Tests to become a parent?

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Kidder

Kidder

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This is a pretty controversial idea I've been thinking over for some time. I first read this idea in a Dilbert comic strip where Dogbert (one of the main characters) opens a examination centre to test couples who wish to have a child. In order to be allowed to have children, the couples have to pass a test first.

Some of you may be thinking "What the hell is this guy talking about? How can we take an idea from a comic strip seriously?" but please bear with me and let me explain my idea.

I'm a firm believer that the influence of a child's parents is a HUGE factor in deciding what sort of person the child will grow up to be. Children will often (but not always) emulate their parent's attitudes and personalities towards things like sex, politics, violence, racism etc. A white supremist mother/father is more than likely to raise a racist person. A violent family is more likely to raise a violent person.

Frankly, I think there are a huge number of people in this world who should not have children, either because they aren't responsible enough to even take care of themselves let alone a child or don't have the resources or the ability to raise a child. Having said that I'm treading a very very thin line because some of you might interperate what I said as saying "Poor people shouldn't have children". That's not exactly what I mean but I'll deal with these arguments as you guys post them.

Anyways, my idea is similar to the situation in the Dilbert comic strip. Couples that wish to have a child must pass a background check and proficiency test first. The background check would look at any previous criminal records of both parents to see whether there is any predisposition to violence etc. The proficiency test would assess the ability of the parents look after the child. If they can't pass both, they won't be "legally" allowed to raise a child.

I realise that this would be against our basic Rights and Freedoms and it's a step towards a totalitarian society but way too many people take these Rights and Freedoms for granted and sometimes abuse them.

This idea obviously needs some serious refinement, but the basic consept is as I've described above.

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Krawczyk

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It would never work, simply because...well, have you seen how states like Florida handle its curriculum when students fail? And this is for menial junk too. It'll get dumbed down eventually to the point anyone can do it. (Or go the opposite way and the country dies out.)
Maybe if we were lorded over by machines they could do it impartially, but no.
Doesn't take into account genetics either. Two smart parents having a recessive gene that gives their child Downs. Something like that. Too many variables for a court run by mankind to successfully pull off this kind of testing.

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  • Jun 17, 2006

PAche

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its a good idea and would certainly help in the standard of living of children.however it is inconcievably ridiculous for you to think it would succeed simply because for it to work, you have to go bigscale.and imagine the number of riots against it if it were to be made public.plus the increase in people getting fined/going to jail because they were too lazy to go through the test...get what i mean?

your idea is right, but in this world, with humans and all their free world crap, your idea is not possible to achieve.like wanting to sell oxygen.and i'm talking about the oxygen everyone uses to live, not the liquefied one used in heavy industries

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Mnemeth

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I think that instead of requiring them to pass a test with a force set of ideals a better way would be to require attendance at a parenting training course, where things such as dealing with children and finances associated with them are explained. 2nd, 3rd, etc... timers would be exempt but first timers would be required to attend prior to well getting pregnant would be preferable but prior to birth would be a must. By informing them of the responsibilities you arm them against alot of the problems that occur in so many families today.

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  • Jun 17, 2006

wolfco

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I must say that I've had such thoughts pass through my head on occassion when I hear about pregnant teens and child abuse. However, I don't believe any test would be sufficient. It would need to be "fair" and fair is an arguable conception. It is difficult to define "good parent" in a means that most people would find acceptable.

I decided to endorse another more functional plan. It would be relatively easy to include certain chemicals into various foods and drinks which reduce the likelihood of conception. Perhaps a low-dose inhibitor in public water systems. Obviously the levels would need to be adjusted to merely inhibit rather than truly prevent conception, but I think this is a less invasive means of cutting back on the numbers of children born into less than ideal situations. This plan provides a means for people to avoid the inhibitors... aka... they don't have to drink the water or eat whatever which prevents arguments against the plan. As long as people are freely able to choose to participate or not, you are still allowing complete freedom of choice. If you make the first option to not have a child by including the inhibitors in common daily substances like bread or toothpaste or whatever, you ensure that uneducated abusive persons at least have to think enough to choose to avoid the named substances and thereby have a child. The greatest need in my eyes is for people to choose to have a child rather than just sort of end-up with one unexpectedly. If you make birth-control an unconscious part of daily life (something they accidentally take every morning when they brush their teeth per se), you force people to think about having a child. It has been my thought that it would be rather intelligent to include such substances in cigarettes and alcohol. Two things you really shouldn't do durring pregnancy is smoke and drink. Why not make smoking and drinking actions which decrease the likelihood of conception in the first place?

