Hey, Pope Francis: Kids Aren't a Retirement Plan
Adults who have kids can still be plenty lonely, writes Keli Goff
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 9, 2014 11:57 AM CDT
Pope Francis greets children during an audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, May 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

(Newser) – Pope Francis recently exhorted his followers to have kids, saying that to do otherwise would lead to "old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness." Well Keli Goff at the Daily Beast has some news for the pontiff: "Children are not a surefire way to inoculate against loneliness." Adult children constantly abandon their elders to nursing homes, for one. "One director of a local nursing home said 85% of his residents had no visitors," the head of a volunteer organization called Visiting the Lonely Ones tells Goff.

Loneliness can set in before nursing home age, too—"I know of divorced people who struggled during holiday seasons" as custody arrangements kept their kids away, Goff writes. Ultimately, your happiness is your own responsibility, and there are no guarantees. "I think it is selfish to have a child only to have a caregiver later in life," one family therapist says. "I think that is quite narcissistic to do something like this." Click for Goff's full column.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Jun 11, 2014 10:20 AM CDT
I am an atheist but am also an unrepentant anti-natalist. If this were not the pope the criticism would less likely be thought of. Kids are scarcely any of the things most people, including atheists, say they are. Having them is a higher value for most than religion, sexual orientation, ethnic/cultural/tribal/national identity, economic justice, justice, peace, carpeting etc. Not having them ever has it all over having them: especially for them! Think of any problem life presents, especially our death beds: never born = totally solved! We procreate as instinctively as all other species, in fact we alone make a fetish of it.
Jun 10, 2014 10:47 AM CDT
I couldn't help but giggle at the Headline.
Jun 9, 2014 8:56 PM CDT
Will the Pope be sending money every month to pay for the kids? I think not. So, mind your own business Franny.