Why Does it Matter that Betty White is Childfree at 90?

Betty White is going to celebrate turning ninety years old later this year. She was married three times. She is a remarkable woman who is still a working star; who is a household name; who is so on the ball, that she makes women half her age seem rather insipid and tired. She's beautiful, smart, funny, talented and has great timing. 

Betty White David Shankbone 2010 NYC by David Shankbone on Flickr

 

  

If you google her, guess what comes up in the first three paragraphs on almost any print interview, description or video? Wait for it. It's coming. Yes, you got it. Why didn't Betty White have any children? The woman is about to be ninety years old. And she's still being asked why she didn't have children. I guess that answers the question of will people ever stop asking the question. The answer is no.

 

 

It's been at least forty years since she could have conceivably (sorry, couldn't resist) had a child. And still she's being asked why? Why? Why would anyone still care? She's done astonishing things in the last forty years, the last ninety years. Why would anyone still care whether she had children and why she didn't? It's part of her life and history, so it makes sense that it's a question that's asked. I guess. I just wonder.

 

 

Is it Only Socially Acceptable to Not Have Children When One's Infertile or Their Fertility Treatment Fails?

Is it ever ok to decide not to have children?  Do you have to have been infertile and have fertility treatment not work out? And then try adoption and have that not work out? Do you just have to run out of money? Or stamina? Is it ever OK not to have children for a simpler reason? That reason being that one simply doesn't want to. Someone who does not want to have children makes the choice not to. Not backed into that choice but choosing not to. For whatever the reasons are. Maybe the reasons are personal and not shared with the public. Or that someone did want to have children and it didn't work out.

 

 

I wonder what makes it such a fascinating subject. And why we all feel entitled to an explanation. I wonder when we all came to feel that such a personal decision was one that we could inquire about in the first six minutes of knowing someone. When is someone old enough to not be asked about why they didn't have children? Don't ask Betty White. Because clearly ninety isn't old enough. Thanks K, for talking with me about this at Fertile Yoga the other night. We're all entititled to privacy, children or no children.

 

 

 

 

This photo, “Betty White David Shankbone 2010 NYC" is copyright (c) 2010 david_shankbone and made available under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license
 
 

Topics: Infertility, Child Free, Fertility Treatment

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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