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  • Jun 17, 2006

Shinsengumi89

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Truthfully i like the idea, though it will most likely never happen because of its implications, but even if it was used it could easily be used by the ruling athurity to choose what type of parent they want to have, such as they could make the tests more prone for religous people, or the exact opposite. If you get my drift, if you don't, its most likely my fault.

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  • Jun 17, 2006

Kidder

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Some of you may have misunderstood by what I meant by "tests". The main thing is that these tests won't be on the genetic makeup of the parents. The test would merely assess the parenting abilities of the propecting couples. Essentially, it would eliminate those couples that could not raise a child responsibly. That would even include "smart" and "professional" citizens because if the parents are working all day and the child is basically given free reign then the child may still grow up to be a person who would not help contribute to a civilised society. It doesn't really matter whether the child is more likely to have a high or low IQ (although it is my belief that in time, genetic manipulation will reach the stage where we can pretty much choose all our child's characteristics) but rather reducing the possibilities of the child being raised poorly. A child with high IQ could easily become a deliquent or criminal with poor parenting.

As many of you have mentioned, these tests would be extremely hard to implement and enforce. As I said in my first post, it's really just a basic concept, but the actual application and regulation would take a lot more research and time to refine.

The idea of "Good parenting" will vary for different cultures and people. My parents, who were raised in the old school Chinese way, believed in a good spanking when I was naughty... and I turned out alright :P I, however, would hesitate to use physical discipline on my own kids since I was bought up in a more multi-cultural and modern society. As such, it would be hard to decide exactly what is "good parenting".

The obvious things to include would be a test of how well the prospecting couple would care for an infant (ie, how to bathe, feed etc). That would cover the first few years of the child's life. As for the later years... that's something I need to consider a little more carefully.

wolfco mentioned an interesting idea about conception inhibitors being introduced into the water supply or food to reduce the chance of conception. That would be a fairly easy way to help regulate and control conception by "unauthorised parents" (lol... that sounds so wrong...).

Mnmeth talked about having manditory teaching sessions as opposed to having a test and using a 1st timer, 2nd timer etc. style system to allow "proven" parents the freedom to choose to have a 2nd or 3rd child. This is certainly a much less invasive idea and would probably be fairly well recieved by the public. Perhaps a manditory parenting course followed by a test (hehe... I love my tests) to make sure that the couples actually understood and absorbed the teachings. The main problem would be making sure that couples actually took these courses BEFORE they became pregnant, because should a pregnant couple fail the course then the whole idea of abortion would come into question.

Anyways thanks for the posts everyone. It's good to see that no one's flamed me (yet :P )

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It would never work. You would have to force every female to take birth control from the time they hit puberty and then they would only be aloud to reproduce if her and her mate pass some test.... nice thought but it just isn't feasible

  • Jun 19, 2006
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As idealistic as your idea is, it won't work and its a horrible idea. If anything was to be done it should be based that you can only have a second child (or second birth) if you have proved capable of raising your first.

I know some very well adjusted individuals that were raised by scum good-for-nothing parents, they tried to be their very best so they weren't like their parents. Sure often children do take after their parents, but typically only if they actually like their parents.

However I believe that children sould be taken away from parents (even if only temporarily) who have proven to be incapabe for caring for them properly, as after all a child does not actually belong to a parent. Likewise people should not be able to have children that they can't afford to support, as many people do this to abuse the system and get more child support money to spend on themselves. Likewise in many 3rd world countries families that could only afford to support one or two children often end up with as many as ten and that is unfair to the children, however if they were 'punished' for their irresponsibility then starvation in 3rd orld countries would reduce as hopefully that would discourage having too many children.

Basically as much as I wish you could just trust people, you can't. And rather than using war as a population control which is horrible, especially since the bad people in society never fight wars anyway (they are to selfish to join the army, why die for a country they don't even care about) this would be a lot better approach of dealing with an issue that nobody really wants to touch.

  • Jun 19, 2006
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A test to determine who can and can't have children is no different than the ideology of the Nazis. Essentially, you are telling people that they can or can't breed based on YOUR idea of what is or isn't proper or good.

It's the very essence of fascism.

