However, the August 12, 2013 TIME Magazine cover story: “The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children,” presumes that the decreasing birthrate in America is mostly due to a choice by many modern American women and men to be childfree, i.e., to remain childless by choice. After all, with all the choices available to women — the gender the piece correctly identifies as the one that carries the brunt of societal negative attitudes towards childless people — it’s assumed by many that we’ve made childlessness a choice. “If you really want to be a mother,” I’ve been told, “you’d be a mother. Nothing stops modern women from becoming mothers if that is what they really want.” But at age 44, never-married, I still choose love over motherhood, as do most American women — and men.
The heartache over what I call our “circumstantial infertility,” childlessness due to being without a partner, is exacerbated by the inexhaustible myth that we have chosen not to be mothers — and fathers.