Time to license parenthood
Richard C. Bryant
Bryant, of Roanoke, is retired. He has a B.A. in psychology and an interest in philosophy, anthropology and women's rights.
The article in The Roanoke Times on April 19 titled "Vulnerable youth latest victims of budget cuts" graphically illustrates there are people who are not responsible enough to be parents yet have the delicate life and mind of a child in their care.
A child deserves to have parents who have the requisites necessary to guide them through childhood and adolescence so they can have the basic knowledge to care for themselves as adults and contribute positively to society instead of becoming liabilities.
Under our system, children are being born into circumstances you wouldn't keep your dog in. Rapists, child molesters, insane people, career criminals, skid-row bums, prostitutes and drug addicts can have as many children as they want. If young people don't have the character to finish high school, they don't have the character to be parents.
The current system of allowing anyone and everyone to have as many children as they want places children at risk and perpetuates poverty. Children are not pets or toys for immature people to play with. It is time to license parenthood.
When a person, male or female, without a license becomes the parent of a child, the devil is in the details of enforcement. Jail should not be an option since we have too many prisoners to support now.
The penalty for a first offense should be community service and education in reproductive responsibility. The penalty for a second offense should be involuntary birth control.
Each year in the United States more than a million men and women voluntarily have vasectomies or tubal ligations for birth control. These same methods of birth control could be used to deny parenthood to those not responsible enough to care for children.
We are engaged in a class war that is tearing our country apart. The Democrats are embracing radical socialism with the philosophy of reducing everyone toward the lowest common denominator, but it would be better to elevate people toward the highest common denominator.
Many people in poverty have neglected their education and, in addition to being less competitive in the job market, are unable to plan the growth of their family based on their financial ability to care for them. Too many children in a family is one of the causes of poverty.
If people cannot responsibly plan their lives, if they are not able to set a good example for their children, if they have become a liability to the country and have to be subsidized financially, they have forfeited their right to have more children. The best strategy for reducing the ranks of poverty and elevating people economically is a combination of financial assistance, education and licensing parenthood.
Another argument for licensing parenthood is the coming need for population control. Unbridled population growth and unbridled economic expansion will have devastating consequences in the future as we deplete our natural resources, as available land becomes scarce, as our living conditions become more crowded, as our forests disappear, as more animals and plants become extinct, as our carbon footprint becomes larger and as global warming creates havoc around the world.
There will be many obstacles to licensing parenthood. To identify parents, DNA samples must be kept for everyone. Many people will contend that parenthood is a right that no one can take away and there will be constitutional challenges. The line between freedom and anarchy is so thin that good people can easily be found on both sides of the issue.
However, we do know that licensing parenthood would reduce poverty, crime and the prison population. It would help protect the country from class war. It would lay the groundwork for the population control that is sure to come. It would protect children from being born into the most horrible circumstances.
It would help them become responsible adults and assets to society, and better prepare them for the responsible leadership we so desperately need.