The Fair Start Model


We promote and protect every child’s right to a fair start in life by replacing unsustainable, parent-centered family planning models with the human rights-based and child first Fair Start family planning model.

The model shifts family planning from a subjective focus on just the parents, to an objective focus that considers the interests of the potential child, the parents, and the community.


It’s all about this: Smaller families working together to give every child a fair start in life.

Here’s how the Fair Start family planning model works:

  • Every child deserves a fair start in life, relative to their peers. 
  • Families and communities plan together to secure that fair start, shifting excess resources to improve conditions of entry. 
  • Everyone wins by creating a sustainable future filled with people who had a better start in life.

Today many families are adopting the child first Fair Start family planning model. First, they try to give their child a fair start in life by having a smaller family where they can invest more in their child. Often they also foster or adopt one of the many children eagerly waiting for parents rather than creating additional need. Second, they publicly role model their choices. Finally, these families join public advocacy campaigns to shift resources from extractive centers of power like governments, corporations, and wealthy families in order to democratically empower children and future citizens by incentivizing better family planning by all parents. Why? All parents know that the quality of their own child’s life will depend on how other parents decide to have and raise their kids.

By using the child first Fair Start model as a guide families are simply saying this: “If you work hard to plan a smaller family with more investment in each child, we’ll do the same. We’ll also help each other, whenever we can, to make sure both of our kids get a fair start in life.”

In the long term Fair Start family planning is the best way to promote human rights and build resilient populations that can thrive in future environments. Studies also suggest it is the most effective way to improve child welfare, create equity, and protect animals and the environment, all at the same time. It’s the key to the future we want.

Photo by Amy the Nurse on Flickr; family planning decision-making

Photo by Amy the Nurse on Flickr

Families today are starting to live the Fair Start model:

Anne and Matt deliberately planned a fair start for their child. They had both grown up in large families and had first-hand experience with the dilution of and competition for parental time, attention, and resources. They wanted Ellen to have the options and opportunities they hadn’t had. Anne and Matt also wanted to have the time and resources to give back to others in their community – through volunteering, teaching, donating, and nonprofit work. By the time they chose to start their family, Anne and Matt were receiving help and support from a variety of sources, ranging from employer-based health insurance to hand-me-down clothes from colleagues. But we can do better. With the child first Fair Start family planning model, even more children can have a fair start.

Adopt the Model

If these values resonate with you, join the movement. By adopting the Fair Start model you’re showing your commitment to providing a better life for your children and your children’s children.


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