They are not the same. Childless people often get lumped into the childfree group and we really don’t belong there.
Childfree is a movement. It is choosing to not have kids for social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. I can get behind some of it. If you don’t want children, don’t have children. Kudos to you for recognizing that you are better off childfree. The same goes for people who know that they would struggle financially or are too career oriented. All good reasons to be childfree. I can’t get behind the whole thought that reproducing oneself is the ultimate form of narcissism but whatev, the less unwanted children born the better.
Childlessness is not a movement. Childlessness is involuntary. It is thrust upon you and you will spend the rest of your life picking up the pieces. Life purposes and dreams are stripped away and you are left with grief and sorrow. Marriages often don’t survive. Infertility steals from all areas of your life until one day you’re 34 and you don’t recognize the life you are living.
Voluntarily childfree is not the same as involuntarily childless.