"Gender: To Be Determined" is collaborative, interactive blog brought to you by University of Denver students in Lindsey Feitz's "Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies" class.

If you are interested in gender, sexuality, and popular culture, this is the blog for you.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Some people just shouldn't have kids: Why the focus needs to be less on marriage and more on parenting. (Unit 3)

The facts are very basic.

There are many legal steps and requirements for a heterosexual couple to become married, yet NO requirements for them to complete before they have a child.

Think about that for a second- There are numerous marriage license laws in our country, yet there are no laws, no tests, no regulations in order to have a child. So, a man and a woman, no matter if they are the potential worst parents in the world, can produce a kid of their own.

Now, this is common knowledge that you are most likely aware of. What I am trying to convey here, though, is that when it comes to marriage and the family dynamic, our society and government is way too focused on who can get married when they should be way more focused on who can have a kid and become a parent. Also, recent reforms, trends, and opinions surrounding marriage have had negative impacts on children.

In this blog, I plan to do the following:
1. Express how lengthy the legal process is to obtain a marriage license and the marriage trends sociologists have observed.
2. Explain how these laws and trends are creating very negative effects on the children.
3. Show how government benefits available to people in need with children are being abused by some selfish people at the children's expense.
4. Explain why people in a marriage, and also single people, are not entitled to children.
5. Summarize what this means for us and list possible solutions to the problem.

As of march 2011, about 72% of married couples have children under the age of 18 (US Census Bureau), yet our country has no regulations for monitoring which married couples can have children and become parents.

On the other hand, when I searched for Marriage License Laws in the United States, I discovered hundreds of references listing the numerous requirements for each state in order to obtain a marriage license. For example, below is a screen shot to show how lengthy the list becomes for different states' marriage license laws.

Separate from the topic of marriage laws, are the marriage trends observed. In the article, The World Historical Transformation of Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz, she provides a list of various different ways in which marriage is different today than it was during our parents' or grandparents' eras. While her list focuses solely on the institution of marriage, I argue that these new marriage trends she lists are creating negative effects for children. I argue, this is due to the lack of focus by the government on restricting who has the right to reproduce or parent.

Below are listed 2 of her marriage trends and how they in turn can effect children negatively:

1.There are more legal gains and rights today for unmarried heterosexual or same sex partners. Also, it is becoming more common for in some cases for people to no longer need marriage licenses to be eligible to partake in duties of parenthood.
The issue here, which the government and researchers love to focus on, is not the sexuality or even gender of the parents, but it is the legal gains related to children that are being abused more and more by the newly benefitting unmarried couples. Do not get me wrong, though. For excellent parents who, for whatever reason, are not currently married, these legal gains provided for them are a very positive and necessary resource. Yet, sadly, it occurring more and more that unmarried couples, single parents, or non parents are reversing the system and are illegally collecting government gains intended for people who have children and legitimately have a right to and need the aid.Examples of potential legal gains and rights offered by the government can include food stamps, Cash Aids, medicaid, tax rebates, healthcare benefits, Welfare, and foster care benefits.
An example of this corruption in the system is the news story, Welfare Fraud Crackdown, where a man faced multiple felony charges in New York for illegally receiving food stamps and Medicaid benefits.

Now, it would be absurd to suggest taking away legal gains and rights to unmarried couples who need them. I suggest what needs to be improved is the exclusiveness to whom these benefits are given to. You've maybe seen the movies The proposal where a couple faking a marriage is questioned by the INS about the legitimacy of their marriage or License to Wed which shows the questioning process and background check of a couple about to be married. Well, where are these same background checks of couples wishing to have children? Where are the investigations to catch the people who have children only to reap the government benefits for themselves and not for their children? The government should not offer these benefits to any couple without first checking if they even need and will provide the benefits fully and honestly to their children. In some cases, this is already done, but not in all. The largest problem lies in the poor, or lack there of, follow up investigations on families. Background checks and investigations should be implicated not only before, but most importantly during the raising of the child to ensure legitimacy and correct usage of the benefits.

