Would you support parental licensing?

I am placing this here as a poll, not a debate. In the past I had heard people talk about licenses to become a parent, or IQ tests. I always thought it was a joke, but recently I am beginning to believe that many people are very serious.

So, in all seriousness, if legislation was pending in your state proposing a license to become a parent, would you vote for it?

It really depends on what sort of testing would be used to determine who could and who could not obtain a license. But if research proved these tests to be valid measures of parenting skill, then yes, I would support government licensing with no reservations.

Bad parenting isn’t just for breakfast anymore.

Yes I would support it. Most people don’t have the ability to raise children.

I also support mandatory sterilization for certain people so they can no longer infect the gene pool or create economic crises.

Nope, don’t support it.

Why? Because it’s too easy to slide into genocide or one of its cousins.

Think about it - who determines what’s a “good parent” and what are the criteria?

Are we going to have a quota system for race and religion?

Is there a proven correlation between high IQ and good parenting - or not? Remember that Einstein was a terrible parent.

And some ulikely people make good parents, Back when I worked at a drug rehab clinic we had one gal who was a long-term heroin addict on the slow side of average mental speed who, nonetheless, raised five kids, all of whom stayed out of trouble, went to college, and are now successful professionals. Can’t give the credit to their fathers - mom was also a prostitute (how else is a slow-witted junkie with no job skills going to support five kids, after all?) so no telling who their daddies were. Yes, she was an exception - but that’s my point, it’s not always obvious who will be a good parent at first glance.

Forget IQ tests or anything involving pencil-and-paper. Testing a person’s ability to handle stress and anger – now THAT would be much more relevant than their education or income.

Though I would like to see an improvement in parenting skills and for some idiots to be banned from breeding, the government is not qualified to make that determination, so, no.

What if there were a license to raise a child, but not a license to give birth to a child? People who couldn’t obtain the license would be forced to give their children up for adoption. Then, you wouldn’t have any worries of eugenics, because you’re not infringing on anyone’s procreative rights.

No. Some people, quite simply, should not be allowed to procreate. Regardless of the destination of the child.

Right, okay. We already know you’re a eugenicist. I was trying to compromise with the 99% of the population that’s not.

In a perfect world, where everyone acted out of the enlightened and benevolent interests of The People? Yes.

But not in this world. So, no.

Since people would undoubbtably still have children regardless of their licensing status, what sanctions would there be for having an unlicensed kid? China might be an example.

No! We’ve made it this far, by and large, without the enlightened few deciding which individuals are fit to be parents. Hitler lost WW2, remember?

Interesting choice of words there. Perhaps you’d care to tell us who the “certain people” you’re talking about are.

I’m Roma, my people have been victims of the policies you support.

The Nazis had fun surgically preventing the ‘Gypsy plague’ from infecting the larger population, but they were not the only ones: Denmark and Austria both did it, Sweden and Norway were forcibly sterilizing Roma (along with other ‘inferiors’) until 1976, Czechoslovakia until 1990.

While it’s true that you wouldn’t be infringing on anyone’s procreative rights, you would be causing massive amounts of suffering for the people involved.

Enforced adoption or fostering is/was often used against minority peoples in order to achieve assimilation, the pain it has caused is still being felt today. To see what effect it’s had on American Indians, I suggest you Google “Termination and Relocation”. This article shows how the Yenish people suffered this policy in Switzerland until the early 1970s.

So, to answer the OP: No. I could in no way support a parent’s license. It reeks of eugenics and I can only see a licensing program being taken over by bigots who want to destroy minorities or, even worse IMO, paternalistic do-gooders who will see it as a wonderful way to help minorities without seeing the devastation it would cause.

Absolutely not. What would be the point? As Ringo asks, how would you enforce it anyway?

While sometimes in anger I propose parental licensing, I do not see that it would work the way you think it would.

It would create another government bureaucracy that would have to be funded with higher taxes.

It’s too subjective a process. It won’t work, aside from the argument that you are intruding on a fundamental right, to perpetuate the species.

Doesn’t China have a one-child rule, even going so far as kidnapping women in their ninth months and forcing abortions on them against their will? Is that what you want?

I do think, however, children born with drugs in their systems should immediately be put up for adoption. No if, ands, or buts. Parental rights terminated immediately. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

I’m not talking about racial traits here. And I was purposefully being over the top. I was more referring to the mandatory sterilization of certain segments of a population who insist on procreating beyond their means. Which causes drains on the economy through social security which is used to support these offspring. With specific reference to rural India and sub-saharan Africa where famine and poverty is compounded by uncontrolled breeding.

As for being a eungenicist, sure. I support the termination of fetuses which express severe genetic defects that lead to the offspring being unable to function without lifelong support.

::sigh:: I had meant to post two links about the Swiss treatment of the Yenish.

Here’s the second:http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/guide/graubunden/jenisch.html

Back to the business in hand:

The thing you probably don’t realise is that, here in Europe anyway, there are quite a few people who would look at your categories of people suitable for sterilization and think of the Roma straight away.

Do you read what you write?

If you’re really concerned with population growth in rural India and sub-Saharan Africa, you should support efforts to raise the standard of living in those countries, and to provide women access to birth control. I remember reading it in Carl Sagan’s Billions and Billions, but evidently it has been shown that the number of children per woman dramatically decreases when both factors are met.

As for parental licensing–it’s too much of a slippery slope and would be unenforceable. Besides, I might not have been “licensed”–who would allow an unmarried woman who’s just 19 to have a child?

When someone uses “quotes” like this, I “often” feel that I “miss the point”. What’s the difference between being licensed and being “licensed”?

Anyway, the answer to your question is, a reasonable policy enforcer. I’m not sure where Eidolon909 is coming from, but as I have always understood it, parental licensing in a country like the United States, if it happened, which it won’t, would not be based on marital status, nor age (at least, 19 vs. 35 makes no difference), nor wealth, nor race, nor genetic traits; it would be based on ability. It would be more like a driver’s license; you apply for it, and if you fail, you get to reapply in a year.

And it’s not like it would exclude a huge swath of the population, either. Just the 0.1% or so who show, on the test, that they can’t tell the difference between children’s cough medicine and rat poision. Those who make it obvious that the state would wind up having to take their children away anyway. Yes, it would increase their suffering, but it would decrease their children’s suffering.

No. Absolutely not. There’s no way to tell in advance who is going to be OK and who isn’t. You cannot screen for abusive parents in advance. Some parents would be just fine with a kid with traits which are a good fit for that parent and abysmal parents for a kid with different traits.