A License to Parent?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/10/2012 ( 24 moms have responded )

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http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=6...



I am on the fence with this. In one way I find it invasive to all those parents that do a wonderful job and do their absolute best they can for their children. On the other hand, I think about those few parents that neglect and harm their children. It would be great if there was a way to "just know" which parents were going to be unjust and not deserve to have children, licensing may be a possible answer to this. Those that are great parents and work for the best of their children would have no problem with passing any tests, while those others that have a potential to do nothing but harm may have a difficult time passing and becoming licensed.



Maybe it is a thing where, you have your first child(ren) (if multiples) and if anything terrible occurs from you being an awful parent, then and only then, you are restricted from having more. I am not sure that I like this latter idea, since that means a child has to suffer first. However, I am not sure how I would feel needing a license either.



Perhaps just making parenting classes mandatory before giving birth to a child would help? Would it be enough though?



What are your thoughts? Do you think it is reasonable or unreasonable to make want-to-be parents go through testing and become licensed first or perhaps wait until a child has been harmed and then pull the plug on the parent(s)? Or is licensing just an outlandish idea?

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Jenni - posted on 02/10/2012

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As much as I think they should every time I read/hear about some horrific case of child abuse. It is a humongous can of worms, that infringes on many rights... and as a libertarian, I loathe the thought of the government having even more power and control over its citizens.



Firstly, how will people who don't pass be prevented from bearing children? Forced sterilization? Forced BC? Forced abortions? Forced adoption? Forced foster care?



What are the qualifications? And *who* gets to decide what determines fit? The blogger himself, clearly shows everyone has different ideas and styles when it comes to parenting. Although, I don't agree with sitting a 4 year old through a graphic movie like he described and would be questioning this mother's judgement. I wouldn't suggest sterilizing her or subjecting her to some generic test by the government to determine what makes her a less ideal parent than me.



As Jen said, leaving it up to the government to determine what is fit and what isn't and how that is determined is opening the door for special interests and personal agenda's to be pushed. And you better believe they'll be trying to turn a profit over it.



My body is not owned by the government. And I am not willing to allow them to take away our reproductive rights and be the ones to determine whether or not we are deserving of them.

Jenni - posted on 02/11/2012

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Yes, because married people don't abuse and neglect their children.



Sorry, but I've been *unmarried* to my spouse for 6 years now and have 2 beautiful children. I also don't plan on getting married anytime soon. It has never been against the law to have children before marriage. Socially unacceptable, but not legally.



I'm not quite sure how marriage determines whether or not someone is or will make a fit parent. Care to elaborate?



This exactly proves my point on social/religious agendas being pushed if licenses were required to become a parent.

Frances - posted on 02/11/2012

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There used to be a license. It was called a marriage license. It was unacceptable to have kids without it.

Jodi - posted on 02/10/2012

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Here's my 2 cents before I even read any comments. I think, that a lot of parents that end up abusing their kids, would pass a parenting class or licensing class. I think many parents that end up abusing are over stressed and just end up not being able to handle the immense pressure of having a kid. Ergo, licenses wouldn't wean out the majority of potentially abusive parents. It's like shaken baby syndome, most parents who end up shaking their babies, didn't mean to. It was a moment where they snapped. Abusive parents end up having moment after moment and don't knwo how to stop, don't how to handle it all.



I do however, think that parents who are on drugs, or parents that were abused as children would be very wise to take parenting classes (and obviously, quit their drug use, at least during the pregnancy and at least have the decency to give up their child if they're going back to drugs).



I think requiring everyone to become licensed to have children could prevent some people who would be wonderful parents from having children and would allow potentially abusive parents to fall through the cracks. Plus, it infinges on so many rights. I mean, I'm betting, that a lot of people who accidently get pregnant, clean up their act quite a bit. And when would you put someone through this licensing? When they're already pregnant? If they pass are you going to force them to give up their child? Do you make them take the licensing before puberty and if they fail put them on BC before anything happens? There's just no way to implement it.



I think FREE parenting classes through the hospital when a person becomes pregnant is our best bet. And, I also think that child services needs to be a LOT stricter on abuse cases, too many kids get put back in with shitty mom or dad and abused over and over again. Abuse your kid...you lost him/her. Future kids, you can try again, abuse them, lose them, and in those cases, I wouldn't object to sterilization.



