In the past decades, the life course approach has gained importance in studies on the timing and incidence of childbirth. It allows a complex analysis of fertility. Following this approach, family formation and parenthood are perceived as instrumental goals of individual welfare production over the life course. In addition, the analysis of fertility has to take into account three kinds of essential interdependence: time dependence of the life course, multilevel structure of the life course and multidimensionality of the life course. As a consequence future fertility research should emphasize more on pre-decisional individual dispositions and behavioral intentions, should take into account more seriously that fertility takes place in the context of interdependent social relationships and social groups, and address changes in the cultural and institutional environment. The aim of this special issue is to present a series of empirical studies touching upon some of these aspects and therefore substantially contributing to progress in contemporary longitudinal fertility research. The twelve contributions deal with childbearing intentions and outcomes in multidimensional life courses; dyadic decision-making and social influences on fertility; and the interdependence of spatial mobility, regional context, culture, and fertility.