Kids are great. However, they aren't for everyone. Honestly, they aren't for me. I'm an only child, was the youngest out of all of the grandchildren on my mom's side of the family, never played with baby dolls or showed any interest in little kids, and have expressed since I was a kid that I don't want children. On top of that, there are multiple serious medical conditions that I would likely pass on (including Muscular Dystrophy, which killed both of my uncles) and I'm not comfortable taking that risk at all. So, as far as I'm concerned, I can't have them. On top of that, there are many other reasons why I'm not having them.
However, there are a lot of uncomfortable responses that you can avoid when you meet someone like me:
1) Don't make it awkward. Trust me, this topic gets awkward enough. That person may be unable to have children or have very valid reasons not to. Regardless of the reason, don't ask a ton of questions about it. It will make the person feel incredibly judged and uncomfortable, even if you don't show it.
2)Acknowledge that it isn't that unusual. It's pretty established that I'm a Mormon and most of my friends at church come from HUGE families of at least five kids. Most Mormons really want kids. I'm a convert to the church and don't. Needless to say, it can be uncomfortable to sit through certain things when all you hear are about kids. However, I recently read that a third of couples choose not to have children. So, while most people assume or want to have children, it doesn't make that person a black sheep.
3)Don't try to change their mind. In my last relationship, I mentioned not wanting kids on the first date. Now, I should have waited until he brought it up. But, it came up. Anyway, after dropping the l bomb, taking me on multiple dates, and heavily pursuing me, he dropped this bombshell that he always wanted three to four kids, a huge house, etc. and that he wanted to know how serious I was. While I think there were some ulterior motives there in regards to his immigration status (he was foreign), it was still pretty dirty. If someone says they don't want children, accept it. They're serious and most likely won't change their minds.
4) If it's an absolute deal breaker, end it. Could your partner change their mind? Maybe. But, if not, live with it or move on. But, realize that you or your partner may not be able to have or adopt children down the road. So, consider that scenario as well.
5) Realize that, if they cave and have children because you want them, it won't be a healthy situation. For example, let's say you talk your partner into having kids even though they don't want them. How well do you expect that to go over? Hint: they may go along with it but, when it comes to parenting, they won't be that involved. There are some exceptions but, they won't love, cherish or adore your child. This is incredibly unfair to the child. Also, prepare to raise the child as a single parent in this case as your partner probably won't be very involved.
6) Respect their choice. Kids cost money and take a lot of time that can be spent doing other things. For me, I want to build up my coaching business, travel a lot, write and publish more, learn new things, and start at least one more business. Kids aren't congruent with my lifestyle and, to be honest, I can help more people not having children. Regardless of the reason, their reason is valid.
7)Don't assume they hate kids. I actually like kids! But, am not used to them and don't have the patience to deal with them for long periods of time. However, well behaved children are always welcome. I'm sure I'll get assigned to work with kids in some capacity within my church down the road and am excited to be an aunt one day. While I admit to not being a huge kid person, I'm not anti-kid. I doubt I will offer to babysit, but, I don't mind kids. When it comes to babies, I love them from a distance (esp. chubby ones) but, I don't mind.
8) Give them a few dates if you see potential otherwise. If you really love the person, give them a shot. It's fair to see if you can make it work. There are some times when people change their mind. Despite my track record, I've considered adopting a few times. Now, if you 100% want children, it probably won't work. There is a minority where this is a huge non-negotiable. BUT, keep this in mind: plenty of people end up not having children due to circumstance. Ex. one partner may not be able to have children and not know until they try, adoptions fall through, fertility treatments don't always work, etc. I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer but, you need to be realistic. So, if having a child is the only reason you're looking for someone, you may be better off adopting as a single parent or having one on your own. But, if everything else is perfect, give them a shot, think and pray about it.
9) Don't pressure them. This is really unfair and can put the other person in an uncomfortable position. While most people are open to compromise, if they really do (or really don't) want to be a parent, there isn't a whole lot you can do.
10) Don't ask "what if" questions. In my opinion, these can be incredibly offensive and annoying. While some people do regret not having children, most of us don't. Also, the answer to "What if you change your mind?" is usually "Well, I'll adopt" with me. Honestly, asking a ton of questions is incredibly annoying on my end. My decision doesn't affect anyone else and is between my future partner and I. Unless I ask for your opinion, I don't want it.
11) What someone does with their body is NONE of your business. There's no reason to ask if a woman is planning to have children or why they haven't/don't want to/etc.
12) Do not talk about how they should "definitely" have kids. This has happened and is INCREDIBLY uncomfortable. There's a good chance that they have probably considered fostering, adoption, etc. But, for whatever reason, are against it.