ETA- I cite abusive parents, because I wouldn't deny anyone a kid based on personal parenting styles. Abuse is a reason to lose your child and the only reason I could think of to not be allowed to bear a child.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/12/2012

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Yep - it does make sense. No worries Jackie, I have a much better relationship with my daughter than I did with my mother. ;) Actually my mom was 17 when she had me (out of wedlock but married my Dad soon after - they divorced when I was 5) 5 years younger than what I was when I had my girl. She just wasn't the best Mom and therefore I rebelled by 13 and of course sex came with that rebellion. I have done my absolute best with my daughter and honestly, she doesn't even like male singers because they are "boys". LOL



The time will come though I know but, we have talked numerous times about the subject and why it is so important, in the least, to use birth control including a condom. She knows we didn't have to worry about AIDS back then either like they do today.... We are sexual beings, so I most definitely am not in the dark. I just hope she is smart about her choices. I have faith and trust in her, so we will see. ;)

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**Jackie** - posted on 02/12/2012

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Yikes MeMe, I didn't realize you had a 13 year old! I hope I didn't offend you. I still stand by my point but I feel that mothers like you and I have some sort of an advantage over our mothers. I can't speak for yours but my mom didn't have sex until she was married to my dad and they have been together for 38 years now. I obviously have a different story and I know what teenagers think. My mom was a hermit growing up and was pretty much a slave to her parent's at their bar/restaurant. She had no friends and had to get straight A's in school. I feel that things are way different now and that it might be easier to see where our daughters are coming from because we started experimenting earlier...if that makes any sense.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/12/2012

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It all depends on the child IMO. Some do listen and some don't. In today's age they are taught much earlier than we, or at least I was in school. My daughter (13 now) started being taught in grade 5, I wasn't taught until grade 8. I talk with my daughter frequently and bought her a book so she can read it on her own (at age 10). My mother didn't try and talk to me until I was 16 (TOO LATE by then! LOL, I'd been having fun for 1-3 years already) They are teaching much younger now and where these children are not teens yet, they tend to listen more, IMO.



However, you will always get those that do not and those that do. So, let's all hope our children are the ones that do. ;)



Although, this comment was off subject as well.... LOL

**Jackie** - posted on 02/12/2012

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Truth be told, my last post was pretty much about me. My mother taught me about sex when I was about 13 and she had found out through other mothers that my best friend was sexually active. I told her I knew she was but that I wasn't ready. Well then I met my boyfriend and he was just the hottest thing in school (barf), we had planned to have sex on my 14th birthday (super romantic right?....) I ended up getting drunk for the first time ever and passing out and my dreamy boyfriend told me the next day that he had had sex with me when I was out. If that isn't straight out of Shakespeare I don't know what is! For the next 4 years he told me that boyfriends were allowed to do that to their girlfriends. It wasn't until he hit me the second time that I left him....after almost breaking his nose. My point is is that I was a good student, I ate my vegetables, played an instrument, went to bed at 9 and went fishing on Sundays with my dad after church. Yet, I still had sex even though I knew the consequences. Even though my first time wasn't what I thought it would be and some would say it was borderline rape....I still planned on doing it anyway. I didn't listen and I don't plan on my daughter listening. She is 14 months old so I have a good 15 years to come up with a good plan. Any tips are welcome! lol

Maree - posted on 02/12/2012

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Oh yeah...totally jackie. I went and had a baby at 20 and single. I am an awesome mum,always was but still....it was a bad decision.

I still think schools have a responsibility to teach these things even if they don't listen.

I didn't listen during maths...needless to say,i failed maths....but they continued to teach it ....YUK

**Jackie** - posted on 02/12/2012

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Although I agree with you about teaching them about parenting...I can tell you that, just like sex ed, it will go in one ear and out the other. I was taught about parenting in sex ed and we had to take this baby doll home for the weekend as a final. The baby doll had some kind of hardware in it that would tell if the operator tended to it when it went off (it would cry). This thing would go off day and night over the weekend. Do you think I cared at all? No. I remember getting a C on that project which was unheard of for me. I didn't think that that project pertained to me because I was being careful when it came to sex with my long term boyfriend and we were in love blah blah blah. It will never change. My friend's 9 year old son was playing "show and tell" with his girl friend in his room when his mom thought they were playing a video game. I remember her coming into work crying and telling me she wasn't sure whether or not he had actually had sex with her or not and if he would even know what that is. I was so shocked. My point is, and I'm sorry that I went off on a tangent, is that you can teach a teenager for hours until you are blue in the face about sex, the consequences, the risks, the various outcomes, and the dangers. In the end.... they. will. do. what. they. want. Period.

