outright scorn and condemnation. But she is not alone in opting out when it comes to children. More people than ever are choosing to forgo parenthood, and openly discussing a choice that’s still often perceived as taboo. Yet this choice, and its effects personally and culturally, are still often misunderstood.

Amy Blackstone, a professor of sociology, has been studying the childfree choice since 2008, a choice she and her husband had already confidently and happily made. Using her own and others’ research as well as her personal experience, Blackstone delves into the childfree movement from its conception to today, exploring gender, race, sexual orientation, politics, environmentalism, and feminism, as she strips away the misconceptions surrounding non-parents and reveals the still radical notion that support of the childfree can lead to better lives and societies for all.


“Weaving together personal anecdotes and sociological research, Blackstone makes the modern case that motherhood is a choice, rather than a duty, a destiny, or an instinct.”
—Ms. Magazine

“With quiet humor and without stridency, the author explores the subtle and not-so-subtle pressures people, in particular married women, feel to have children and the conscious or unconscious assumption that life without children is incomplete and that a ‘family’ must include children… a thoroughly researched and illuminating survey. [Childfree by Choice] will provide intellectual backing for those who have made—or are thinking of making—the choice Blackstone has made and make those who consider children essential to universal happiness reconsider their position.”

“Thoughtfully addressing harmful stereotypes with personal stories and sociological data, this will help those who choose a nonparenting path articulate their decision and push back against the criticisms leveled at them by family, friends, and strangers alike.”

—Library Journal


“A well-reasoned, evidence-based study of people who choose not to have children… Blackstone makes an impactful case for an inclusive approach toward people’s decision of whether to have children. Though this book’s offerings are much more substantial than mere peer support, childfree readers will certainly feel affirmed, and possibly inspired to pass copies along to those who doubt their choices.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Blackstone] challenges the stereotypes and debunks the myths about people who choose not to become parents in this insightful examination… An illuminating read sympathetic to both nonparents and parents alike.”



“Amy Blackstone explores the lives of people who have chosen not to have children, and puts to rest the idea that such people are ungenerous, showing us a wonderful swathe of humanity neither more nor less selfish than their peers. Writing with wit and self-assurance, she skewers the common perception that it is normal to want children, and presents another set of options, another way of life, another means to do good in the world. In her capacious work, childfree emerges as not a second choice, but a cherished identity.”

—New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon

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