A couple decide to have a child in a society where having children has been outlawed due to resource shortages.
A flying machine announces to the public a word from The President of the society. The President notifies the public of the verdict of the World Federation Council. The President asks the President's Aide how much time he has and the President's Aide tells him he has six seconds. The President tells the public that due to overpopulation, having a child is forbidden and those who have a child shall be punished with death. Also, pregnant women are required to report for registration. At a hospital, an Edict Doctor marks with an electronic imprint, a baby with B.E., before edict and a Nurse notes the baby's name as John Graham and hands the identification card to Nurse. Another baby is brought to be scanned and the Edict Doctor notes the baby will be the last for the next 30 years.
At Baby Land, Russ and Carol wait in line to get an electronic baby. A Baby Shop Salesman shows a father and Mother in Baby Shop a mechanical baby. He tells them how the mechanical baby will also suffer from fake sickness. Mother in Baby Shop asks if they have a younger model, but the Baby Shop Salesman tells her they are sold out. A Father in Baby Shop tells the Mother in Baby Shop to make up her mind. The Mother in Baby Shop accepts the doll and names her Bonnie. Baby Shop Salesman calls for the next couple and Carol tells Russ she wants to leave. They leave and the flying machine declares curfew time for those that were already out so the next rotation of people can go to work. Guard 1 and Guard 2 get ready for their shift and they curse the flying machine. Carol and Russ go to a restaurant where they eat processed food stored in tubes. A transgression is reported and Edict Mother says Edict Boy is just young looking for his age. Edict Examiner 2 and another Edict Examiner walk over to Edict Boy and check for an electronic implant, which he has and is in fact the last baby born. Informer yells the implant is a fake, which Edict Examiner 2 confirms is not true. Russ and Carol walk to the Statemuseum of Nature where Daughter tells her Mother they are almost next in line to get inside. A man waiting in line asks Mother how long she had to wait to be able to go to the museum and she tells him four years. Tour Guide sees Russ and Carol walking past the line and tells them to stand in line and another worker tells Daughter and Mother they are next. The guests walk through the museum and see re-enactments like road construction and also stuffed animal displays. A worker sees Daughter smelling a fake flower and yells at her and Daughter runs into Russ, who picks her up and stares at her before putting her down. Another tour guide shows the public how a gasoline pump worked. In the Hall of Criminals, the overhead speaker talks about those who created overpopulation which lead to the great famine and smog blanket age. Russ and Carol continue into the part of the museum which mimics the houses people used to live in. George and Edna sit in the living room of their mock home along with Russ and Carol as they enact swinging couples. The crowd claps and 1st Guide tells the crowd that it is the last show from the 1970's for the day.
Carol contacts the office of Dr. Mallory and the Telescreen Operator connects her to Dr. Mallory. Carol tells him she went to Babyland, but couldn't get herself to get a mechanical child and she has been having a hard time having sex. She tells him she knows she is lucky, but she wants to have a baby and Dr. Mallory tells her she can't have one and her current life is the only reality. Carol goes to see Dr. Herrick and Mary Herrick, and Mary tells Carol, Dr. Herrick has been depressed. He recognizes Carol and laments at all the diseases they were able to find cures for and yet Carol cannot have a child due to their discoveries. The flying machine reminds the public that it is only 21 days until Christmas. Informer yells out baby over and over as a woman and her baby are taken away. Russ and Carol stand by and watch as an Edict Examiner and the others nearby also chant baby! The parents, Thomas and Alice Johnson along with their child are covered in a clear dome dropped by a machine and executed. The Informer is then given extra rations by [[Edict Examiner 1}}. Carol pulls out a trunk and smiles as she looks at a photo of herself as a baby. She opens a music box and listens to it and then becomes sad and wanders around the museum. Russ and Carol have sex and afterwards, Carol goes into the abortion room. Edna tells a Psychiatrist that the mechanical doll can't love her and the Psychiatrist insists the mechanical doll loves her and needs her. She finally picks up her mechanical baby, Peter and hugs him.
Carol looks at her stomach in the mirror and then her and Russ go to dinner as a Headwaiter serves food and a crowd gathers to watch. A Thief sees the vegetables Carol and Russ have and grabs them and takes them. A fight breaks out as the crowd all in turn try to get a piece of the vegetables. Carol tells Russ she wants a Christmas Tree and as she is about to order a blue spruce from the Metromart Salesman, Russ cancels the call and accuses the Metromart Salesman of flirting with Carol. Russ then promises to give Carol a real tree. While in bed, Carol tells Russ that she is four months pregnant and she and Russ tell each other Merry Christmas. He tells her she will have to leave him for a few months and suggests she hide in a nearby bomb shelter. Carol and Russ go into the bomb shelter and she finds an old newspaper with the headline, "Los Angeles Killer Smog 90,000 Dead". Russ tells George and Edna that Carol left him and after Carol sends George home, she comes over and kisses Russ and the museum crowd claps. In the new year, the flying machine announces that caloric allowances have now been increased. Russ visits with Carol and they come up with a name for their child, Jesse. While she is getting up, Carol accidentally hits a button and the Telescreen Operator asks how they can help. Russ tries to cover Carol, but they don't know if the Telescreen Operator noticed Carol is pregnant. Russ looks up premature birth at the central library and an alarm goes off and he is brought into a room and is questioned by the Library Security Chief, Department of State Security. Russ lies and is let free.
Carol gives birth and Russ buys a mechanical child from Baby Shop Salesman 2. On the day Carol is supposed to be returning, Jesse is ill. She switches the mechanical baby for Jesse and takes Jesse out in a stroller and is stopped by Edna who welcomes her back. As Carol is walking away, Jesse starts to cry and Edna notices the difference between the way Jesse sounds and the mechanical children. Carol goes into a movie theater showing old world citizens eating gluttonously. She goes to see Dr. Herrick and Mary Herrick and tells Dr. Herrick, Jesse is sick. He examines Jesse and tells Carol there is nothing to worry about and gives Jesse a shot. Carol comes home and finds Edna in her house sitting next to both her and Carol's mechanical children. Edna says she won't tell anyone and asks to touch Jesse.
Later both Edna and George stop by and tell Russ and Carol that they want to help take care of Jesse. Carol at first refuses to let them hold Jesse, but Russ tells her to let them. As time goes on, Edna and George push the boundaries and at one point Edna calls Jesse "our" baby to Carol. One day Carol finds Edna with Jesse in Edna and George's house. Russ starts to chisel a tunnel to the underground sewer system underneath the nearest extermination center. Eventually George and Edna demand to keep Jesse every other day. At one point, George tells Russ that he and Edna are keeping Jesse and Russ and Carol will only have one more day with him. When Edna and George come to retrieve Jesse, Russ and Carol refuse to give him to them. Edna grabs the mechanical child and smashes it into the ground and yells they need to destroy all of the mechanical children. Edna and George run into the streets yelling baby and a crowd gathers. Guards break into the house and take, Russ, Carol and Jesse away to the extermination center. A clear dome is placed over them as they are prepared for suffocation that will begin in 12 hours. George and Edna stare inside the pod as guards spray it with red spray paint. Russ digs into the ground until he digs into the sewer system and he, Carol and Jesse crawl through a tunnel and then get into an inflatable raft. George finds upturned dirt in the bomb shelter and starts to climb in the sewer tunnels. Russ, Carol and Jesse pass through an old car junkyard and make it out into a lake. They pass a jetty that warns not to go past and arrive at a beach at Complex 13 and a plaque declaring Polaris missiles were buried there on 17 July 1978 in the interest of peace. Carol, Russ and Jesse exit the raft and walk across their new home.