Delivering a child is a financial nightmare for many women. With the average cost of prenatal care and delivery just over $7,800 (for run-of-the-mill, no complications, no frills, no multiples, no circumcision), often money plays a role in choosing to get pregnant. Raising children is not for the financial weak, either. Estimates vary for the cost of raising a child to age 18 from $186,000 to just over $270,000.
The question was:
If money were no object, how many children would you have?”
The results are in and a bit surprising.
Tie For Last
9% of survey takers chose both None and 6-9. The None group cited different reasons, including not prepared for the commitment, not liking children and not mature enough to be responsible for themselves, much less anyone helpless. Other reasons were too much work, not enough time, no parenting skills, afraid of childbirth, health, unable to commit to spouse/partner and afraid of getting it wrong and damaging the child.
The 6-9 group were mostly from large families (of six or more siblings) and wanted to have their children brought up with the same camaraderie and closeness they had felt growing up.
The More The Merrier
11% chose the option of having 10 or more. Reasons varied from coming from large families themselves to being only children who always wanted more siblings. Two voters said they wanted built-in babysitters for the younger children. Two more liked the idea of fielding a sports team with the family name.
Nearly a Third
29% said they wanted one to two children. Despite the question, more than a quarter of them stated they would not be able to afford more than two. When prompted to reread the question, they did not change their answers, but did change the reasoning.
- Wanted one biological child and one adopted
- Always wanted two
- Wanted to adopt two for the sibling closeness
- Cannot handle more than two emotionally
- Probably happy with one, but better for child to have two.
None of those questioned admitted they only wanted to have one.
Top of the Heap
The most popular choice, with 42% of the vote, was three to five children. Most of the ones choosing this answer already had at least one child and wanted more. They were willing to adopt their significant other’s children, adopt and/or have more of their own.
More than half of these thought four was the perfect number citing everything from balance of sexes in the home to pairing of siblings for outings to getting the most from investments in clothing/sports gear/electronic toys to Little Women. One thought she may have answered differently had she not had triplets.
- Singles were just as likely to want more than five children as married people.
- Many were over 35 with children, but still wanted more.
- About 10% were over 35, but had not had any yet.
- More than 30% wanted a mix of adopted/natural or only adopted.
- Almost 25% wanted children even if they never found a spouse/partner.
- Almost 20% wanted an ethnic mix of children and specifically other than their ethnicity.
- Just under 10% would pursue advanced fertility options for more/any children.
- Fewer than 5% would choose surrogacy.
Some New Things
I hope you have taken a moment to look at the new poll. There were many influences which went into the names selected and the concept art which accompanies the tag cloud choice. To choose other, you must input your idea. Comments are welcome. This poll will not last more than a week, so if you have questions, now is the time.
This will be the final week with M3 News. Its visit count has been abysmal over the last month. So, which would you rather: Just go away or become a place where series are linked?
If you missed the Saturday Evening Post, I am looking for names for the ongoing story. If it gets large enough, it may well become a book. Seriously, if you missed the SEP, I want to know your answers.
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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