Having Kids sent a letter today to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, respectfully asking that she and her husband Prince Harry consider setting an urgently needed example for the world by making the thoughtful choice to have a small family.
Having Kids promotes the sustainable and human-rights based Fair Start family planning model to ensure a fair start in life for every child. Small, well-planned families are the most effective way to end poverty and to reduce our impact on the planet at the same time.
We previously sent a letter to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following news that the couple was considering having a third child. As we have said in the past, there are a number of reasons for writing to the Royals. With the simultaneous threats of accelerating climate change and rising inequality across the globe, there is a need for role models who have a global presence. The facts make it clear why:
- 387 million children worldwide live in extreme poverty.
- 4.5 million children in the UK live in poverty, and that number is expected to soar.
- Children born into poverty are more likely to be poor as adults, passing it on to their kids.
- As inequality increases, child welfare decreases.
- Children of color are disproportionately affected.
- Inequality manifests in a number of ways including child abuse, unsafe neighborhoods, poor health, and impeded cognitive development and ability to learn. In fact, 200 million young children do not develop at the same level as their non-poor peers.
- Despite alarmist warnings about declining fertility rates, the population is growing.
But when parents wait and have small families, they and their communities are able to invest more in every child to give them a fair start on a level playing field. Smaller families have also been shown to:
- increase gender equality as women with small families tend to have greater decision making power and greater lifetime success
- increase the standard of living of families
- improve financial and familial stability
- result in better parenting and increased levels of happiness
The COP24 global summit this past fall showed that world leaders are failing in their duty to address the greatest threat to the stability and sustainability of our planet: large families. The world needs conscientious figures like Harry and Meghan to bring attention to the trend towards smaller families as a positive one, and to lead the discussion on the future that kids deserve.