  • Jun 21, 2006

Shinsengumi89

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Bweb,

Also its the same as And Christians telling Homosexuals that there not allowed to adopt children.

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  • Jun 22, 2006

Kidder

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Quote by bwebA test to determine who can and can't have children is no different than the ideology of the Nazis. Essentially, you are telling people that they can or can't breed based on YOUR idea of what is or isn't proper or good.

It's the very essence of fascism.

I knew that someone would accuse me of facism eventually... I agree that my idea comes across as being essentially a form of controlling the population and filtering out the "undesirable elements" of society. But tell me this, have you noticed how parents are taking less and less responsibilities for the actions of their children? An 11 yr old girl having a baby?!?! Stricter rules and guidelines enforced by FCC in response to growing concern from parents about what their kids watch?!?! The gradual lowering of grade boundaries in public exams (I know this is true for the British Educational Curriculum of GCSE's and A-Levels)?!?! Why can't parents just take some god damn responsibility, instead of blaming the government/schools/TV... Don't bring a life into this world unless you're going to take care of it responsibly.

The whole point of my idea isn't to produce a "master-race" but to prevent the neglect and possible abuse of children born into poor and undesirable circumstances (be it poverty and just the fact that both parents are too busy with their careers to raise the child themselves). I'll be the first to admit that this sort of control on the birth of children would be impossible to implement and regulate unless there was a huge event/disaster that would cause the public's view to change drastically.

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Quote by Shinsengumi89Bweb,

Also its the same as And Christians telling Homosexuals that there not allowed to adopt children.

Incorrect. There is a big difference between telling people that they cannot reproduce naturally and telling a group of people who practice an abberrant and UNnatural way of life trying to subvert children by "normalizing" their behavior by raising children who are not their own biologically.

  • Jun 22, 2006

Siri

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People would never agree to it at the risk that they couldn't have children. Plus even though some parents are bad, their children still manage to turn out alright, or even if they were bad parents some how they still make up with their children in the end.
Could you really deny those kind of people their own birth?

In the end wouldn't people just find a way to fake the test.

I am just wondering how you would prevent people from having babies any way.

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  • Jun 22, 2006

Kidder

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Quote by SiriPeople would never agree to it at the risk that they couldn't have children. Plus even though some parents are bad, their children still manage to turn out alright, or even if they were bad parents some how they still make up with their children in the end.
Could you really deny those kind of people their own birth?

In the end wouldn't people just find a way to fake the test.

I am just wondering how you would prevent people from having babies any way.

So what you're saying is that it's alright to have a bad childhood as long as you turn out alright? Call me crazy (as I'm sure many of you will :P ) but I believe a person's childhood is the single most important time of their life. And making up with their bad parents? Perhaps you've seen one too many "wholesome" movies. :hmpf:

Yes, of course there will be people who will try to abuse or trick the system. There always is. Of course there will be people who will try to cheat (not really fake the test, since the sort of test I'm talking is a written exam, not a physical exam).

Don't get me wrong. I love kids, and one day I hope to have a family of my own. But I don't want to have children just for the sake of it. As a responsible person, I want to make sure that I have enough time and money to financially and emotionally support both my wife and kids comfortably before I even think about having children. My family would be the most important thing in my life and I would devote all my time and effort into ensuring their happiness.

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Shinsengumi89

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No this is about tests to become a parent not to merely reproduction bweb you misunderstand the question. An your personal belifes have no place in the law of any nation. Thank the founders for the seperation of church and state.

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  • Jun 22, 2006
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Quote by Shinsengumi89 Thank the founders for the seperation of church and state.

As I tell every liberal who makes that statement, go read the constitution. You will never find that phrase, nor anything implying it.

Our founding fathers were all Christians, my friend, and based their laws on their Christian ideology.

Do you honestly think the Founding Fathers would have worded the Freedom of Religion aspect of the First Amendment so loosely if they knew that people were going to use it to justify efforts by schools to ban Christmas or allow Satanic worship? I highly doubt it.

Personal beliefs have EVERY business being involved in the making of a law, and I'll tell you why.

If you believe something is right, and you don't stand up for it, that is cowardice. We cannot allow ourselves to be lead by cowards.
If you believe that something is wrong, and you permit it, that is the very essence of evil. And we cannot allow evil to lead us.

Laws must be based on a belief in morality, and those beliefs are held deeply by individuals. Morality cannot be a concensus meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

  • Jun 23, 2006

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