Family Planning vs. Family Finances

By: Christine Romans Email
By: Christine Romans Email

11/25/2011 --

There's a new debate at the dinner table: family planning versus family finances. More couples now take money into account when deciding whether to expand their family.

Laurie and Ryan Parthemore want to have another baby, but the economy stands in their way.

"Two would scare the heck out of me because to have childcare costs times two. I mean that's another big chunk of change," said Ryan Parthemore.

The couple spends $11,000 on child care for Olivia. She's one and and a half years old. Ryan, a detective, gets extra income working in his family's business; but Laurie's job is a major factor in their family planning.

14 out of 21 people have been laid off at the child care association where she works. Laurie isn't sure if she'll have a job come January.

"I'm 39 now and so there's a window and that window closing while the job window closes at the same time or potentially will close - it's a little unnerving," said Laurie.

Women are already waiting longer to have kids -- and they are having fewer of them. In 2010, 4 million babies were born in the us -- down from the peak of 4.3 million in 2007.

226,920 dollars to be exact. According to the government. Up more than $60,000 from 10 years ago.

Dr. Jacques Moritz has delivered about 3,000 babies. "There's no doubt that the economy matters in having children. It has mattered throughout history. In the depression, it went down. In other recessions it went down and in boom times it goes up," said Dr. Moritz.

"Couples are telling me that, the economy is tight, having a kid is a great expense. I think a bigger expense up in your head than in reality, but still, people think about kids and college and education and all the costs involved, they're right. So they're seeing the moment right now, how could we ever do this and they're postponing it."

Mortiz says women think they can't afford to have a baby; but for many, they can't afford to wait.

"The stock is up, the stock is down, but the stock of the eggs is always going down basically every year we get older," said Dr. Moritz.

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