As the number of US couples without children increases, a growing number of them are favouring – and pampering – pets as they would kids.

Author image

By Jessica Klein
2nd September 2019


In Ypsilanti, in the US state of Michigan, Lisa Rochow sits beside her partner, Cameron Wheeler, as their Siberian Husky puppy crawls over their laps. Even though Aery, who keeps trying to wander off the couch, is a new addition to the family, both Rochow and Wheeler look relaxed for first-time ‘parents’.

Aery is their baby: they won’t be having children. Rochow, 24, a graduate student in social work; Wheeler, 26, a high-school history teacher preparing for graduate school; and Aery, the nine-week-old puppy, make up a complete family unit.

“I feel like I would be giving up a lot of my life to be a parent,” says Rochow. “That would cost money, that would cost time, that would cost things that you want to do.” Wheeler adds that he’d constantly worry about a child – “more so than most parents”.

But “being child-free, a puppy has always been on the radar,” says Rochow, who knew she didn’t want kids as early as high school. When she met Wheeler on Tinder at a music festival, he felt the same way about being child-free.  See the rest of the article here