Days after a report that Elon Musk fathered twins with a Neuralink executive, Musk announced that he would increase childcare benefits for employees at his companies.
Musk also said that the Musk Foundation had plans to donate directly to families and he planned to announce details next month.
Elon Musk has previously expressed support for people having more children, expressing concern about dropping birth rates.
He also cited a chart credited to the Wall Street Journal showing how birth rates have declined since 1960:
He did note an inverse relationship between how much money people have and how many kids they have, saying that “most people I know have zero or one kid.”
Some Twitter replies disagreed with Musk’s opinion that dropping birth rates was a problem. Others agreed that declining population was a problem or suggested that more people were needed to help with Musk’s plans for Mars.
Despite Musk’s overall support for people having children, he also pushed back against Texas Governor Gregg Abbot’s claims that Musk supported Texas’ social policies in the wake of the passing of a state bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Tesla does not provide many details of childcare benefits on its website. However, it does mention that it offers “equal opportunities” for parents, including circumstances involving “pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, or related medical conditions).” Tesla moved its headquarters to Texas after a dispute with California over its response to COVID and recently opened Gigafactory Austin. Despite Tesla’s large investments in Texas, it joined a slate of companies that will pay the travel costs of employees who need to travel to a state where abortion is legal.
Elon Musk opened a private school called Ad Astra that, at last report, had 40 students. Ad Astra had apparently been created for children of SpaceX employees and takes the unusual approach of not separating kids by age.
More recently, Elon Musk made donations to schools and local communities in the Boca Chica area in a bid to attract prospective SpaceX employees.
One of Musk’s children died in 2002 due to sudden infant death syndrome. He has nine living children. An 18-year-old child recently successfully petitioned a court for a legal name and gender change, switching her birth name from Xavier Alexander Musk to Vivian Jenna Wilson. Wilson is the maiden name of Vivian Wilson’s mother, Justin Wilson.
In a statement, Vivian distanced herself from her biological father, saying that she didn’t “wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”
Musk does not appear to have replied directly to this news, but had this to say on Twitter in 2020:
And this on Father’s Day 2022:
Despite Vivian Jenna Wilson’s decision, Musk seems to be doing his part to solve what he calls the birth rate crisis with nine children, including a set of twins with Neuralink executive Shivon Zilis that were born in 2021. He will also improve childcare benefits at his companies to make it easier for employees to have kids if they want them.