Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence (Hardcover)

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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.

About the Author


Dr. Amy Blackstone is a professor in Sociology and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine, where she studies childlessness and the childfree choice, workplace harassment, and civic engagement. Her work has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including American Sociological Review, Law & Society Review, Sociology Compass, and Gender & Society. Professor Blackstone’s research has been featured by various media outlets including the Katie show, public radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, USA Today, New York, Huffington Post, and other local and national venues. Childfree by Choice is her first book.

Praise For…


Praise for Dr. Amy Blackstone and Childfree by Choice

“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.”—Kirkus

“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.”—Booklist

"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

"Plenty of people don’t want to be parents, and thus find themselves pariahs.  In this rigorously reported and passionately personal exploration of the what non-parents face in our pronatal – and super judgy – world, Blackstone vanquishes the stigma of childfree adulthood in the name of choice, and offers perspective for a meaningful, connected life—pariahs no more."—Lauren Sandler, award-winning journalist and the author of One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child  

“In her new book Childfree by Choice, Sociologist and Childfree Blogger, Dr. Amy Blackstone offers a veritable State of the Childfree Union, going beyond the stereotypes and giving us the full spectrum of diverse motives, perspectives, and voices and a clearer understanding of the cultural, social, and economic drivers of this emerging movement.  The research presented often debunks the common myths around this choice while reminding us the choice to remain childfree is simply a choice made by individuals and couples in the pursuit of happiness and self actualization, much the same way our friends make the choice to become parents.”—Laura S. Scott, author of Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice and Director of The Childless by Choice Project

"Living Childfree by Choice does not mean living a life free of children to love. Childfree 'other mothers' and 'other fathers' will benefit deeply from Blackstone’s insightful look at the integral role these generous friends and family members play in the modern family village. Their legacy isn't birthed; it's earned."—Melanie Notkin, founder and national bestselling author of SAVVY AUNTIE® - A Modern Celebration of Aunthood, and OTHERHOOD®: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness.

“Anyone who’s already eschewed reproducing will devour [Childfree by Choice]…. It’s calm, and filled with validation and affirmation to counter the guilt-tripping. Statistics and case studies further offer a sense of affinity for like-minded readers but, they aren’t the only ones to benefit from reading this book… it’s rich in information for non-parents and parents alike. Childfree by Choice is for anyone concerned about today’s family life, so bump it to the top of your TBR list.”—Terri Schlichenmeyer (The Bookworm Sez)

“In my comedy, I've discussed a lot of topics wherein I personally differ from the mainstream, with respect to things like veganism, polyamory, drugs, religion, and children. I think it's important for minority views to be discussed thoughtfully, so that people who share such views can find their tribe, so that other people who might resonate with them can be exposed to different viewpoints, and so that the status quo can be respectfully challenged, not necessarily to take it down, but to make space for a diversity of perspectives, which can only serve to make society stronger and more inclusive, and allow everyone all the opportunities to know themselves and their options as fully as possible. For this reason, I recommend everyone pick up Amy Blackstone’s Childfree by Choice!”—Comedian Myq Kaplan

"Amy Blackstone’s deep dive into this taboo subject is grounded in serious scholarship, but delivered with the wit and empathy to resonate with the childfree and parents alike. Beyond the personal conversations this book will surely spark, Childfree By Choice should be required reading for anyone creating public policy affecting women’s bodies and lives."—Therese Shechter, director "My So-Called Selfish Life"

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for. Amy Blackstone offers deep research, much food for thought, and a great excuse to open those important discussions about the childfree choice.”—Maxine Trump, writer and filmmaker, To Kid or Not to Kid

“A sweeping overview of everything you wanted to know about people who choose not to be parents. From a history of fertility, to the social movement that began in the 1970’s, to interviews with childfree adults today, and peppered with the author’s own life experiences, Childfree by Choice is a very enjoyable read about an often misunderstood portion of the population.”—Barbara J. Risman, College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Childfree by Choice is a smart, entertaining, and comprehensive look at the history of the childfree movement and the societal pressures experienced by those who choose not to have children, coming at an important point in society’s recognition of the right of people to set their own course in life, and the importance of long-term thinking on the future of the planet and the wellbeing of all of its inhabitants. Not to be missed.”—William Ryerson, President, Population Media Center



Product Details
ISBN: 9781524744090
ISBN-10: 1524744093
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Pages: 304