Is The COVID-19 Pandemic Altering Millennials’ Plans to Have Kids? | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children

In an ideal world, the weighty, challenge-filled role of “parent” would always be entered into with preparation and unfettered joy. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where abortion access has fallen dramatically in America over the last few years. It is necessary to understand that some percentage of pregnant people in the U.S. become parents by default, not by choice. Even for those young Americans with reproductive options at their disposal, parenting can still be a thorny proposition: The U.S. birth rate is at its lowest point in 30 years, with many millennials unable to afford the cost of raising a child.

Now, as the world struggles to adapt to the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s individual choices about having children are becoming increasingly complicated. Nearly every aspect of childbirth and child rearing is made exponentially more difficult by the pandemic, from the experience of giving birth to the struggle to balance work with 24/7 childcare.

Given all this, perhaps it’s not surprising that some millennials are rethinking having kids due to the economic uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. Jessica, a 27-year-old self-described “millennial single lesbian,” spent several months of 2019 attempting to conceive using frozen donor sperm to no avail. “I intended to try again this year, but I now feel totally paralyzed about financial security, et cetera, and am now no longer planning to try to get pregnant anytime soon,” she said.

Megan, also 27, was always unsure about having children due to the financial burden it would create, but the pandemic has brought her firmly down on the “no kids” side, despite the deep desire she once felt to have them someday. “Now that COVID-19 is going to be around for probably the next year (maybe more), I simply don’t want to have kids anymore,” said Megan. “It’s not affordable. I can’t justify bringing a human being into a world that’s so fucked, and COVID made that aspect even worse.”

Erin, 31, was on the precipice of a big year: She had a book coming out in November, was planning a wedding, and thinking about having children in the near future. “Then the pandemic happened,” she said, adding, “Given the uncertainty of both the pandemic and the 2020 election, right now I can’t in good conscience think about starting a family anytime soon. As much as I’d love to achieve the dream of having it all, I know it’s probably better to wait until there’s a more optimistic landscape.”

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