Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Is it immoral for people with precarious lives to have children?

Asked by Kraigmo (9137points) July 14th, 2018

Why do so many refugees and food stamp recipients have so many kids?
If their lives are so precarious, shouldn’t they purposely avoid having children?
I realize some people’s lives become precarious after they have kids due to random emergencies. I’m not talking about that. I’m only interested in addressing the situation of people who know their lives are precarious ahead of time.

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35 Answers

janbb's avatar

There’s a line from a Priscilla Herdman song I like:

“Children don’t cause poverty, it’s just people not being paid enough for what they do.”

rebbel's avatar

Nice way to single out two groups of, already, vulnerable people.
Sure you can’t come up with any other groups who live precarious lives?

Kardamom's avatar

Birth control fails more often than you’d think.

3 of my cousins, who were on the pill, but thankfully were married and had stable incomes, got pregnant in their mid twenties.

One of my closest friends, is now pregnant due to the failure of her IUD. She’s 40 and has used this method since the birth of her first child 10 years ago.

My co-worker, age 32, and un-married, just had an abortion, because the condoms that she had relied upon for birth control since she became sexually active, failed.

Most people, who already have children, could not imagine the idea of giving up their child for adoption. I know my cousins and my friend couldn’t do it. They were lucky enough to be married, and have a stable income, hence no stigma.

My friend who just had an abortion, was grateful to have the choice to do that, because she is not married, and she and her partner are not in a position to have children.

Some people living in poverty, are not able to get an abortion for a variety if reasons. Lack of money (my friend had to pay for hers), not realizing they were pregnant until it was too late for a legal abortion. Not living in proximity to a clinic that will perform an abortion, living in a state that has made abortions almost impossible to get, not having information or access to the morning after pill, not having info or access to any of the other methods of birth control, and still having to deal with the fact that birth control is not 100% effective, even if it is used correctly. Sometimes it is not used correctly.

And some people, due to their religious beliefs, would never purposely have an abortion, even if YOU think they should.

seawulf575's avatar

While it sounds horrible on the surface, I personally have known two girls that were on welfare and purposely had more babies to increase their checks. Not the way I would want to live, but it happens. To deny it is not being realistic. Not saying that applies to all welfare cases or even most, but it does happen.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You can only claim up to, I think, 3 kids. After that you don’t get anything extra. And certainly not enough to actually live on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Another example of an anomaly.
Anyone who knows a person raising children with government aid, knows it’s probably a harder job, than what most people do.

Again, I find it amazing that those who oppose abortion, will gladly hate any aid given to needy children. As if it’s the children’s fault they are impoverished…

Dutchess_III's avatar

I so agree @MrGrimm888. Having been in that system, it’s a miserable existence.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yeah. I’ve lived in a few rough areas. These women looked BEATEN by life… Many have to walk everywhere. Hard to keep three jobs, with no car…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Absolutely beaten, and abandoned by the fathers of the children.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Some are. There are many variables that make their lives awful…

notnotnotnot's avatar


It’s immoral for rich people to perpetuate a system in which people need to have food stamps.

And it’s likely highly immoral for the rich to reproduce.

canidmajor's avatar

It is immoral for you, @Kraigmo, to make such a sweeping judgement of a group of people that tend to have so few options.

It is ignorant of you to assume that these same people have available to them the same methods of birth control that exist for the more affluent.

It is downright stupid of you to think that choice plays a significant part in the lives of people of this demographic. (And please don’t pull out the “just say no” rhetoric.)

Kraigmo's avatar

“I have no money and no resources but I’m gonna have a baby!”
Isn’t that selfish?
What about when they have 2, 3, or 4 babies?

rebbel's avatar

Your reading comprehension isn’t your strong point, right?

canidmajor's avatar

@rebbel, got it in one!

MollyMcGuire's avatar

The kids increase the welfare amounts…...didn’t ya know?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^The lack of bullshit tax loop holes, tax havens, tax write offs, and offshore accounts (that the rich enjoy) increases welfare….“didn’t ya know?”

It also takes money that should be contributing to taxes, and puts the burden on the middle class down…

The “kids,” don’t have a choice of being born into their circumstances. That’s the conservative argument for why abortions are immoral. But you would punish the children for circumstances out of their control when they’re a walking, suffering person?...