Pictures to the right: Movies such as "The proposal" and "License to Wed" show examples of two couples experiencing background checks in order to be able to legally married. If background checks are done on couples before marriage to check their legitimacy, then why are they not done before unmarried couples have a child?

Then, if couples attempting to scam the system to gain personal or illegitimate benefits are caught, the children could be saved from being raised by people that have no want whatsoever
to be good parents.

Another solution is to screen benefits more carefully so that government benefits are only going to the families with parents in true need of benefits and that they will use the money, for example, to benefit the child.

Just go on any search engine and search anything along the lines of "government benefits" and immediately pop up websites that are their own search engine for people attempting to receive each and every last benefit they may be eligible for, even if they do not need it.

These websites do provide an excellent resource for those in legitimate need, yet, when it comes down to who's pockets the money is going into, there is a rise of scammers reaping government benefits in which they are not eligible for or do not need. Way too many stories arise of people who overuse the system and receive additional non-needed benefits, and then in turn there are parents in true need who are not able to receive benefits because they were already given to illegitimate receivers. Prevention, not just investigation, of these acts need to be improved.

2. We are living in a reproductive revolution, which is allowing married couples to overcome infertility to be able to reproduce.
While this revolution has greatly beneffited couples who had previous trouble conceiving, this also creates a new attribute never before seen. The offsprings of the parents using reproductive treatments can now potentially have up to 5 different parents (a sperm donor, an egg donor, a birth mother, and the social parents who raise the child). (And yes, this definitely does happen). Having potentially up to 5 different parents affects the mental state of the offspring.

In a article discussing child development, the negative affects on children with absent parents include increased risks of psychiatric disease, suicide or suicide attempt, injury, and addiction. This study was done on children who were the offspring of only 2 parents where 1 parent was absent. If you can only imagine how much worse the negative affects are on the children from the reproductive revolution who have 3, 4, or 5 different parents and if 2 or more of their parents are absent or are never even revealed to the child.

With each parent the child does not know or is absent, the child loses another piece of their identity, emotional connection, and identification with that missing or unknown parent. Hence, where do we draw the line with reproductive therapies? When do we limit how many different types of donors can go into making only one child? When do we actually start thinking about the affects on the offspring and stop thinking only about the family conceiving the child?

("The world Historical Transformation of Marriage")

Why not all people should be entitled to have a child.

In the article, "What Low Income Mothers Say about Marriage," Kathryn Edin explains from a single mother's point of view the different reason's for not marrying. While I agree with many of the reasons made by the single mothers', I disagree with the reasons that don't have the children's well being at the center of its motives.

Some reasons low Income Mothers do not not marrying:

1.. Some single mothers had stated in the article that more women and even more men are choosing to not marry during the prime family building years for personal reasons.
The problem with this reason is that if mothers and fathers have the intention of getting married anyways when they reach their mid twenties, wouldn't it benefit the child/children greatly if they grew up in a family with a mother and father now? Now, I am not saying that single parents are bad parents, but rather I am claiming that many single parents struggle to provide fully financially, emotionally, etc to their child. Also, research tells us that majority of single parents end up at or below the poverty level, hence not providing as well as they would be able to if they chose to move the marriage up a few years (Edin).

2. Single mothers in the article also stated that if the child's father is unemployed, marrying him and keeping him in the house puts a strain on the mother.

While I am all for strong women and doing what you need to do for yourself without a man, I am also very passionate about equal visitation rights, especially for fathers. The problem with the above reason is that the focus, again, is not on the children, but rather only is on the mother. It is very possible that unemployed men that make bad husbands, can actually make excellent fathers. There would not be so many legal struggles for fathers fighting for their visitation rights if they didn't legitimately love their children and if it wasn't proven that a father's presence in a child's life is vital.

