posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 02:06 PM
'Any fool with a **** can make a baby but it takes a real man to be a father' - Boyz in the Hood
In the UK, and probably in the US and most countries, you need a license to drive a car, to own a dog, possess a gun, to fish etc, etc.
If we need a license, training and background checks for these, should we not need a license for the most important and difficult task a human can
undertake - that of having a child?
It's a very touchy subject. I myself don't like to sit on the fence, but I find pros and cons in both sides of the argument. In the persuit of a
firm opinion I'll try and discuss them.
Every now and again an abuse case comes to light, where a child has been killed or beaten by a parent or guardian. In these cases there is usually
astonishing brutality and lack of basic parenting skills. Each time it happens I say "You need a license to drive a car, but any idiot can have a
baby". Is this a valid argument? You know it just maybe.
Think about it, why do we issue car licenses? Because a car can be lethal in the wrong hands - just like bad parenting. Because driving a car is
difficult and needs guidance and pratice - just like bringing up a child.
How would it work? Well. I think there would be a fee involved, this would take care of lessons in childcare, equipment for the baby, checks on the
parents for suitability, social worker visits to the house. There would be a test, like with a car license, criminal background checks to rule out
those with records of viloence or abuse.
The real difficulties come when we discuss unplanned pregnancies.
It's all well and good for those people who want their children, pass their Parental License(PL) fine, pay their fee and get the support they want.
But what about unplanned pregnancies. I think that for the most part, these people will probably be aborting or giving up their children anyway, so
having a PL systyem would not change that.
For those that fail the PL process, well they get the support and training to try again, and pass. What about those who fail the background &
suitability checks? The system obviously cannot stop them from having the child, but at least they would be flagged as an at risk preganancy and given
special attention, plus help to try and pass the license test and to address issues found.
The only major issue I feel is the cost. I think that the cost of a PL should be covered by the state in extreme cases, but the benefits of the
training (savings in future medical costs), backgound checks (future socail worker visits) and general improvement in society would far outway the
costs of subsidising PL in those cases where the parent(s) cannot afford it.
And what about those who fail the PL time and time again? Well my friends, just like with a car, those people should just not get behind the wheel to
Mod Edit: No profanity please
[edit on 8/9/09 by FredT]