Why Dolly Parton Never Had Kids

Dolly Parton Children, Dolly Parton Kids Family, Dolly Parton Children

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As fans of Dolly Parton are well aware, the singer and songwriter has been married to her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, since 1966, but the two never had any children.

Dolly, herself, was one of twelve kids, which may lead people to wonder why she never had any children of her own. Has Dolly ever spoken on the matter? After all, we know she has a soft spot for children– she is one of the founders of the Imagination Library, an organization that promotes literacy by donating books to children around the world. She has also released a children’s album, I Believe In You.

She and her husband also helped raise several of her younger brothers and sisters, and many of her nieces and nephews, according to It’s Rosy. She once told People, “I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life. I’ve loved their kids just like they’re my grandkids, and now I’ve got great-grand-kids!”

What else has Dolly said on the subject of children? What do we know? Read on.


She Says She is a Mother to Everyone

In an interview with Country Rebel, Parton shared that she’s a mother to everyone; and that hasn’t necessarily meant having her own children. “God has a plan for everything,” she said. “I think it probably was his plan for me not to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine. And they are now.”

In a 2014 interview with Billboard, the singer was asked if she regrets not having children. She said that she used to, but does not anymore. “Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids. We weren’t doing anything to stop it. In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn’t turn out that way. Now I say, “God didn’t mean for me to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine.” I’m very close to my family — five of my younger brothers and sisters lived with me and Carl for many years — and we’re very close to our nieces and nephews. Now that Carl and I are older, we often say, “Aren’t you glad we didn’t have kids? Now we don’t have kids to worry about.”

Dolly’s Marriage to Carl Dean

Dolly married Carl Thomas Dean in 1966 in Ringgold, Georgia.

Dean is notoriously private and rarely accompanies his wife to events. However, he’s always been supportive of his wife.

Parton tells People, “He’s always supporting me as long as I don’t try to drag him in on it… He’s always been my biggest fan behind the scenes, but he’s at home. I don’t think they’re probably showing much of this on TV and if they do, he might see it.”

The couple met when they were just 18. In another interview with People, Parton joked, “I always joke and laugh when people ask me what’s the key to my long marriage and lasting love… I always say ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do.”

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