Childfree Celebs Share Their Reasons for Not Having Kids

A lot of celebrities have made time to have children while still progressing in their careers. In this modern era, it’s possible for women to have a family and a career, especially if they’re celebrities with lots of money to spend on childcare. Some celebrities choose not to have children for a whole bunch of reasons.

Keep reading to find out why some celebs think they’re better off child-free. Let’s take a moment to celebrate everybody making the best decisions for their own lives and circumstances.

Portia de Rossi

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“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. So it’s just going to be me and Ellen and no babies – but we’re the best of friends and married life is blissful, it really is. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.”

Ellen DeGeneres

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Portia’s wife, Ellen DeGeneres, has also been asked multiple times if she plans on having children in the future.

Ellen responded, “Honestly, we’d probably be great parents. But it’s a human being, and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility — I wouldn’t want to screw them up! We love our animals.”

Jennifer Aniston

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For a while there it looked like Jen had everything figured out. And then a couple of marriages fell through.

She said, “I don’t have this sort of checklist of things that have to be done and…if they’re not checked then I’ve failed some part of my feminism, or my being a woman, or my worth or my value as a woman. I’ve birthed a lot of things, and I feel like I’ve mothered many things. And I don’t think it’s fair to put that pressure on people.”

Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey is a powerhouse of a woman and she’s done a lot of good work for underprivileged kids all over the world. She doesn’t have any children of her own, though.

When asked about children, Oprah said, “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 would have had to suffer and it would’ve probably been them.”

Kim Cattrall

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Kim Cattrall has talked about the fact that she felt distant from her Sex and the City co-stars because they had kids and she didn’t. Their lifestyles just weren’t matching up anymore. She understands that growing apart is a part of life, and sometimes even the best of friends walk down different paths.

Cattrall also said, “I enjoy kids but not for long periods. I think they’re adorable and funny and sweet, and then I have a headache…Being a biological mother just isn’t part of my experience this time around.”

Marisa Tomei

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Marisa Tomei has never been married and she’s never expressed a desire to have children. It seems like she’s perfectly happy being an amazing actress and a positive human being. Tomei once said, “I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.”

You know, she’s not wrong. People seem much more comfortable with men being childless than with women being childless. Maybe it’s society that’s the problem.

Aisha Tyler

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On her hit show The Talk, Aisha Tyler once said, “I want 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.'” Since then, Aisha actually divorced her former husband, attorney Jeff Tietjens, who she was with for twenty-five years.

I’m sure that the divorce was easier (as easy as divorce can be) because they didn’t have any children together.

Rashida Jones

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Rashida Jones has spoken about being childless in the past. She stated, “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.”

But then, in 2018, Rashida had a son with her partner, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig. Looks like she got her happy ending after all.

Helen Mirren

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Helen Miren is still a working actress at age 73. She’s been married a few times and she was even a stepmother at one point, but she has always said that she has “no maternal instinct whatsoever.”

She also said, “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 … It was only boring old men [who would ask me]. And whenever they went, ‘What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,’ I’d say ‘No! F*** off!’”

Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton definitely loves kids, but it just wasn’t in the stars for her to have any children of her own. Dolly Parton has actually been married to her husband, a former asphalt business owner named Carl Thomas Dean, since 1966.

Dolly is very proud of her successful marriage, but when asked about children she said, “I often think, it just wasn’t meant for me to have kids so everybody’s kids can be mine.”

Dita von Teese

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Dita von Teese once said, “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 was married to Marilyn Manson from 2005 to 2006. I would have loved to see some kids that were half Dita von Teese and half Marilyn Manson. What would those kids even be like? How do you rebel against parents like that?

Well, it probably all worked out for the best.

Gloria Steinem

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Gloria Steinem has been a huge figure in the women’s liberation movement. She was a leading force for feminism, so it makes sense that she would lead by example and encourage women to make their own choices about starting a family.

She said, “I’m completely happy not having children. I mean, everybody does not have to live in the same way. And as somebody said, ‘Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

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“I have come to believe there are three sorts of women, when it comes to questions of maternity. There are women who are born to be mothers, women who are born to be aunties, and women who should not be allowed within ten feet of a child. It’s really important to know which category you belong to … Now, listen — if you put a baby in front of me, rest assured: that baby is going to get cuddled, spoiled and adored.

But even as I’m loving on that beautiful infant, I know in my heart: This is not my destiny. It never was…Having reached a contented and productive middle age, I can say without a blink of hesitation that I wouldn’t trade my choices for anything,” she wrote.

Renee Zellweger

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Renee Zellweger has never really felt the urge to become a mother. She said, “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.”

