Whoa, Baby: UMaine Sociologist Celebrates International Childfree Day

University of Maine sociologist Amy Blackstone and several collaborators will announce a Childfree Man and Childfree Woman of the Year on Aug. 1, International Childfree Day. Winners will be selected for their accomplishments and contributions to others and to the acceptance of the childfree choice in society.

“My hope is that International Childfree Day will become an annual recognition of exemplary childfree people and their lives,” says Blackstone, an associate professor and chairwoman of the UMaine sociology department. “Childfree people have made amazing contributions to the world and their communities. In establishing this day, our aim is to foster acceptance of the childfree choice in today’s society and raise awareness about the positive roles childfree people play.”

The stigma facing those who elect to be childfree was the motivation for Blackstone, her husband Lance Blackstone, and other childfree writers and bloggers Laura Carroll, Marcia Drut-Davis, Eric Nafziger and Patricia Nafziger to bring back the celebratory day, which The National Organization for Non-Parents started Aug. 1, 1973 and called Non-Parents Day.

Blackstone maintains a blog with Lance, her husband since 1995, titled “we’re {not} having a baby! childfree adventures in a child-centric world.” Part of its manifesto is: We {are} a family!; We {don’t} hate kids, we think {some} are cool!; We {are} happy and fulfilled!; We’re {not} selfish!; and The earth revolves around the sun, {not} your kids!”

Blackstone researches childfree-by-choice adults. In September 2012, she and Mahala Dyer Stewart, a graduate of UMaine and now a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, published “Choosing to be Childfree: Research on the Decision Not to Parent,” in Sociology Compass.