40 Celebrities Who Have Opened Up About Not Wanting Kids

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celebrities who don't want kids

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There’s nothing more delightful than the age-old tradition of celebrities getting pregnant, staging elaborate reveals on Instagram, and then casually announcing that they named their kid X Æ A-12, Apple, or True. But here’s the thing: not all celebrities (or regular people for that matter) want to have kids.

Whether it’s because they want to focus on their career, or they never got around to it, or they’d rather not bring a child into this messed-up world (for reference, please see: 2020), or they just simply don’t want to, plenty of celebrities have opted out of the whole ~having kids~ thang. But in spite all of those very valid and highly personal reasons, they’re constantly asked about it in interviews, which…le eye-roll.

Check out 40 celebrities who have gone on the record about why they don’t want children, including Miley Cyrus, Jared Leto, Jennifer Aniston, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oprah, and Marisa Tomei—whose quote is my personal fave. Ahem: “I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.”

1 of 40

Miley Cyrus

“We just take and take and expect it to keep producing. And it’s exhausted. It can’t produce. We’re getting handed a piece-of-shit planet, and I refuse to hand that down to my child. Until I feel like my kid would live on an earth with fish in the water, I’m not bringing in another person to deal with that.”

—Miley Cyrus, Elle Magazine, 2019

2 of 40

Jared Leto

“I think it’s really important to be present if you have children. I have a lot of…things to take care of.”

—Jared Leto, ES Magazine, 2017

3 of 40

Kim Cattrall

“I try not to listen to the shoulds or coulds, and try to get beyond expectations, peer pressure, or trying to please—and just listen. I believe all the answers are ultimately within us. When I answered those questions regarding having children, I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn’t ready to take that step into motherhood.”

—Kim Cattrall, O Magazine, 2003

4 of 40

Rashida Jones

“I’m happy, but the fact that I’m not married and don’t have kids — it’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I actually am OK with that, where I actually don’t feel like I’m some sort of loser.”

—Rashida Jones, The Guardian, 2014

5 of 40

Jennifer Aniston

“I don’t like [the pressure] that people put on me, on women—that you’ve failed yourself as a female because you haven’t procreated. I don’t think it’s fair. You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t mothering—dogs, friends, friends’ children. This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself; that I don’t want to be a mother, and how selfish that is.”

—Jennifer Aniston, Allure, 2014

6 of 40

Betty White

“No, I’ve never regretted it. I’m so compulsive about stuff. I know that if I had ever gotten pregnant, of course, that would’ve been my whole focus. But I didn’t choose to have children because I’m focused on my career and I don’t think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both.”

—Betty White, CBS Sunday Morning, 2011

7 of 40

Leonardo DiCaprio

“Do you mean do I want to bring children into a world like this? If it happens, it happens. I’d prefer not to get into specifics about it, just because then it becomes something that is misquoted.”

—Leonardo DiCaprio, Rolling Stone, 2016

8 of 40

Tracee Ellis Ross

“I’m constantly asking myself questions, reminding myself, ‘Are you making that decision for you or someone else?’ The husband and the babies are the expectation of what’s supposed to happen at a certain point, and people fall back on, ‘Well, that’s the point of the human species, procreation.’ And I’m, like, ‘I think there are a lot of babies, isn’t that part of what’s going wrong, there’s too many?’ Some people could be working on the world being a better place, or just being happy.”

—Tracee Ellis Ross, The Times, 2018

9 of 40

Winona Ryder

“This is a little personal but I’m 42 and… Well, I was talking to my dad last year and saying, ‘What if I can’t have a kid?’ and he said, ‘There are other ways to have children in your life’. That’s true—and I get these amazing doses with my brother’s kids. But I’ve got to stop listening to other people. It’s crazy the stuff women will tell you.”

—Winona Ryder, The Telegraph, 2014

10 of 40

Dolly Parton

“I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life. I’ve loved their kids just like they’re my grandkids, and now I’ve got great-grand-kids! Now I’m GeeGee, which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn’t meant for me to have kids so everybody’s kids can be mine.”

—Dolly Parton, People Country, 2014

11 of 40

Portia de Rossi

“There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, ‘Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?’ I didn’t feel that my response was ‘yes’ to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did.”

—Portia de Rossi, Out, 2013

12 of 40

Margaret Cho

“I have no maternal instincts whatsoever. I am barren. I am bone-dry. When I see children, I feel nothing. I ovulate sand.”

—Margaret Cho, Revolution, 2003

13 of 40

Keanu Reeves

“It’s too late. It’s over…I’m 52. I’m not going to have any kids.”

