Two young women are fighting for their rights to get sterilised to make sure they never become mothers.

Dayna Foote, 19, and Laura Hosemans, 18, deal with the daily disbelief of family, friends, and even strangers, who insist they are selfish or will one day change their minds.

Doctors are no more understanding of their convictions and their pair have not found a single one willing to perform even the least invasive procedure, reports Daily Mail.

‘For as long as I can remember I’ve always been uncomfortable with the concept of having kids,’ Ms Foote told Daily Mail Australia.

‘I thought I had to, but I realised that it was more or less a family obligation and that it’s ultimately my choice.’

The aerospace engineering student said she started thinking about life without children when she was 14 and ‘found it more and more appealing each day’.

‘I’m terrible at being motherly. I guess I just don’t have that instinct. I don’t enjoy prolonged time spent with kids, and I don’t particularly involve myself with them,’ she said.

‘Apart from those reasons, having children is pretty awful for the environment, and I don’t want to add to that.’

The Melbourne woman said most people, particularly outside her generation, were shocked when she told them, and has heard all the usual arguments.

‘I’ve had people say I’ll change my mind when I’m older, or that I just don’t understand the joys of having kids yet,’ she said.

‘Even some strangers seem to think it would be a ‘shame’ for me, a total stranger, to not have children. They don’t know if I’d be a terrible parent or not, they just think there’s a problem with someone not wanting kids.’

Some of her friends were adamant she was making the wrong choice, calling her decision ‘ridiculous’ or insisting she will eventually ‘accept her body’s biological purpose’.

But she does have the steadfast support of her boyfriend of one year, who also ‘doesn’t see the point of having kids’.

Ms Foote put off consulting doctors about having her tubes tied until after her university exams at RMIT, and admitted to being ‘very worried’ of rejection.

‘I’m intimidated by visiting all the doctors I’m going to have to see, because I know I’ll get rejected a million times,’ she said.

She was even willing to travel overseas to have the procedure if Australian doctors knocked her back.

Ms Hosemans, who just graduated high school in the Yarra Ranges, said she decided at age 15 she didn’t want children and spent the past two years research permanent contraception options.

‘I’m not really maternal, I don’t feel compelled to have any. I just don’t see them in my future, it’s not the kind of life that I want,’ she said.

‘I don’t hate them, but it’s like seeing other people’s dogs, you’re happy to see them for a bit but then you go home and they aren’t there.’

Ms Hosemans said she frequently clashed with people about her decision, especially middle-aged women at her work, and had given up arguing with them.

‘People says “you’ll change your mind, don’t decide quite yet” or “things will change and you’ll want them”, or they tell me I’ll regret it later, it will be different if the kids are mine, or that being a mother is “so worth it”,’ she told DMA.

She said the worst was being told ‘you’ll definitively want kids, it’s in your biology’ or that her biological clock was ticking.

‘I get annoyed because it’s like hearing a broken record and they feel like they know me better than I know myself, which is quite upsetting. I’m fed up with the stigma,’ she said.

Ms Hosemans said she decided to get sterilised because the pill was a hassle to take every day and was not 100 per cent effective.

‘If I don’t want them, why take the risk? If you get pregnant as a young woman you’re frowned upon if you keep the baby or not,’ she said.

The determined school leaver went to her general practitioner to discuss how she might go about getting her tubes tied.

‘The GP looked at me with astonishment and said “why would you even consider that?” and shut me down right away,’ Ms Hosemans said.

‘She said it was difficult even for middle-aged women, let alone one her age, even with a lot of third party opinions, so I should definitely reconsider despite me being pretty firm.’

Ms Hosemans said the doctor objected because of potential complications, but the main focus was if she regretted it later in life.

‘I think because she was worried I might sue,’ she said.

Getting nowhere, Ms Hosemans inquired about instead getting an intrauterine device (IUD), a T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent fertilisation.

The doctor reluctantly gave her a referral to Monash Family Planning to discuss it, but Ms Hosemans said before she even made contact they called her parents.

‘I thought I had confidentiality but apparently not. They just went right ahead and called her before me,’ she said.

A two-hour argument with her parents followed, during which they said she shouldn’t be getting birth control as she ‘shouldn’t be doing anything anyway’.

‘I don’t think they really believe I’ll never have kids, they think I’ll eventually change my mind,’ she said.

The number of childless women aged 45 to 49 increased from just nine per cent in 1986 to 11 per cent in 1996 and 14 per cent in 2006, according to census data.

Share your comments below.

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  • I’m leaning towards them changing their minds down the track. My son became a dad only 9 months ago. He was adamant he was never having another child. Now he’s kind of considering it. If he can change his mind, I’m sure a couple of teenagers can too


  • I just dont believe they called her parents to discuss. Im so sure that breaches confidential discussion with medical staff.
    Im glad I never wanted to consider this at a young age. I don’t think they should but as a young girl, they are probably so head strong.


  • OK, here comes the shock. In at elast some hospitals they no longer cut and tie off the tubes. They put clips on them. They can come open and the woman get pregnant. I personally know one and possibly she isn’t the only one. They’ve admitted that it may not be 100% guarantee. I know a Mum who was refused until she informed them she already had 4 children and almost misscarried the last one.


  • I think there is a legal age requirement to have your tubes tied, I knew a girl who wanted her tubes tied at 18 (in the 80s) & she was told she would have to wait until she was 25. Other than legal requirements, it’s up to them, I really hope they don’t regret it in their forties, like the girl I knew did.


  • Their body so their choice but I do believe that they may change their minds and regret it.


  • It is there choice but they are so young at this stage,what if they regret it?


  • I had to fight to have my tubes done at 39!! (and a blood disorder that prevents me from taking the pill or any type of hormone)
    Their body, their choice, regret or not it is no one else’s business


  • Personally I do think that an 18year old or a young adult can have a total different perspective on life then a 30-40 year old. When I remember myself it was all about friends, parties, dancing, drinking etc. I remember my friend who had a serious relationship with partner since she was 16yr old. In their early twenties they always went on about how annoying kids can be and how they would love to stick them behind the wall paper ! Once they hit the mid 30ies their desire to have a family grew and they became 2 wonderful parents of their children. People can indeed change.
    I totally understand that somebody doesn’t desire to have children but I don’t see the need to sterilise for that.


  • It is not only the ones who do not want children affected. My niece at 19 having just had twins making the number of children 4 wanted to have her tubes cut. She was told she was too young and would regret it later. Later was told she had to get her parent’s permission to do so, her boy friend was allowed to give permission for the procedure but had to wait until she was 21 to do so.
    It is our body and we should be able to do what we want, if people can have a sex change at that age . Then knowing we do not want children should be just as easy.


  • If they’re 18 and paying for it, why not. It can be reversed (sometimes) or they could adopt.


  • Difficult to know. They are both so young. There are surely women who don’t want to have kids and have it already clear in their minds since a young age. It would be terrible if they’d change their mind growing up. Maybe I would give them a couple of years. I don’t know…


  • I think the decision should always been in the power of the women wanting it. But I do understand that the costs of tubal reversals costs the government alot of money.
    If a person is so against children then i think they should be allowed to go ahead with the choice.


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