Would you start a family now?

Given the circumstances of the past few weeks, do you think it is prudent to start a family now?

I am struggling with the idea of bringing a new life into the world on what could be the beginning of a bio war. I know we aren’t supposed to be afraid, and that we should go ahead and live our lives as normally as we can, but this is something that goes beyond bravado and into the realm of morality.

So what do you think?


Sure. There are always some seemingly good reasons people find for not starting families, so if you waited for everything to be hunky dory you’d wait forever.

Anthrax is not nearly as scary as it could be because it isn’t particularly contagious. Plague is treatable. Many of us are already immunized against smallpox and that would be transferred to your child until it could get properly immunized. Biological warfare is not nearly as dangerous for us, with a healthy population and a solid medical infrastructure, as it would be in, say, the Sudan (but who’d notice it there? :frowning: ). It only works when that infrastructure has been destroyed.

So, go ahead. If nothing else it could keep you from getting drafted.

Much of the world has it a lot worse than we will ever know, yet they still reproduce. People living in poverty, people in perpetual war, people who have never know comfort still choose to share their love with a child.

I’m not saying that you should breed, I am just saying that the current situation is no excuse compared to the vast horrors around us in the world and behind us in history.

Also, don’t forget, it’s a bit risky, but if worse came to absolute worst, there is in fact an anthrax vaccine.

My parents had the same debate in the early 60’s. They were unsure about bringing a child into the world what with the impending nuclear war and the Communist take over. Obviously they decided to take a chance and have kids. You should too. You question has been asked by every generation going back into pre-history.


I’d say go for it! I personally have complete confidence America and other contries will nip this thing in the bud.

If that will make you happy, then you should, IMHO. Nothing is guaranteed in life any way. You may want a “family,” then you might find your partner taken away from you for any number of reasons. Or your child may die early. Some of the situations shown re: the WTC murders are very sad, such as pregnant women who lost their husbands. There is a “zero population growth” organization at http://www.zpg.org/
But I say only you know in your heart what your needs are. Best of luck.

9 months ago, friends of my brother created a baby. Today she was born.

She was born into a world totally unlike the one that existed 9 months ago, or even 5 weeks ago. War is a reality today, but it would have been impossible for her parents to predict that.

Just as they had no way of knowing how dramatically things would change before their daughter’s birth, we have no way of knowing what will happen in the future. If we wait until this war is over before starting our families, who knows when another conflict may break out? We can’t spend our entire lives waiting for the war to end so we can have children - we may have to wait too long. All we can do is take stock of our current circumstances, and hope for the best. In the end, it all falls to luck anyway.

Well, even if you decide not to have a child, it shouldn’t stop you from practicing. :slight_smile: But since I don’t have kids, and don’t want any, it’s an interesting position for me to think about. I say do it.

I’d also add that I sensed some real joy on the boards as Dopers posted the births of their children since 9/11. I felt that way about newborns of Dopers I’d never interacted with before! There is something about “Life going on” that is healing.

And the risks to your future child’s health and well-being are not, alas, terribly different than those faced by kids born before 9/11.

I suffered from infertility for three years, adopted, then got pregnant. If you want to have kids, don’t let external factors stop you from starting to try. Who knows, this may be your month for optimal hormone levels that may not return for years. The current war (in Afganistan) could be completely over before you even conceive. As far as the threat of bioterrorism, etc…that hasn’t changed at all since September 10th - you are just more aware of it now.

Besides, once you have kids, you’ll realize that the threat of anthrax is nothing compared to the complete terror of watching your 18 month old WALK down a flight of stairs.

My parents got married 6 weeks after Pearl Harbor. My sisters were born during World War II when my father was in the Army, and I was born during the Korean War, when he was waiting to be recalled to active duty. My mother was a nurse and “knew how to take care of herself” - so those pregnancies were not accidents. Once Korea ended and things had supposedly quieted down, my mother suffered two miscarriages.

The point is, there are no guarantees. Do what your heart tells you.

There’s never a perfect time to do anything. People wait to have a family till they pay off their college loans, till they get a good job, till they get their perfect house, etc. In the meantime, life happens. Go ahead and have kids. You’ll just learn to roll with the punches and adapt to whatever life throws at you. Best of luck.

Thanks for all of the responses.

It pretty much echos what most people have been telling me. It’s just getting harder and harder to deal with the anxiety that has slowly built up since 9/11.

I haven’t even been able to sleep through the night lately.

Again, thanks for all the advice.