How can a compromise be reached if one party in a relationship desires to have another child, while the other party is equally opposed to doing so?
This question is entirely hypothetical. It does not pertain to my own long-distance relationship in any way for a myriad of reasons. For one, I'm not yet fertile. For another, I'm not yet sexually active. For another, the distances involved in my relationship are such that conception would involve special delivery of test tubes packed in dry ice. Even if I wanted to rock the parents' world just a bit, I don't think I could involve anything so technical in doing so.
In most cases, this quandary is faced by married couples. Perhaps they had agreed never to have kids, but one party changed his or her mind. Perhaps they've already had a child (or two, or three, or four, or five, or six -- I'm thinking of some of my LDS relatives and acquaintances here) but one half of the couple can't quite give up on the idea of just one more baby. Perhaps there was never a firm decision between one or two kids; the couple just assumed they'd have a meeting of the minds when the time came.
First of all, the couple is in a better position to be debating the proposition before the all-important conception has taken place. It would indeed be sad to hash it all out once the baby is already on its way. Depending upon ow strongly either party might feel, abortion or adoption might be a consideration. While there are plenty of things worse than the latter of the two options, nine months is a long time to carry around anything or anyone a person doesn't plan to keep, so if the decision is being made before the fact, congratulations to all those involved for their self-control and foresightedness.
Can a compromise be reached? Of course! A compromise is ALWAYS an option! You have half a baby instead of a full one. This could be accomplished by giving birth to a baby that exists only from the waist up. The upside to this solution is that the pesky matter of diapers is eliminated. If crying is an issue for you, have a baby that exists only from the waist down. Or perhaps have a really timy baby, like I was at two pounds, two ounces. (The problems with this version are that A) maybe the baby won't survive; B) perhaps it will survive, but with physical or cognitive problems; or C) perhaps the baby will grow up into a regular person -- maybe even a real pai in the butt like me -- in which case you get more than the half-baby for which you bargained.
Some people might consider a pet a compromise to having an additional child. I consider such people very silly. That beautiful tropical fish may look scintillating in the aquarium, but it's no substitute for a living, breathing teenager keeping you awake because he's missed curfew by three hours, and you forgot to have a GPS installed on the car that you allow him to drive.
In a more open society, the party who wished to have an additional child might just go out and find another partner with whom to produce the other child. It wouldn't necessari;y even signify and end to the original marriage. It would be merely an addendum of sorts. That, however, is not how we do things in most civilized populations. Decisions as to whether or not to reproduce have been known to strain or even to break unions, but one does not usually produce an extracurricular child as a solution to the original disagreement.
A person I know who shall remain nameless solved the "you can't have half a baby" crisis in her own unique way. She wanted a third child. Her husband did not. She secretly went off contraceptives for two months. If she conceived in those two contraceptive-free months, she would've had a third child. She said she would have explained it by saying that birth control isn't always effective. (That's especially true if you don't even use it.) If she didn't, she wouldn't. She didn't conceive; she went back on contraceptives and considered it to be perfectly fair. She said that it would have bothered her not to have had a third child without those two months of reproductive roulette, but because she had them and pregnancy didn't happen, it never bothered her to have stopped at two children.
Every couple, or even every individual, must face this decision. In the cases of stable adults who can provide for another child, there's no right or wrong answer. All things considered, it's possibly best not to have the additional child if both parties do not agree to it. If it is the woman who does not want the additional child,such is all the more the case; until medical science has advanced to the point that men can sustain pregnancies, she has to have veto power. Still, there are no easy answers. One one hand, the Earth has too many bodies inhabiting it already, yet on the other hand, our society has too few functional families producing children, and far too many dysfunctional families picking up that slack. This means that when we're all in old folks' homes, if we live that long, there will be some truly scary people handing out our Milk o Magnesia and emptying our bedpans. Anyone ready for a round or two of reproductive roulette?