40 Celebrities on Not Wanting Kids

No, being a parent isn't something everyone wants to be.

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Being a mom or dad isn't in the cards for everyone, especially in 2019. Some of the world's biggest stars are choosing not to have children, and they are speaking up about their decision to skip out on traditional parenting in favor of taking more time for themselves, focusing on their family and partners, and mentoring in other ways. Here's why 40 of your favorite stars will never have kids.

1 of 40
Renée Zellweger

Zellweger kept it short and sweet when talking about not wanting kids in an interview with the London Times in 2008, three years after her four-month marriage to country crooner Kenny Chesney ended: "Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don't think like that."

2 of 40
Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei doesn't like the notion that many people seem to believe it's a woman's duty to have children. The actress questioned the obligation in a conversation with Manhattan Magazine in 2009: "I don't know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings."

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Katharine Hepburn

Some people choose not to become parents for one simple reason: They don't want to. Katharine Hepburn opted out of motherhood because she wanted to focus on herself and her well-being. "I would have been a terrible mother, because I'm basically a very selfish human being," the Hollywood icon admitted.

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Rachael Ray

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray simply doesn't have time to cook for her own brood, and is perfectly satisfied being a mom to her pup. "I think that I'm 40 years old, and I have an enormous amount of hours that have to be dedicated to work," she said in 2009 in an interview with Salon. "For me personally, I would need more time to feel like I'd be a good mom to my own child. I feel like a borderline good mom to my dog. So I can't imagine if it was a human baby… I feel like it would be unfair, not only to the child but to the people I work with."

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Gloria Steinem

It may not come as too big of a shock that one of the world's premiere feminists doesn't see the necessity of having children to fulfill a woman's life. "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,'" she told fellow childless lady Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately in 2011.

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Jon Hamm

Hamm took a hint from his philandering Mad Men character Don Draper, stating "I'd be a terrible father!" in 2012 to Us Weekly. "I see my friends who have children and I'm like, 'Dude, how are you even upright, much less here at work at 6 a.m.?'" he joked candidly.

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Jennifer Westfeldt

Hamm's ex, actress Jennifer Westfeldt, never expected to reach her 40s and not have any children, but she'll cross the road if and when she gets to it. "The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it," the actress mused in an interview with The New York Times. "I may wake up tomorrow with that lighting bolt, and I’ll have to scramble to make it happen. You were wondering how we make it work. One way is we’re really mobile. No one’s had to give up an opportunity they really wanted.”

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Kim Cattrall

Much like her own character Samantha on Sex and the City, Cattrall is more about freedom than anything else. "When I was 5, my fantasy was to have a hundred dogs and a hundred kids. I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn't ready to take that step into motherhood. Being a biological mother just isn't part of my experience this time around," she openly shared to the March 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.

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Candace Bushell

If the American author and journalist had chosen to have children, she might not have had the energy to give us the gift that is Sex & the City. She opened up about choosing her writing career over motherhood in a 2003 interview. "There are women who do it. On the other hand, there are a lot of women writers who never get married and don't have kids. I am married, but I didn't marry until I was 43. I knew when I was young that if I had to make a choice between being married and being a writer, I would have chosen to be a writer. I think it's a career where you have to put the career first. I don't have kids but—and luckily everyone isn't like this—I think if you have that passion, in a way, your career is your child."

10 of 40
Margaret Cho

Comedian Margaret Cho got real on her blog in 2012: "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. My child would have my heart completely, and having never truly given that over, in all my relationships in my life, starting with myself, I don’t even know where to begin."

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Betty White

We're a little bit disappointed with this one, only because we all wish she could be our grandma, but Betty White admitted in 2011 to CBS Sunday Morning that she has never looked back on the decision to not have kids. "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."

12 of 40
Condoleezza Rice

The former Secretary of State is too busy doing amazing things for our nation to have a family of her own: "I won't have kids [laughs] but I may still get married," she said in 2010 to Ladies Home Journal. "But I would have lived a very fulfilled life if I had gotten married and had kids, too. But I'm very religious, and I at some very deep level believe that things are going to work out as they're supposed to. The key is to be open to that and to appreciate the life that you've been given."

13 of 40
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks gave a hard no to having to do mom stuff back in a 2002 interview with InStyle. Her reason: to stay true to her career. "It's like, Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover? With kids, your focus changes. I don't want to go to PTA meetings."

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Ellen DeGeneres

In response to a question about her and wife Portia de Rossi's baby status after five years of marriage, Ellen addressed it head-on: "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," she said to People in 2014.

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Portia de Rossi

Portia echoed wife Ellen's sentiment in a 2013 interview with Out, setting the record straight that "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."

16 of 40
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Lily Tomlin

According to the ever-busy Grace & Frankie star, becoming a mother didn't make any sense—she was always working. In a 2006 conversation with Metro Weekly, Tomlin reflected on her and partner Jane Wagner's choice not to raise children. "God only knows what I would have done with them, poor things. 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."

