The Parent-to-Childfree Spectrum

There has been much debate over the last few days over the definition of the term Childfree. I feel the spectrum is best described with a graphic. Unable to find one on the web, I made one.

the parent-to-childfree spectrum

©2011-2012 Lori Luza.

Best viewed with a browser that will re-size the graphic to fit the window.

From people who happen to have children, to parents, to the childless, to the childfree, this graphic I made describes the whole spectrum.



For those who are curious where we fall, we fall into the Childfree sub-category above. We are also “fixed”, so we don’t have to be Militant.

6 thoughts on “The Parent-to-Childfree Spectrum

  1. The comment under the childless heading can be true in some cases, but in many cases, those who experience a “physical or financial windfall that allows them to have/adopt children…” do not become great parents. Many times, these are the people who see their children as such miracles that they deem everything – even the tantrums, bad manners, and horrible behavior – the kid does as “cute” or “precocious.” The children of these parents oftentimes are the most horrendously spoiled of the whole lot.

    • Kelly,

      Thank you for your comment! I appreciate the feedback.

      While that hasn’t been my experience with such parents, it is a group to note…and one I had not considered.

      This is, of course, a spectrum based on my opinion…and a first drraft at that. I’ll certainly consider your perspective for the next revision.


  2. Other than that bit, the chart is right on the money, in my opinion. I’ve gone from childfree to militant childfree, and the pendulum is swinging back to a moderate position. I think it’s interesting how few people (myself included) don’t even think about the childfree alternative. It’s almost as though we are socially brainwashed to think that having/adopting children is a milestone we MUST complete.

    Once I discovered the choice was out there, I thought, “Heck yeah! Other people like me exist!” Then, I ravenously read everything I could read on the topic. I quickly became a bit heated, because I discovered how many people just plain hate those of us who choose not to have/adopt children.

    Thanks for the graphic. It is a great “in a nutshell” view of the childed -> childfree spectrum.

  3. I like the chart! I think it’s a good generalization on the different categories. We definitely fall under the Childfree sub-category as well. When we first got married and were frequently asked, “when kids?”, we would say things like, “not right now”, “when the time is right we will know”, but I think both of us had strong feelings of not having children that we didn’t know about until 6+ years passed and more and more often we had conversations about parUNts and other families and our lack of desire to be any part of that. More than anything I wish people realized children are a choice, not a must-do milestone. Not everyone is cut out for it and many live unhappy lives (parents and children) because of that.

    • Thank you, Jessica.

      When we got married, we thought we wanted three kids. Then, I went through what I thought was a “funk” and didn’t want any. I was sure I’d get over it, especially since it wasn’t yet time in our grand plan. đŸ™‚ Then, months later, Emil woke up one morning and said, “I don’t think I want to have kids.” I asked him “now? or ever?”. He said ever, I never came out of my “funk” and here we are.

      Of course, there is more to it than that–and many, many reasons to not–but we’ve never looked back.


    • Speaking of people not realizing children are a choice, I assumed my wife would want kids ater we got married—so much so that I never even thought to bring it up before we got married to make sure we were on the same page.

      I love kids. Turns out she only loves other peoples’ kids, and only the good ones at that. I discovered how much she didn’t want kids when she was late one month a few months after we got married and she cried like someone had killed our puppy. We finally talked about having kids after that incident (false alarm), and it was only then that she told me she never wanted to have kids.

      As the years have gone by, I’ve come to appreciate the pros of being “Childless” after unknowingly marrying a girl who’s “Childfree Since Birth”, but it was certainly a surprise to discover that not all girls who get married actually want to have kids.

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