Recently, there has been increased media spotlight on adults deciding not to have children. But what about the people that can’t? Whether you are here out of curiosity, desire or need, there is nothing wrong with who you are and what you decide when it comes to this process. Everyone is different, and that is perfectly okay. This article is not about whether you should or should not be a parent. It is merely to offer options for those who want to be apart of a child’s life without becoming a traditional parent, or a parent at all. Here are five alternatives to having children!
Whether you are unable to, choose not to, or choose to, this does not determine your worth as a person. There may be people who feel inclined to comment or believe that they have a say in your decision, however the only decisions that matter belong to the party or parties directly involved.
This can be a touchy subject for some that do want to have children, but struggle due to genetics, health and a variety of other factors. In fact, more people are now opting out of the parent route for economic reasons. Thankfully, there are now more options than ever before for those who want to be a parent and require an alternative route.
1. Volunteer with a youth-oriented organization
Were you good at sports as a child? In many recreation and leisure organizations, there are coaching roles that have to be filled for youth teams. Sometimes, these roles go to parents that are involved. But that isn’t to say that is the case for every occasion. Additionally, these organizations have been noted as wonderful volunteer opportunities depending on where you live: Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Guides of Canada, Scouts Canada.
2. Involve yourself with youth around you
If you have nieces, nephews, or perhaps your friends are going through the motions of having children, you could inquire into filling a larger role in that child’s life. There are many hidden challenges to parenting, so it is likely you can find someone who would enjoy a few hours of silence while you take the kid(s) out for an adventure. Additionally, children are said to benefit from the presence of an additional adult figure whom they trust, as this can allow the child to have additional resources in the event that it is uncomfortable to discuss something with a parent.
3. Try mentoring
If you fancy being there during the development stages, then mentoring can be a strong opportunity for you to unleash your years of wisdom and experience, while helping someone else to evolve into a healthy, happy, confident adult. In Canada, there is the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Organization, and in the United States, there is Mentoring USA. This is one of the most popular alternatives to having children.
With thousands of children already in need of a strong and healthy home, this is a strong option for those who wish to be full-time parents (as in more than just a few hours a week). The Adoption Council of Canada and AdoptUSKids both offer more information on how to go through this process.
5. Open your home temporarily
There are many children who come to North America every year on school exchanges, who require temporary housing. Learning resources for Canada and the United States are available. Additionally, there are current initiatives that allow for families to take in refugees from Syria, which you can read more about here.
I hope reading about five fulfilling alternatives to having children was helpful! I originally published this with Thought Catalog, but given the amount of positive feedback, I decided to share this with The Liminal. If you have any thoughts, be so kind as to share in our comments! 🙂