My reason for not having a child is complex, as reasons usually are, but it can be summarize like this: I did not find a possible loving father for my child with whom I could create the required stable and resourceful environment.

Being unwanted child myself, I was never willing to impose such or similar situation on another being to satisfy my instinctual needs. I strongly believe that children should be born into love and excellence, and require two deserving parents who are eager to connect with the young human beings emotionally.


Now I am 43 and will definitely not have children. I gave myself time till late thirties: my number was around 37, if I was to survive. When I hit 40, I stopped even thinking about it, assuming the high risks.

Reasons

Let me list most of the parts of my reasoning to not have at least one child:

  1. My failure to find a good partner in my youth and to build a strong relationship. Bonding forever through a child with a person I would not want to have in my life was out of question for me. Therefore, I made a serious effort to know my partner first.
    1. Between ages 25 and 40, for 15 years of my best fertility, I passionately committed myself to three consecutive serious relationships, and then terminated all of them after reaching absolute certainty that they were not viable.
      I tend to be drawn to smart, kind, and masculine guys. A person with such qualities would be able to keep me for a long time. After getting to know my partners though, I discovered that I was systematically mistaken in evaluating them on some of these criteria.
      1. Higher intelligence initially can be faked by smart enough people. Wisdom must be shown in actions. I was able to discover the extend of my misjudgement only after significant time of communication and observation. Linguistic and cultural barriers and some isolation made it harder. Fancy degrees, business and professional excellence indicated only some minimal level of intelligence I needed to be involved long term.
      2. It took me a long time to understand, that kindness, or ethical core, is usually inconsistent in people: seemingly highly responsible and empathetic person in one aspect could be morally lacking in others, or under different circumstances. I constantly worked on my integrity and wanted it in people I loved. Moreover, discoveries of significant undisclosed character flaws destroy trust, and I don't know why to build any relationship without it.
      3. Pronounced masculinity is essential to my intimate attachment, but is not clearly identifiable from the beginning. Then, even a strong sexual attachment in its presence cannot help me if the attraction to the mind of the person is vanishing.

        I am willing to "speak" erotic language of love only to people I admire, provided the significant physical attraction is mutual. And the latter is often requires a simultaneous mind connection. So yes, I need all these three attributes - the intellect, the integrity, and the matching sex appeal. I  thought I found the greatest people - but I did not.
    2. If I were to have a child, I wanted to spend at least several years dedicated to him or her. However, in the societies I lived it seemed to be too much to ask from the providing partner, regardless of his existing resources. My own situation of a double immigrant in my twenties and thirties was highly unstable, and I had no family to rely on.
    3. Two of my partners offered me motherhood, either to show me good will or to save an almost destroyed relationship. Practically, they were offering me a deal, or suggested that it would calm me down - not a good way to start a life.
    4. When I become pregnant by my to be first husband, in a highly complex and unclear situation, my mother told me to keep it to ensure the marriage. Shortly before that, my father explained to me that from his prospective, such was my mother's strategy with me. I was very young, but I knew I did not want to create anything remotely similar to the circumstances I came to existence. It removed the rest of my bitter hesitations about terminating the pregnancy, which was a tormenting decision from the beginning.
    5. Generally, most men I met referred to having children as a burden, even if an unavoidable one. I was knowingly a burden to my father, and again, there was no way I could put my child into such setting.
    6. On the other hand, I avoided men whose first goal seemed to be having an offspring. I just knew that without love and deep connection between us I wouldn't be willing to stay with a man who plans his family life by screening his potential partners with a basic checklist. It was shocking to me how little these men wanted to know who I was as a person, as if my displayed genetic material and a few other basic requirements were enough.
    7. My choice of men was significantly limited by my being vegetarian and other of my philosophical standpoints - objectively, but not regretfully. 
  2. My fears of inadequacy as a mother:
    1. I did not feel loved by my mother and was practically abandoned by her and my father from the first to the fifth years of my life, therefore I doubted my ability to bond with a newborn.
    2. My encounters with both of my grandmothers, especially on the father's side, gave me a strong feeling that the lack of motherly loving care could run in my family. I seriously questioned my ability to overcome that possible nature / micro-culture tendency. Indeed, I was never as good around little kids as other girls were.
    3. I remember being concerned about transformations of my body after pregnancy and breastfeeding, and my subsequent unattractiveness to my partner, who would then either leave me with the baby, or stay out of duty only. I heard and read men discussing such changes with disgust. I saw so many of them leaving their wives or staying with contempt.
    4. My diet was highly experimental, and I felt like I had no right to impose it on my child, because it had not been tested by multiple generations of humans. I questioned my willingness and ability to give my child regular food, which I considered detrimental to a high degree.
    5. In the beginning, I was unsure how long I could keep my good health, considering my stressful and unusual lifestyle, and thought that it might be irresponsible for me to start a 20-year project of supporting a new person. I did everything I could to keep myself the healthiest possible, but I was also unable to integrate into a reliable external health support system. I could not even get enough rest.
    6. My desire to be on my own and to immerse into art was so overwhelming that I doubted I would give enough time and passion to my child, even if I wanted.
  3. Other considerations:
    1. My maternal instinct was noticeably strong, but not as overwhelming and defining as of other women. I had only a few short periods when I felt a need to have a baby, and I learned how to deal with it successfully.
    2. As I mentioned earlier, I never was good with little kids: I talked to them as if they were adults and many of them seemed to be confused by it. After a while, I usually felt bored with children under 14, unless they were exceptionally smart - like many of my friend's kids, who actually like me. In short, I loved teenagers, but would not know the first thing to do with babies and toddlers.
    3. I created myself almost from scratch and I avoided countless dangers only with some luck. Even if I were able to help my child to have a better beginning, I would not have known how to handle the fear and responsibility of parenting.
    4. Even remembering my childhood was hard for me, and to go through it with another person would have been even harder - so, I think, I subconsciously avoided becoming a mother by putting myself in an incompatible environment, one after another.
    5. Despite all social pressure, I did not feel obliged to create a new life, because other people seemed to have no problems with having children - often for inferior personal reasons - and populating the planet without any considerations about its limited resources or the quality of care they give to the kids, or which legacy they leave to them.
    6. Some people shamed me for staying childless with my "great" genes. They did not understand how little that meant for a person without other essential needs met. My parents empathized often the intelligence and health they gave me, and I seemed to demonstrate my dismissal of this isolated physicality by disregarding procreation.
    7. Genes in my family did not automatically produce kind brains. One requires a careful buildup of this type of neural net over long years. Thus, if you are into this kind of creation - of new wonderful people, and I wanted my child to be a genius - genes are just a small part of the equation.
    8. After some research, I realized rather early that my influence on my child would be severely restricted and most likely overpowered by that of the society. Additionally, I did not trust that the share of influence by my partners and their families would be most beneficial in a long run.
    9. The delicate balance between imposing parental worldview, however refined and reasonable, and the autonomy of the child in adaptation to the changing world was most challenging to me.

 This is my most honest suitable for publication reflections on this topic for now. If I think of something else, I'll add it.