This is the gist of a thread I started at The Environment Site Forum before the webmaster pissed me off by suspending my account whenever I got into a controversial or heated argument. Few things piss me off more than unreasonable censorship. I can't stand it when someone feels they have to shut an argument down to prevent other forum users getting offended. Fucking treehugging wet blankets.
Sorry if this is a bit disjointed but its pasted together from several posts.
"“ Sometimes I really think people ought to have to pass a proper exam before they’re allowed to be parents. Not just the practical, I mean.”
So- I can see a lot of sense in this one. Predefine a set of rules so that regardless of race, creed, background, genetic makeup, etc. people ought to be able to demonstrate a certain degree of parenting talent prior to the arrival of the child?? I might also suggest an associated prepayment package in the form of a bond that must be acquired prior to conception that would fund for your child a basic standard of life for their formative years. Such funding might even be arranged in the form of a mortgage to pay for the bond- an investment, almost, in your offspring's wellbeing and an incentive that many parents I see on the street direly seem to need??
A simple demonstration of practical parenting knowledge may be required- a personal interview might help. In the UK we trust independent groups of people to determine whether or not someone is guilty of a variety of crimes in the UK court systems. These people often have no experience of committing a crime and yet we trust them to administer law and order in our society.
As for paying for the costs of raising children I think that you'll find that an enormous proportion of costs associated with raising children responsibly is associated with those who have not had the luck to be born to responsible, loving parents (say 5% of them). I am merely suggesting that everyone ought to be responsible enough to make a commitment to the wellbeing of their child before that child is concieved. THAT is responsible parenting in a nutshell.
As for investing in our children and repaying their 'debt to society' any advocate of ecological economics will tell you that regardless of their education certain individuals contribute more to society than others and this cannot be determined simply by comparing the input of well-raised children to that of 'troubled' children.
I'm not daft enough to try and advocate banning everyone from having children. I would simply like to see the practice regulated so that those fools who might manipulate benefits schemes to their advantage through excessive fecundity or who clearly do not have the stability and aptitude to become responsible parents are not allowed to burden society with the tortured souls of their abused, unloved and unwanted children.
Women who find themselves inadvertently pregnant would have nothing to fear if it is their first or even second child, unless they are not making a reasonable job of raising their firstborn- in which case this would be taken into account during the whole evaluation of the women's right to bear another child. I am only advocating intervention in cases where the prospective mother's motives or resources as a parent are in question.
Essentially I am proposing a sytem in which any reasonable individual will be given every possible support in starting a family.
As for potential abuse in the interview, or whatever assessment process is ultimately involved, there exists in any system the opportunity for people to abuse it. As I described above, however, I do not see people being subjected to any sort of significant scrutiny until they start trying for their 2nd child. At this point the wellbeing of their 1st child can be evaluated and the results used to assess whether or not they are capable of meeting the added challenge of raising a 2nd child at the same time.
Lets just say that everyone gets one chance to prove themselves but when you're gambling with something as enormously valuable as a child's life then those who have demonstrated an inability to devote themself to responsible parenting shouldn't be given a second chance until they can show marked improvement in their parental skills.
Maybe unlicensed breeders would be separated from their child at birth. I imagine a decade on from the introduction of such a system the fostering and adoption rates would have fallen as a result of this policy. I believe that even now there is considerable demand for babies for adoption in the UK as it is more appealing to parents to adopt a child as a baby or a toddler, rather than as an older child or teenager."
I was driven to posting this after seeing anews report on TV about some 14 year old who was pregnant. I think that a pregnancy to a girl under the age of 16 should be aborted, with or without her consent. How can children be allowed to ruin their own life as well as that of their child's? I am 28 and I still don't want children yet and I am grateful for the wisdom and experience I have gained through not having any significant responsibility for most fo my life. Now, of course, I am married so I have my share of concerns but at the age of 14??? I was wanking 6 times a day and drinking Galliano from my parents drinks cabinet for kicks. I could no more have cared for an infant than composed an opera.