Renee is currently in a relationship with musician Doyal Bramhall II.

Ashley Judd

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Ashley Judd has never really wanted to have children. She said, “The fact is that I have chosen not to have children because I believe the children who are already here are really mine, too.

I do not need to go making ‘my own’ babies when there are so many orphaned or abandoned children who need love, attention, time, and care. I have felt this way since I was at least eighteen.”

Betty White

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When asked if she regretted not having children, Betty White answered,

“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 is America’s grandmother, though.

Lily Tomlin

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Lily Tomlin once said, “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…

It’s hard to raise children and to do right by them. There are too many kids anyway. There’s too many people.”

Anjelica Huston

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Anjelica Huston has never had children. She once said,

“There have been times when I wanted children and other times I’ve been grateful not to have them. I am a mess if I have to say goodbye to my dog for longer than five days. I don’t know how I would deal with kissing my children as I left for work. I know there are women who are able to do that. I don’t know if I could.”

Lena Dunham

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After a long struggle with endometriosis and other reproductive issues, Lena Dunham decided to have a complete hysterectomy. She may have saved some of her eggs so she can have a child via surrogate in the future, but she will never be able to carry a child herself.

Dunham said, “You’re raised to think being a mother is an inevitable step in your development, but you start to ask yourself questions because not every woman does want to have children.”

Cameron Diaz

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Cameron Diaz said, “We live in a society where everyone has kids, so they want other people to have kids. There is this culture that says celebrities are supposed to be just like us, so people think, ‘I have children — why doesn’t she?’ But I’m not going to do something because it’s expected. If a family happens, then it happens.

If children come to me, then I would do that, but I’m not someone who feels like she has to do something because it’s expected.”

Margaret Cho

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Margaret Cho doesn’t really seem like the mothering type. She’s never had children and she’s never been in a place where children were even a possibility for her.

Cho said, “I don’t have children, and I am not sure if I have wanted them or never wanted them. It’s weird not to be able to decide. I don’t know if I could stand that kind of commitment, or if I am really honest, I don’t think that I could handle being that vulnerable to someone else.”

Janeane Garofalo

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Comedian Janeane Garofalo said, “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.”

Chelsea Handler

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Chelsea handler enjoys her career, her friends, and traveling around the world. She never felt any desire to be a mother and she doesn’t think that she’s cut out for a job that demanding.

She once said, “I definitely don’t want to have kids. 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 myself.”

Kylie Minogue

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Kylie Minogue is an Australian-British singer and actress. She’s had an extremely successful career and she’s sold millions of albums. She’s been in a bunch of relationships and she was even engaged once, but she’s never been married.

Once Kylie said, “I never had the feeling I was made for a conventional marriage with a house in the suburbs.” This superstar is more cut out for a life on stage.

Fiona Apple

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41-year-old singer Fiona Apple has had a few tumultuous relationships and even married a French photographer for a brief while “for complicated reasons.” She’s never had children and she doesn’t want to have children.

Fiona said, “I don’t want a kid at all, but I do like reverse-engineering myself; managing and parenting myself.” Fiona Apple understands that you shouldn’t bring another human being into the world unless you’re a whole and stable human being in your own right.

Jay Leno

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Jay Leno’s wife of nearly 40 years, Mavis, takes full responsibility for the couple’s decision not to have children. Jay probably could have gone either way on the issue, but Mavis was sure that she didn’t want to have kids.

She told The Washington Post, “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.”

Queen Latifah

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Queen Latifah is 48 years old. She’s wanted a child for a long time but life just didn’t work out that way for this multi-talented star. That is, it didn’t work out until recently. In 2017, Queen Latifah said, “I had a lot of partying to get out of my system early in life for about 40 years, you know what I’m saying? I’m good now. I think I’m ready.”

Now Queen Latifah’s partner, Eboni Nichols, is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Megan Mullally And Nick Offerman

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Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are a Hollywood power couple, but children just weren’t in the cards for them.

Mullally told GQ, “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.”

Ricky Gervais

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Ricky Gervais opened up about his decision not to have kids on the Ellen Show. He said, “I’d worry sick about a baby. I have a cat and I worry about that. I check the door three times before I go out. I put food and water in every room in case the door closes and he’s peckish for 20 minutes.”

He continued, “There’s loads of reasons why I don’t have kids. The world is overpopulated, no one’s sitting around going, ‘Oh Rick’s not going to have kids, we’re going to run out, there’s loads!'”

Winona Ryder

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Back in 2014, Winona Ryder told The Telegraph,

“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.”