CHARLOTTE, N.C. — August 1 is recognized as International Childfree Day.
It's raising awareness about people who voluntarily choose to not have children, while encouraging others to respect their decisions.
A business woman says it's important for people to respect everyone's choice about children.
Dr. Angela Harris serves as the assistant dean of students and case manager for Davidson College. She's supporting students with reaching their highest academic potential.
"Helping them develop into creative citizens of the world," Harris said. "Being able to help students who are in distress, that's my job. That's why I'm here."
Harris is also a trained clinical psychologist and previously worked as a therapist.
Harris lives a fulfilling and happy life with her fur baby, Lenni, right by her side.
"He's important to me," Harris said. "Gives me a lot of love and attention when I need it."
Harris knew in her late 20s she didn't want to have children.
But there was a time when Harris says she experienced guilt about that decision.
"As I was going through my own challenges of, 'I should be maternal, I should want kids,' I realized it's my choice. I don't have to be a mother, but I'm still all woman," Harris said.
She says her decision to not have children meant choosing a life different from many of her friends and family.
"If I feel like if I need more support, I need validation, other Black women may need the same," Harris said.
So Harris launched #NoBibsBurpsBottles, an online brand and community empowering women, particularly Black women, who've made the choice to be childfree, so they'll know they're not alone.
"I'm getting these questions about how do I tell my parents I don't want kids? How do I tell my partner I don't want kids? This is a struggle for some people who are childfree by choice," Harris said.
Harris' business includes podcasts and events for childfree Black women to talk openly about their experiences.
"We just want to be understood," Harris said.
"I have a lot of moms that follow #NoBibsBurpsBottles, because they're in the chat saying we support you," Harris said. "[Some are saying] my daughter doesn't want kids or my niece doesn't want kids."
Harris says there are negative stigmas surrounding people who've made the choice to not have kids.
She hopes International Childfree Day will encourage others to respect everyone's choice about children.
"If I give you [a] $10 bill, I hope you would take it. I know I would take it," Harris said. "But on one side [of the bill] it's being childfree and on the other side is about being a mother. Each side is valuable. It's still a valuable $10 bill. So I represent being childfree. Other women represent being moms. If I give it to you, why reject it?"
The most recent survey from Pew Research Center shows a growing number of adults choosing to not have children.
It found 44% of nonparents, ages 18 to 49, were not likely or on the fence about having kids.