—Keanu Reeves, Esquire, 2017

14 of 40

Chelsea Handler

“I don’t think I’d be a great mother … I don’t want to have a kid and have it raised by a nanny. I don’t have the time to raise a child.”

—Chelsea Handler, The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet, 2013

15 of 40

Aisha Tyler

“I wanted families [and] couples to know that it was a valid choice not to get on this crazy merry-go-round of IVF and tens and tens of thousands of dollars. I wanted people to feel—men and women—it’s okay to say, ‘I love my marriage, I love my life, I choose not to have children.'”

—Aisha Tyler, Huff Post Live, 2014

16 of 40

Helen Mirren

“It was not my destiny. I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought.”

—Helen Mirren, Vogue, 2013

17 of 40

Renée Zellweger

“Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don’t think like that. I never have expectations like, ‘When I’m 19 I’m going to do this, and by the time I’ve hit 25 I’m going to do that.’ I just take things as they come, each day at a time, and if things happen, all well and good.”

—Renée Zellweger, London Times, 2008

18 of 40

Dita von Teese

“I was married to someone who was not cut-out to be a father. He could hardly take care of himself, let alone a child, so I changed my views, adapted accordingly, thought: It’s okay not to have children. Now I’m just going to watch how my life unfolds and see what happens. I’m not going to be less of a person if I don’t have children. It will work out the way it is supposed to.”

—Dita von Teese, The Independent, 2007

19 of 40

Janeane Garofalo

“As much as I enjoy other people’s children, my dogs have always been for me and my boyfriend our babies. I mean, we’re those types of people that people probably loathe if they overheard us the way we are with our dogs. But we both are very certain that not having married when we were younger and having children when we were younger was the right thing to do.”

—Janeane Garofalo, Middle Mojo, 2011

20 of 40

Jay and Mavis Leno

“It’s perfectly obvious the women are the ones trapped. I remember telling my mother when I was 7 or 8 that I was never going to get married or have children. To me, this is the way women get caught.”

—Mavis Leno, The Washington Post, 2014

21 of 40

Fiona Apple

“I’ve never wanted kids. But I do read about parenting a lot. For some reason it’s very interesting to me, I think because I’m just big on self-parenting.”

—Fiona Apple, Interview Magazine, 2012

22 of 40

Christopher Walken

“I’m sure many of the kids I knew as a child would have continued in show business, but they had kids of their own, had to do something dependable. I didn’t, so I could get by even in periods of unemployment.”

—Christopher Walken, The Guardian, 2013

23 of 40

Rachael Ray

“I work too much to be an appropriate parent. I feel like a bad mom to my dog some days because I’m just not here enough. I just feel like I would do a bad job if I took the time to literally give birth to a kid right now and try and juggle everything I’m doing.”

—Rachael Ray, People, 2007

24 of 40

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

“I never had a burning desire to have children. But then I met Nick, and I thought This is the only person I’d do this with. So we tried, but I was a little long in the tooth for that sort of thing. But we didn’t turn it into a soap opera. We tried for about a year or so, and it didn’t happen, and took that to mean it wasn’t meant to be.”

— Megan Mullally, GQ, 2017

25 of 40

Jennifer Westfeldt

“I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I’d be this age and not have kids. But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated. I kept feeling like I’d wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven’t. And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it. I may wake up tomorrow with that lightning bolt, and I’ll have to scramble to make it happen.”

—Jennifer Westfeldt, New York Times, 2012

26 of 40

Oprah Winfrey

“If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me; because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”

—Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood Reporter, 2013

27 of 40

Ashley Judd

“I figured it was selfish for us to pour our resources into making our ‘own’ babies when those very resources and energy could not only help children already here, but through advocacy and service transform the world into a place where no child ever needs to be born into poverty and abuse again. My belief has not changed. It is a big part of who I am.”

—Ashley Judd, All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir, 2011

28 of 40

Ricky Gervais

“I didn’t have a work ethic for such a long time. Imagine if I had a child like me? I didn’t start earning until I was 36. I’m the sort of person who has to check three times that I’ve shut the door, so I’d probably stare at a kid all day to check it was breathing.”

—Ricky Gervais, Red Magazine, 2009

29 of 40

Lily Tomlin

“That’s perfectly fine for somebody who wants to. But at that time I didn’t want to—and I’m glad I don’t—have any children. God only knows what I would have done with them, poor things. I really do like kids, but there wouldn’t have been room in my life to raise children. I was so involved with my career and I would have had to give up the career in large part because I could not possibly have shortchanged the child.”

—Lily Tomlin, Metro Weekly, 2006

30 of 40

Stevie Nicks

“It’s like, ‘Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover?’ With kids, your focus changes. I don’t want to go to PTA meetings.”

—Stevie Nicks, InStyle, 2002

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