OK, But so what?

Beyond the reasons listed by single mother's in Edin's article, lie the more obvious reasons why not everyone should be entitled to have a child.

Here is a list of different types of real people who have every right that you and I hold to have a child:

1. People who have committed multiple felonies
2. Neglectful parents
3. Drug dealers
4. Emotionally and physically abusive husbands or wives
5. Rapists
6. Pedophiles

While each person in this world is entitled a mistake, let me ask you about this pretend scenario. If you had to pick between two men or two women whom you loved completely equally to have your child or to have child with, who would you choose? Would you chose the person with no criminal past, or the person who has a record of multiple felonies? Would you choose the person who was in the newspaper for the rape of a minor, or would you chose the person who has no prior offenses or convictions?

The point is, that all over the media, in books, and now a main topic of daily conversation are marriage reform and marriage rights. While the government is attempting to tweak the institution of marriage by revising the legality behind it or by reforming government benefits, what is really going on is the children are being ignored and sometimes even affected negatively.

When it comes to the theme of family dynamic, something needs to be done to somehow monitor who is allowed to have children and also to increase the screening on who is able to adopt or be in involved in child care. These are bold solutions, but steps can be made towards this direction.

Seriously, people, just shift your focus! While the politicians, media, and the public are too busy arguing over gay marriage, there's a homosexual couple out there waiting to get their chance to do one hell of a better job than many heterosexuals in raising children in a nurturing family environment.


Bilotta, Larry. "Statistics about Children and Divorce." BBB. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. .

Coontz, Stephanie. "The World Historical Transformation of Marriage." Journal of Marriage and Family 66.4 (2004): 974-79. Print.

Dornbusch, Sanford M. "Single Parents, Extended Households, and the Control of Adolescents." Child Development. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. Jstor. Web. 05 Nov. 2011. .

Edin, Kathryn. "What Do Low-Income Single Mothers Say about Marriage?" Social Problems 47.1 (2000): 112-33. Print.

"Families and Living Arrangements, Formerly Households and Families." Census Bureau Home Page. U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. .

"Marriage Rights and Benefits." Lawyers, Legal Forms, Law Books & Software, Free Information - Nolo. Nolo.com. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. .

"State by State Government Assistance Programs For Pregnant Women, Mothers and Children." Adoption Services. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. .

"Your Path to Government Benefits." Benefits.gov - Your Path to Government Benefits. USA.gov. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. .


  1. I am interested to see how you feel about Gay couples and becoming parents. Also with adoption there is a much bigger process for who can adopt, how do you feel about this? What would you suggest would be a good way to see if people would be good parents? In the movie Juno, it talks a lot about teen moms and what it is like to give up a child for adoption. Yet, what I found most interesting was the idea of when do people feel like they become a mother or father? Women feel like mothers when they become pregnant (says the Dr.Spock a popular parenting specialist) and fathers become fathers when they see their child. So how can we properly address the situation about who can be a good parent or not? Coming from my own family, I love my parents but they did not raise me. I had many nannies and saw my parents on the weekends. It didn't make them bad parents per say but I didn't get as much time with them. Would we allow parents who both needed to work and couldn't spend as much time with their kids be parents? I am interested to know what ideas people have about how to test parenting ability.

  2. I was the comment above. I don't know why it always says unknown.

  3. Hey mollie,

    ok so I am very very pro gay couples and becoming parents (as long as they would make good parents) my point at the end there is that parenting has nothing to do with sexual orientation or even gender ( i didn't write a lot about that cuz then this blog would be even long than it already is haha )
    I think that if the government stopped worrying so much about who should be legally allowed to be married and allowed same sex couples to be married, then there would be opportunity for same sex couples who would make excellent parents to have children and raise them in a healthy family environment.

    next, with what you ask about adoption processes--- with the big process in order to adopt children, I think this is necessary and should not be changed, but rather a similar process should be in order in our country before a couple can sexually produce a child and become parents.

