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kutelilkat's avatar

Help me with Pro Parent Licensing speech. How could it be fair and enforced and Justify costs?

Asked by kutelilkat (279points) July 28th, 2010

I have to give a speech in a few days ( I was given only one week to write). My claim is that a parenting license should be required for all. I’m about half way done but having trouble with a few parts:

1. How would a licensing plan be enforced? (what requirements/tests etc would be fair and actually effective?)

2. What would happen if someone had a child without a license? Or if they refused to get one?

3. How can I explain how it would be paid for and justify the costs of having a licensing program?

I’ve read lots of articles but none explain a licensing plan that could work..they just prove one would help! Please help!

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19 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Is this something you are in favor of, or you are just assigned to write/give a speech about it? I don’t see how we could inforce such a thing. but it will be interesting to see the answers.

cazzie's avatar

This sounds like the premise to a really creepy Sci Fi / Futuristic movie. I’m assuming this is for some high school class you’re taking?

Someone would have to judge whether someone is worthy. Who would that be? Certainly NOT me. Perhaps a board of people who are deemed ‘successful’ parents? But that whole idea is just so completely flawed, I don’t think I can even continue to pretend to help with this question.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Gracious…sorry, but no clue. You could, though, either start off or end the speech with this clip from “Parenthood”.

Seek's avatar

Coming from the perspective of support (not stating whether I agree with any of the premises)

One could argue that logical requirements would be:
A genetic screening. A mating pair with genetic probability for severe mental/physical illness could be denied. This would reduce the number of people completely reliant on full-time care from birth to death.

A mental health screening. Someone with severe violent tendencies, a potential for homocidal thoughts, suicidal tendencies, perhaps going so far as bipolar disorder or severe depression could be denied.

A criminal background check. Anyone who had been convicted of a violent crime could be denied. Anyone charged with child abuse or neglect, or animal cruelty, could be denied.

The costs would have to be mitigated through a government tax, like a Medicaid or income tax.

If a child is born without a license, it wouldn’t be granted citizenship to the country – it would effectively not exist on paper.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You are dangerously approaching the subject of Selective Breeding coerced by law. Whatever your criteria for selection, this is old stuff. I would suggest you reference the speeches and diaries of Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda in Germany back in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s. He was able to convince nearly fifty million otherwise rational people that this was the right thing to do, so he must have been quite the debater.

But I must warn you, the world bombed the shit out of his country.

zophu's avatar

Along with a limit to how many children you can have, something like this might work without being considered eugenic. Allowing anyone to breed a few times, but not necessarily allowing everyone to raise kids.

Educational courses and basic psychological evaluation could be the requirements; but they would have to be very reasonable and have actual usefulness to even the competent would-be-parents. There should also be advanced education and rehabilitation for seemingly incompetent would-be-parents. Maybe supervised care should be the only common requirement for parents deemed incompetent. It should be a rarity for someone to not be allowed to raise kids on their own if they go through the system willingly.

A gradual increase in standards, starting very low and giving time for people to adjust as they rise, might ease any shock the system could have on the culture and be a good way to implement it.

All requirements should be based on conventional scientific knowledge, no strong idealism—even common idealism such as all children must have a reverence for the law. Children should be taught the law, and the consequences of breaking the law in their education, but the belief that the law should be revered is subjective and it shouldn’t be required of the parents to support it.

The vast majority of violent criminals or otherwise unproductive citizens come from bad homes. You can use crime-rate stats and how they correlate with the legalization of abortion in the US to illustrate the benefits of making sure citizens have healthy childhoods. (I’m sure there are other stats you could find that imply the same thing.) If childhoods could be systematically genuinely improved by the system, that would justify the cost. It would make more productive, less dangerous citizens.

kutelilkat's avatar

This topic was assigned to me.

kutelilkat's avatar

The purpose of the licensing would only be to protect children. to try to help weed out those potential parents who are clearly unfit because of: drug addiction, abusive or don’t meet very basic child rearing competency.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess doctors, day care, and schools could require a parent to show their license before treatment or beore ennrolling their children in classes. Pregnant women when they go to the doctor for prenatal could receive information on hwo to get licensed. Probably the best would to make it part of the high school curriculum, and then have renewals like a drivers license every 5 to 10 years.

kutelilkat's avatar

I’m just not sure how this licensing would work or be enforced. Or where the money would come from.

kutelilkat's avatar

Thanks for the tips JLeslie. I like some of those ideas.

kutelilkat's avatar

Thanks everyone for bringing to my attention a lot of concerns I need to consider.

Seek's avatar


You’re going to run into a lot of problems with that stance.

See, there’s no genetic code for “bad parent”. Someone who has no prior drug charges or arrests can still be a suck-ass parent. You can do an amniotic fluid test to see if a kid will be born with half a brain. There isn’t a test to predict a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse, or child neglect.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Granting the premise: Not grant the child citizenship? The enforcement should involve punishing the parents who had a child without a license, not the child.

Seek's avatar


I suggested that under the assumption that it would be far too easy to simply levy a fine against parents who wish to procreate but failed the screening for one reason or another. Some would just pay the fine, and others would just not pay the fine. What can you do about that, other than institute a debtor’s prison? You would still have the problem of an “undesirable” child that needed to be cared for.

JLeslie's avatar

It would have to be free, or people might go into hiding when pregnant, and not get the medical care they need. And, people who do not pass the requirements also might go into hiding of some sort if they want a baby or get pregnant. The child would be worse off then.

kutelilkat's avatar

Ahhh this topic I got sucks LOL thanks for the interesting input. I’ve got lots of information to work with now.

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know if we get an A. :) Good luck.

kutelilkat's avatar

Ok, I will :) . I’m really giving it my all! THANKS!

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