Wanting to become a parent

The desire to become a parent varies greatly. Some people do not want children at all, others are unsure, while others describe feeling a strong urge for parenthood. Personal life experiences, cultural values, religious beliefs, and social norms around gender, sexuality and relationships all shape the extent to which people want to become parents.

The people we spoke with shared their perspectives and feelings about wanting to have children. In the first film below, they reflect on personal feelings, including having ‘always’ wanted to have children, deciding later in life that this is what they wanted, and feeling ambivalent about having children.

The second film features examples of people’s thoughts about having children in relation to ‘external’ factors. These include family expectations, a shared desire to have children with a partner, and social norms related to the perceived ‘order’ in which life ought to be lived.

Wanting to become a parent – personal feelings

Wanting to become a parent – external influences