    now, as I expected from people, you raised the question of exactly how expect to "screen" to see if someone were good parents or not. and my answer to that is that hiring psychologists and people who do background checks and let them together check out a couple and see if they are legit.

    now when you state that you don't know if someone would be a good parent, until you actually see them parents is a very valid point. see, but I don't think teen parents and such are the problem here. I am saying that somehow we need to stop the rapists, pedophiles, ex cons, etc from having children because they , in my opinion, do not make good parents and should not be allowed to take care of a precious life.

    and when you talked about your personal story with your parents, I don't believe those types of people should be targeted either. because, like your parents, parents who work a ton don't necessarily make bad parents, they just may not be the top A+ parent of the year, but that's ok because they still are successfully raising a child in healthy environment
    Being a good parent sometimes doesn't have to go hand in hand with spending a lot of time with your children, it goes with how you treat you child and how you provide for your child. so in your case, even though your parents didn't raise you but your nanny did, I still think they did an excellent job so you're a good example of how working parents still can make good parents.

    thanks for your questions mollie! very good points you raised!

  4. Hi,

    You shed a lot of light on the subject of parenting. I have found many people in my life that should never had children. I had also discovered that some parents, whom I never thought should have children, end up raising wonderful productive people. My basic questions are ...Who would be in charge of determining if and when a person/couple is ready to reproduce? What are the criteria?

  5. It's very sad, but true. There's been so many stories on the news lately of people harming their children. Just the other day, a woman wrapped her newborn son in a plastic bag and threw him in a garbage can in the bathroom of a Salvation Army. Who gave that woman the right to reproduce? She could have left that baby at any fire station or hospital, no questions asked. The there are people that want have kids & would be great parents, but physically can't reproduce. It's so sad. How would the government keep unfit people from having kids though?

  6. Government is not in the business of determining who or who's not qualified to be parents.Becoming a parent is a moral decision.If classes to determined if a person is qualified to be a parent become manditory for the intended couples then only the morally responsible will attend.Others will live together,reproduce and in some cases the goverment will enable them to keep having children by giving them money with out accountablity. A back ground check of the of the intended couples parents may shed some light on the success of the newlyweds and their parenting qualifications. Children of questionable parents love to share their parents poor judgement decisions with others when they were growing up.That could be a red flag!

  7. interesting, i agree with you in the fact that yes, in any family matters it should be about the kid first and foremost. Not just because in having the kid, they parents take up a responsibility that is rooted in our evolutionary history, and not just because the child is essentially helpless but because the children of the world become what the human race is. I believe in individual human rights and do not have a utilitarian world view per se but i distinctly believe that the way we raise our kids in this world is extremlely important because they will grow up and be what defines our human race.
    How would you regulate the parenting sector as it were if you could? Ovbiously some brave new world fears could develop with even talking about the government regulating birth in the country so would you push more for oversight, say in the grade schools or preschools? what would you say about, and i do not believe this i am curious though, of when people say a child should grow up with gay parents because they may face bullying in school or they do not recieve the male influence or female influence that deeply impacts a child's development?
    what are your thoughts on punishments for the parents if the kid is raised incorrectly because taking himor her away could mess them up worse? and a fine wouldnt work because if the family is low income then that would make that situation worse,
    ryan smith

  8. Very interesting topic! I am amazed with the amount of effort required to obtain a marriage license vs. having a child. I agree with the idea that some people should not have children. It is easy to procreate. It is a different story to parent. What I am uneasy about, is the government having any say in who can parent. Less government is better government. There is a danger in government regulating moral and personal decisions-such as having children.
    I strongly agree with the idea of better regulating who receives government subsidies. The system is broken and there certainly is cheating on a large level. People should have to work for subsidies in my opinion. It is not too much to ask anyone to work for taxpayers hard earned money. It is not enough to become pregnant in order to receive subsidies. The underprivileged should receive help to insure opportunity for all kids. However, there are people who abuse the system for personal gain. There should be screening and accountability from those on the receiving end. We need to break the cycle of living on government subsidy.
    I also agree that heterosexual marriage is most appropriate for becoming parents. It is our obligation to protect the unborn. Children benefit from a healthy environment free from unnecessary stress. I have nothing against gay marriage, but draw the line with gay couples parenting. Call me old fashioned, but that is my opinion.
    Thanks for raising interesting ideas to foster discussions like this.