MollyMcGuire's avatar

I hit a nerve there. Good.

canidmajor's avatar

What a shame to feel so proud about supporting the suffering of children.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You guys don’t have a clue how that system works. Not a clue. What I hear is just more poor-shaming. And of course it’s the mothers who are being targeted, not the fathers who are a big part of the reason the mothers, and their children, are so poor.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III Amen. When you do away with the nuclear family, the rest falls apart. The women did not get pregnant alone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I certainly had a nuclear family starting out. Like, all my kids have the same dad and the same last name. We were middle class, too…but then it all fell apart.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III as did mine. But along the way, my dad taught me responsibility. Own your actions. If you feel you have to own them, you are more careful about what you do. When I got married and had children of my own and the marriage failed, I still owned the duties of a parent. And when I got married again, I owned the parental role of not only my children, but those of my new bride. Take away the responsibility piece and the whole thing falls apart.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I came from a typical upper middle class nuclear family. My parents taught me responsibility too. Apparently my ex’s parents forgot to teach him responsibility. He just left his first 3 kids here and moved 2,000 miles away and started a whole new family.

seawulf575's avatar

I know that sensation! My ex went 3000 miles to move in with her online boyfriend. Amazing, isn’t it?

Dutchess_III's avatar

How many kids did she leave you with?

seawulf575's avatar

3. a 6 year old daughter and twin boys, 2.5 years old. The agreement was that she could have summers and Christmas break from school, if she could afford to fly them to CA. One year she couldn’t afford it and the kids wanted to go see her for the summer. I offered to drive them across country. She tried kidnapping them for my trouble. Yeah…that’s what I was dealing with…a winner. My current wife had three of her own. When I married her we had 6 kids ranging from age 16 – 8. Thankfully they all turned out well except my stepdaughter who went a long way down the wrong roads before we got her turned around.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good work Dad! Twins are a PIB, period, especially by yourself. One’s running one way and the other one is running the other way and you don’t know if you’ll ever see them again!

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 . You exposed your true identity!!! Your groups, “they somehow formed a family. That’s the way they all became ‘The Brady Bunch.”..!!!

On the real. Good job @seawulf575 . Respect.

LogicHead's avatar

Logically, statements like this invite someone (YOU) to step in and run someone else’s life

And I am right because I notice in your example you completely excuse yourself in their plight.
Mother Teresa used to say of the poorest of the poor: Their spouse and children are their possessions, all they have.

And economically, in places like India, because there is no social net, having many kids is your retirement and security.
Why do you excuse yourself?

I heard an interview on your question just the other day.It was in realtion to Black Mothers;;;
Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage
Dianne M. Stewart.

Here is an example that would never occur to anybody. A Black woman has children and the man goes to prison —your “precarious situation”

how Black women’s incomes drive the flow of capital required to sustain relationships with incarcerated Black men. During the 1990s, collect phone calls—the only calls prisoners could make—entailed both collect-call fees at long-distance rates and a surcharge for each call placed, yielding revenue of up to $15,000 per year for each installed phone in a prison facility

Dutchess_III's avatar

And I will repeat: To get cash aid you can only claim 3 kids. Any kids after that doesn’t change the cash aid. And it is not enough to live on.
I applied for cash 2 times in my life (During the gap between teaching and day care during the summer.) I had 4 kids and I got $500. Hell, my rent was $350! Do the math. Oh, and they also attached my measly child support of $150, so basically I got $350.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s a fucked up system, all around.
Many single mothers, get practically no help.
If the father is rich, the child support payments, are ridiculous.
I won’t name them. But. Some successful men have to pay $50,000/month, in child support.

The money from child support isn’t regulated. So. In some cases, the mothers are just using most of that money, on themselves….

In addition.
The “father,” has NO say, in regards to abortion….


It’s really all up to the female.

That’s logical, to me.
But. Some women will either trap a man with child support, or abort a child whom the father would like to keep.

It’s a cluster fuck…..

Dutchess_III's avatar

Jesus. The lengths some people will go thorough to maintain that it’s all the women’s fault, and the men just “can’t help themselves…” Stop already.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Apparently, I failed to articulate my feelings correctly.

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