No Kids Couples

Reporter: Jackie Quist

For some Australians there's no paradox, but if their parents had made the kind of choice they're now proud to proclaim, they wouldn't be able to say that a child free life is the best decision they've ever made. Don and Margie McIntyre are putting a life of adventure ahead of child rearing.

Most of us would probably prefer to have a baby than go through 12 months of hell in Antarctica. "You could say our adventures are our baby, because you go through all the planning and you work out the best timing to actually do that adventure so I can see the parallel along there and you do, you become passionate about that adventure", the couple said.

Life without kids has afforded them extraordinary freedom -- to behave like kids. "We can do whatever we want, we can be as silly as we want, we don't have to worry about embarrassing the kids. We don't have to behave like parents, when we go to McDonalds if we want to order everything, we can", they added.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, childless couples will outnumber families with children within three years. By 2020 a quarter of women over 45 will not have had a child and it's likely they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

One child living at home until the age of 20 will cost you just under $300,000 and two children can set you back nearly $500,000. If one for mum, one for dad and one for the country suits you, be prepared to fork out over $630,000.

38 year old Pauline Ferguson decided children weren't for her 20 years ago. Considering her brother and sister have seven kids between them, she's never felt pressure from family to reproduce.

While Pauline's content to play mother to two cats, she does feel forgotten by the Government. "Federal budgets and tax cuts designed to benefit families do frustrate the absolute hell out of me because I feel that I'm contributing just as much to the taxable society and to society in general and yet they're not looking after me", Pauline said.

So sick of being asked when they would start a family, David and Susan Moore wrote a book and founded the "Child Free Zone" website. hey see Governmental efforts to increase the nation's dwindling fertility rate as irresponsible. "I think the baby bonus is fundamentally floored thinking. In a climate where we're worried about global warming and we're worried about shortages of everything, encouraging more people is just madness", David said.

At 42, sociologist Dr Fiona Stewart remains happy with the decision she made as a young woman. Her partner, euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitchske, has a child from a previous relationship. "I don't like the high maintenance that children demand. I'm all for good parenting and I think I'm too busy to give that sort of attention and that sort of time to a child", she said.

The decision not to have kids is as personal as it gets; the reasons many and varied, but Margie has this advice for dealing with thwarted grandparents. "I just told them Don was barren and then after that point, it never came up again, they just felt sorry for him you know, failed to produce", she said.