  9. I have always applauded those who chose not to have children. They "stepped out of the box"and made a very bold decision. Perhaps we should encourage these people to become spokespersons.
    Some steps have been taken to raise the awareness of unwanted pregnancies in teens One such programs originated it schools where students care for a doll 24/7. I believe this is a good start, with room for growth.Perhaps a foster puppy or pet should be a prerequisite to becoming a parent. Additionally, it would free-up our over crowded shelters! But I pity the poor pets!
    A very smart law was past where a mother has the right to place a newborn at designated safe havens. This is another area that can be elaborated on.

  10. I believe that not all people should have children, however, who am I to judge? I have been fortunate to come from a stable/healthy home environment, so I personally believe in the mother (woman) and father (male) parenting image.
    As far as the government being involved; forget it, they are not capable of handling most government current issues let alone getting more involved in our personal lives. There are thousand of couples who would love to adopt children in the U.S. Some single women that get pregnant knowing the government will subsidize them. The government should not be doing this. These single women should have to give them up for adoption if they can not financially afford to take care of the child themselves. If the government wants to help, subsidize with some form of FREE birth control.

  11. I definetly agree with the fact that children or adults for that matter, need to know where they come from. Adopted children should know who their birth parents are. Not knowing can change the way they feel about themselves-it can leave an emptiness inside them, a sense of abandonment. Excellent point.

  12. This is a very eye opening article. I totally agree that the focus is too much on whos getting married but no one seems to care for the children. I have always thought having children should be a privilege, not a right.
    Very interesting article.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. In response to Dave,

    Thank you for the comment! I appreciated your personal feedback. You raised a great point I didn’t really bring up; the fact that some people who everyone thought would be horrible parents, actually ended up being great parents. This definitely raises a flaw in my argument and solution. My answer to your point, though, is that in my opinion, the positives would outweigh the negatives. What I mean is that by implementing a screening process for parents, this would save many children from neglect for abuse, and negatively affect hopefully only a small amount of couples who would not be allowed to have children, but are great parents. For example, in the US today, almost 80% of children are neglected, 10% are physically abused, and almost 8% are sexually abused . In numbers, this is over 3 million reports of child abuse make every year in the United States. (http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics). These statistics are a complete result of bad parenting. Hence, saving many of these of abuse and neglect would outweigh, in my opinion, the negative possibility of some parents not being allowed to parent, even if they would in the future make great parents.

    In reference to your question asking who would be in charge of determining if and when a person/couple is ready to reproduce, my original answer was a combination of the government and doctors, such as psychologists. Yet, after reading the comment made by anonymous on Nov 10th at 4:44 pm, I actually reevaluated my strategy. They claimed that less government is better government. I agree with this because the government is already waaayyy too involved in the personal choices and decisions of people in this country. Therefore, I would say let more doctors/ therapists, physiologists, determine a couple’s eligibility.

    To answer your question on what the criteria would be, I propose that people with a record of rape, pedophiles, ex cons, people who have committed multiple felonies, parents who have had other children and have been guilty of neglect or abuse, would not be allowed to procreate. This, obviously, is a very “off the top of my head” list, but I hope it gives you a general idea of whom I believe would not make good parents.

