The Back Story on August 1 as International Childfree Day

international childfree day

As many of you may know, my book, Families of Two, Interviews with Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, came out in 2000 and received international attention. This coupled with my blog, La Vie Childfree (which now lives here in my childfree writings library) and media presence since then, I’ve become a leading voice on the childfree choice. While running La Vie Childfree, I learned of an organization that existed in the 70s-early 80s-the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood. This gave me the idea to create August 1 as International Childfree Day. The back story:

Called the National Organization for Non-Parents (NON) at the time, in 1973 it celebrated “Non-Parents Day” on August 1st, and announced a Male and Female Non-Parent of the Year. The winners were Stewart Mott, a 35 year old bachelor and philanthropist and Mrs. Anna Silverman, a 25 year old teacher and co-author (with her husband Arthur) of The Case Against Having Children.

They both rode down 5th Avenue in New York in an open top cab with laurel leaf crowns, and were crowned “Non-Parent King and Queen” near the Plaza Hotel to call attention to August 1, Non-Parents Day. There were other festivities, including, Joan Harriman, a mother and executive coordinator of NON at the time, who organized a “Consciousness Raising Social” at the Institute for Rational Living, with the National Nointernational childfree dayn-Parents of the Year winners presiding.

Reading about this organization and Non-Parents Day inspired me to resurrect this day. Last year I sought out childfree authors and bloggers to see if they wanted to be part of bringing back this day, now calling it International Childfree Day. I put together this team:

Marcia Drut-Davis, is author of Confessions of a Childfree Woman, and has been involved the education of the childfree choice for many years, including quite the experience talking about this topic on 60 Minutes.

Patricia Yvette, is a Contributing Editor for Bella Online, and author of Being Fruitful without Multiplying: Stories and Essays from Around the World.(which won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal Book Award!)

Amy and Lance Blackstone run the blog We’re Not Having a Baby. Amy is an Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Maine who studies the childfree, including childfree familiesresearch methods, and workplace experiences. 

Patricia took the lead in creating the International Childfree Day website, the team put the word out on our sites and in social media for childfree man and woman of the year nominees, and announced the winners on August 1, 2013. Year one was a great success!

This year I took on the International Childfree Day website, and in addition to myself, the Selection Panel included Patricia, Amy, Lance and last year’s winners, Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon and Theophile de Giraud.

Like last year, this year we received great nominations! The 2014 winners: documentary filmmaker Magenta Birabeau and author Dann Alexander. Read more about them here!

In reviewing the nominations this year, the Panel also voted to give special recognition to Marcia Drut-Davis for being a pioneer of the childfree lifestyle, and her efforts to make the childfree lifestyle an accepted and respected choice in society.

I too, knew of her bold efforts. I met Marcia in 2011, wrote about her 60 Minutes experience, and encouraged her to get her memoir out there. I am so so glad she did! Many people now know about and applaud her 40 year dedication to educating people about the childfree choice and the negative impacts of pronatalism on all of us, parents and not.

Along with my long-standing mission of the acceptance of the childfree choice as part of moving toward a post-pronatal society, I remain dedicated to making International Childfree Day on August 1st happen as an annual recognition of amazing childfree people and their lives, and to continue NON’s mission of educating “the public on non-parenthood as a valid lifestyle option.”

Happy International Childfree Day!

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