17 of 40
Chelsea Handler

The talk show host honestly doesn't think childhood is fair for kids of parents in showbiz. "I definitely don't want to have kids. I don't think I'd be a great mother," Handler admitted in 2013 while appearing on The Conversation with Amanda De Cadenet. "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."

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Helen Mirren

Hollywood royalty Dame Helen Mirren gave her two sassy cents on motherhood to British Vogue in 2013: "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*ck off!'"

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah shared her ability to act as a mother to hundreds of girls who need her guidance, with the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in 2007: "I never had children, never even thought I would have children. Now I have 152 daughters; expecting 75 more next year. That is some type of gestation period," she said to Extra TV.

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Kylie Minogue

Though the international superstar has achieved unheard of success with her music, motherhood isn't something she's sure is in the stars for her. "Of course I wonder what that would be like but, your destiny is your destiny and I can’t imagine, if by some miracle I got pregnant…at this point in my life, I wonder, could I even manage that?" she told The Sunday Times. "It would be a lie to say there’s not a bit of sadness there, but I don’t get caught up in it."

However, Minogue is open to raising her significant other's children: "There’s a high probability, if/when I meet someone, that they will have children anyway. So I could imagine being a stepmum."

21 of 40
Jennifer Aniston

Jen has never hid the fact that she's not willing to fit into society's molds for women. "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…Y'know, I've birthed a lot of things. I feel like I've mothered many things. And I don't think it's fair to put that pressure on people," she told the Today Show in 2014.

22 of 40
Sarah Silverman

"I want to have kids when there's nothing else I want more," the comedian stated in 2010. She's never been married, but shares her life with partner Michael Sheen, and so far doesn't seem to have any voids to fill.

23 of 40
Dolly Parton

Country legend Dolly Parton plays so many roles in her life, that mother doesn't need to be one of them. In 2014, Parton said to People Country: "I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life. I've loved their kids just like they're my grandkids, and now I've got great-grand-kids! They call me 'Aunt Granny.' Now I'm 'GeeGee,' which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn't meant for me to have kids so everybody's kids can be mine."

24 of 40
Cameron Diaz

Diaz is one of the most vocal celebs on this topic, never feeling guilty about her decision not to have kids. Diaz discussed the topic in her 2014 cover story for Esquire. "It's so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for—I didn't take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby—that's all day, every day for 18 years. Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn't make it an easy decision." She added, "I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother. I have it much easier than any of them. That's just what it is. Doesn't mean life isn't sometimes hard. I'm just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I've done a lot. And I don't care anymore."

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Christopher Walken

For the 76-year-old actor, having children just wasn't a feasible option, so he decided against it. Walken started acting as a young child on television and theater productions, and he believes that his career was only able to flourish because he focused his time and money on acting. "I'm sure many of the kids I knew as a child would have continued in showbusiness, but they had kids of their own, had to do something dependable," Walken told The Guardian in 2013. "I didn't, so I could get by even in periods of unemployment."

26 of 40
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Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally

Though they considered the idea of becoming parents at some point, a kid just wasn't in the cards for this funny couple, and they're not mad about it. "I never had a burning desire to have children," clarified Mullally in an interview with GQ. 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." Their mutual decision to not continuing to try may have been the key to keeping them together—the duo has been married for 16 years.

27 of 40
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Ashley Judd

An actress and activist, Judd is passionate about improving the quality of life for marginalized groups, especially disadvantaged children. Knowing that there are kids in need, Judd has never been particularly interested in having her own, and she discussed this unique perspective in her 2011 memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet. "I figured it was selfish for us to pour our resources into making our 'own' babies when those very resources and energy could not only help children already here, but through advocacy and service transform the world into a place where no child ever needs to be born into poverty and abuse again. My belief has not changed. It is a big part of who I am."

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Alison Brie

The GLOW actress doesn't want to have kids because she knows how much goes into raising them. "It's great because I don't worry about when I should get pregnant—between seasons, while we're shooting the show [GLOW]—I don't think about it every day," she said in an interview with The Times of London. "It would be nice, but I think of all the things that would be so stressful. I think about how much we're involved in our cats' lives. Oh my God, if it was a child!"

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Janeane Garofolo

While many women really want to have children of their own, fur babies are good enough for comedienne Garofolo and her partner. "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," she joked with Middle Mojo. "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."

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Jennifer Lawrence

The Oscar winner revealed to E! that while she had been obsessed with the idea of motherhood as a child, those desires had slowly faded over time. "When I was 21 or 22 I was like, 'I can't wait to be a mother. Now I'm like...[shocked face]. They are actually getting less and less as I get older, which is starting to worry me. I don't think that's how it's supposed to work!"

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