  15. In response to Janna,

    Hi! Thanks for your feedback on my blog ☺ I’m glad you enjoyed it. Your example from the lady who threw her baby in the trash is a PERFECT example of why there has to be some checks put in place to stop women like her from having children. To answer your question on how the government would keep unfit people from having kids, I propose checks to be put in place and if a couple does not pass the checks, then they would not be allowed to reproduce or adopt, and if they do, they would be punished by a very, very large fine. Also, read the comment by anonymous below you! They had a great solution process!

    In response to Anonymous from Nov 9th at 9:27 pm,

    Thank you for your comment and your honesty in your answer! I really appreciated how you came across in your argument. Now, I do agree that the government is not in the business of determining who is to become a parents, yet they already somewhat are because they are the ones in charge of adoption, birth certificates, tax deductions and so on.
    Your solution to determining if a couple is qualified to become parents is the best one I’ve heard thus far!! It’s genius really, because by couples taking mandatory classes that teach correct parenting, then two huge positives come out of this. First, only the morally responsible, as you said, will have the want to attend these classes, and the ones that do not have the will to go, won’t have the ability then to have kids then. Second, the people who “technically” through my “government strategy “ would have been ineligible to have kids, now have the chance to become parents, if they have the strong will to and are willing to go through the classes. This solution is perfect because it is constructive and educational, rather than only a punishing strategy for bad parents.
    Also, loved your solution to background checks being done continuously on families to ensure the children are being raised in a safe environment by good parents!
    Loved your comments “anon”! Thanks! It added excellent points to my blog!

  16. In response to Ryan Smith,

    Hey Ry! See you found my blog haha ☺ Thankful you read it and commented, though!

    I’m glad you enjoyed my point that children should come first within a family! Your expansion upon that was very interesting and not something I originally considered. You brought up that great point of parental responsibility for our children is rooted in our evolutionary history. Most importantly, your point that the children we raise eventually become what the human race is. This. Is. Perfect. See, that’s the whole point of my blog. If we paid attention to the children and god rid of crappy parents, not only children would benefit, but also our entire society would!
    Also, I knew you’d bring up brave new world, haha, because you know that’s my favorite book. Besides the point, though, I don’t believe we’d have to fear my proposed implications turning into an extreme utopian form of “Brave New World” because I plan to mirror that type of control taken by China in their “One Child Policy” (here’s reference if needed http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/onechild.htm) See, their society is still running successfully, the government just took enough control, but not too much, on a problem that needed to be fixed.

  17. In response to Anonymous from Nov. 10th at 4:44 pm,

    Thank you for your input! Especially your bold arguments, because those are the kind I like! ☺ I particularly liked your point that less government is better government. That opposes many points made in my blog, yet I actually agree with this. I referenced this point when I responded to one of the earlier commenters. This is what I said: “Yet, after reading the comment made by anonymous on Nov 10th at 4:44 pm, I actually reevaluated my strategy. They claimed that less government is better government because the government is already waaayyy too involved in the personal choices and decisions of people in this country. Therefore, I would say let more doctors/ therapists, physiologists, determine a couple’s eligibility.”
    Also, about your point on Gay marriage, I can totally respect and understand how you are not for gay couples parenting, I just differ in my opinions. Just from personal experience, I know gay couples, males and females, that I believe would be better parents than certain straight couples.

  18. This is all very interesting....I believe in the past some countries believed in castration if certain crimes deemed the need for it! I would suppose that would be one way for the government to control who reproduces. I wonder how that would go over in the U.S.. Children are a blessing and it bothers me to hear of neglect and abuse. however If there was a law mandating whether or not you could have a child, more abductions would occur. Just a thought.

