Address reasons why women don't have kids earlier

Instead of urging people to conceive early, the I Love Children (ILC) voluntary welfare group should instead advertise the joys of parenthood ("Fertility ads give birth to controversy"; Feb 5).

Such ads may work on nationalists, but not naturalists.

ILC should focus on why people conceive later, and think of solutions to address their concerns on early parenthood.

It is a simple and time-tested fact that richer and more educated people have fewer children.

As Singapore becomes more affluent, our people are bearing fewer children because they have careers and want to enjoy life as much as possible. Often, these factors win out over having children.

Many women today are wiser and have a better understanding of the obligations and responsibilities that come with parenting. They know parenthood is not something to be taken lightly.

More women now take the time to consider what life would be like as a mother, and may opt out.

Hence, such tongue-in-cheek ads may not be appropriate, because people are not lacking in sex drive - they simply lack the drive to have children.

Therefore, the ads should focus on convincing women that the country needs them to reproduce to save our population from declining.

Many women long for children, while others are firmly against it, and still more are undecided.

But whatever a woman's feelings on child-bearing may be, the decision to have children is hers alone and to be decided upon according to her own reasons.

Understanding the main reason why a woman does not want to conceive earlier is the most essential step ILC must take in order to convince her to change her mind.

Francis Cheng