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Couples see kids as obstacle to a free lifestyle
(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2005-02-22 09:29

Preferring a lifestyle with less restrictions, couples in HK are opting for children at a later stage in married life, according to the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong.

"The low birth rate in recent years is a reflection of local couples' changing attitudes on family planning, and the advancement of contraceptive technology - with over 80 per cent of couples practising some form of birth control," she told China Daily.

As the general education level continues to rise in a more affluent Hong Kong, people prefer late marriages and fewer children, said the spokesman.

Maria Cheng, who has been married for a year, said she wants to have more time to enjoy life with her husband before having children.

"I want to spend some quality time with my husband and have a career. I don't want to be like women in the older generation, who had children and lost touch with society soon after they got married," Cheng said.

"Children are a big responsibility and a burden in some cases, and I want a few more years of freedom and to decide on the right time to have them," she added.

Frederick Ma, a married banker, said he wants to forego children altogether for a freer lifestyle.

"Having children is a choice, not a necessity. When you have children, your life changes drastically and the focus is shifted to them," he said.

"There are many things I can do with my life at this stage, and I also want to focus on marriage life with my wife, instead of having to bear the extra responsibility of children." 

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