  19. In response to Kari,

    Thanks for noticing my point that children need to know where they come from! I didn’t think many people would pick up on that because it’s a smaller point ☺

    In response to anonymous from Nov 11th 7:38 am,

    Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you appreciated my blog ☺ I agree that it is a privilege, not a right. Actually, here’s a blog all about that! … http://psychicbloggers.com/archives/5242

  20. In response to Anonymous from nov 11th at 8:21 pm,

    I don't necessarily agree with your plan of castration. I think that is wayyyy too far. My point here is not to punish, but just to prevent bad parenting from happening to children. I believe that is giving the government waayyy too much control and actually is very unrealistic.

  21. This is a great blog for so many reasons. I strongly feel that many parents out there are not qualified. Look at our education system. Because parents rely on the government to educate their children, look at what's happening. United States children are not number one in math, reading, and writing, and we are beneath many other countries. As funding cuts in public education grow deeper, it is up to the parents to make sure their kids are educated. But most US parents are not qualified to be teaching their children either. Education aside, there are more fundamental issues with today's parents. Kids can't be studious or successful without discipline, and parents are slowly losing the power to discipline their children. I'm not saying that parents never overstep the boundaries of a proper disciplinary action, because lots of parents end up abusing their children. But it's also not right for children to be out of control and their parents can't do anything about it. If there are no guidelines to what's right or wrong when it comes to parenting, it will be difficult to implement any sort of qualifying test or procedure to weed out potentially bad parents.

  22. In Response to Connor,
    Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed the blog. I really liked your point on how bad parenting is also reflected in our education system in the United States. I never thought to look at that aspect, but it is painfully true.
    You also brought up a great point that the discipline part of parenting is lacking or off. Yet, I almost disagree with your claim, because even though you and I see the current way of discipline to be wrong, that is only our opinion, and each parent chooses to discipline differently, and its not really wrong or right. Though, as you mentioned, it is always wrong for parents to abuse as a form of discipline. This is where the definite guidelines, as you mentioned, are seen. Abuse equals bad parenting, always.
    Also, yes, it would be extremely difficult to implement qualifying tests or procedures to weed out potentially bad parents, but I think if society put in the effort, that we could together come up with ways to weed out potentially bad parents, for the benefit of the children.

  23. Natalie. Crazy topic. I agree with the notion that some parents probably blatantly take advantage of government benefit programs for reasons not necessarily beneficial to children. I agree that there is plenty of poor parenting to go around as well.

    Although - if you want to create a government agency dedicated to 'screening' parents to see if they are 'fit' to have children? Ludicrous. How would you stop people who were deemed unfit to have kids from reproducing, mandatory government sterilization? A certain breach of human rights. I mean, who is to even say what the criterion for 'fit' parents be?
    Take the millions of dollars it would take to create that gov't organization and put it into education or planned parenthood.

  24. I actually read this blog when it was first posted but was unable to post my comment until now. :(
    Anyway I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I never thought about this before. I have always been a "government should stay the hell out of my family" kind of person but you make a very excellent point about how the government interferes with marriage so why not the family. I think you make a very excellent democratic point but I would say that just as we are partially staying out of family affairs we should keep our hands out of marriage too. I think the interference of the government in marriage has done nothing but create an institution where couples are left out or they find ways to take advantage of the system. I believe that we shouldn't punish nor promote marriage as much as we shouldn't punish or promote families.
    For example if you didn't receive citizenship for marriage then people would not have to go under such investigation to prove their love.

  25. @Tyler I am definitely with you that a solution to my problem listed is very, very hard to implement. Yet, I think SOLELY improving education or planned parenthood will not solve the problem. By starting small we can take steps toward a society where bad parenting no longer exists. Honestly, I don’t have a definite solution, but one idea is to have screening done by a combination of doctors and government, and if a person deemed “unfit” to parent (for example… registered sex offenders) then they are not allowed to have children, and if they do, they would be fined a huge amount and possibly put in Jail. Now, this is only me brainstorming, because my blog was more just to raise awareness of bad parenting and say we have to do something about it, because I’m not wordly enough to really give a solid solution. But, hey, sometimes societal changes can start with something as small as a class blog like this, ya never know ☺