Maree - posted on 02/12/2012

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Children are doing sex ed at school from about 10 years old. If they are old enough to be learning about sex,relationships,their bodies,STD's,contraception,pregnancy etc....then they should also be learning about parenting. I think it is stupid to teach them that it is possible to get pregnant (even if you use contraception) then fail to teach them how to parent if it does fail.

It seems riduculous to me,like they are burying their heads in the sand.

If this is taught every year of school from the time they begin sex ed,then maybe there would be more capable mothers later on in life whether that be teen mothers,single mothers,married mothers or whatever !!!!



Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents that are willing and able to teach them so learning it in school can only ever be beneficial....not a quick fix but still helpful.



They should also be learning about the consequences to bad parenting.... emotionally,physically,financially and criminally....

Lacieann - posted on 02/12/2012

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I think it would be helpful if there were mandatory parenting classes starting at about 14.



I also think that a parenting license would be great, along with mandatory (free) birth control (whatever form the woman chooses, and excluding those whose religions ban birth control for contraceptive purposes).



Sadly there would be very little that could be done to ensure that people would not have "unintentional" pregnancies, or even that this would completely prevent child abuse/neglect.



I just wish there was more in place to help the kids that are already here who are being neglected. Sadly most cases of neglect I've seen aren't "bad enough" to remove the children and make the parents work to get them back.

**Jackie** - posted on 02/12/2012

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I think this is extreme but I also think that it would deter many unfit mothers to try and have children and it may prevent teen pregnancy as well as children of parents not being taken care of. I haven't read any of the other posts yet but I am interested in hearing people out about this one. Imagine that lol

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/11/2012

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It is only heavily frowned upon amongst religious people. I am not religious and could really careless if I have a marriage license or not or if anyone else does for that matter. I did not have one with my daughter and I did not have one with my son. My DH and I have been together 6 years but only married for 6 months. ;) We had our son 15.5 months ago.



It is actually more common now to have children out of wedlock then in... Go figure, more and more people are being very careful to not just sign some papers that they will later need to pay to get out of if it fails. More and more people prefer to make sure the papers are even worth it and some could careless about the papers altogether. Everyone is still treated as being married after a year of living together. You still have to file your taxes as Common Law and they still treat you as married. You can still leave the relationship of a year lived together and take half of everything (some take more). A marriage license this day and age is really a personal choice not a requirement. My DH and I only got married for our son, well and because we love each other madly! LOL Oh and we did not get married in a church, which is also a belief of most that feel you should be married before having children, we got married at Point Pleasant Park and it was beautiful! ;)



A married couple can still abuse their children, maybe even worse, since now there are two of them. I fail to see how being married constitutes a parenting license...

[deleted account]

"There used to be a license. It was called a marriage license. It was unacceptable to have kids without it."



True. However it was still done. The ONLY difference is that it's no longer shameful and I'm rather happy about that. One can't declare all life is sacred while terming an innocent baby a bastard.

Jodi - posted on 02/11/2012

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Sherri, for the record (and I know I'm not the only to have said it) but I don't think parenting classes should be forced either except in abuse cases or where a parent has obviously neglected their child out of stupidity. Cases where social services has already been involved, some people really do need that help. But, I do think that implementing FREE parenting classes would help, I know I didn't take any because they were crazy expensive!!!



So, for the record, I just think parenting classes should be easier to obtain for the average person having a baby. After re-reading my post and yours, I feel like maybe I wasn't as clear as I could have been on that part.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/11/2012

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I agree with each one of you but I do just want to throw this out there. All adoptive parents must pass certain regulations/tests to adopt.



Here is an essay produced by a University student on how it may work if it was activated.



http://www.hughlafollette.com/papers/lic...



Again, I agree with each of you, you all make great points. I for one would not want to go through persecution (in my mind that is what it would be) just to bare a child... ;) However, where this is a very complex topic, I do wonder if there is a way that would help us rather than hinder us... I don't know the answer of course. I am happy being entitled and feel privileged to be able to bare my children without eyes on me... ;) I undoubtedly though, find this topic interesting, since I can see this becoming the norm some day, maybe not in our years but perhaps our children or grandchildren.



Another link:

http://members.shaw.ca/nokiddingchaptero...

Tracey - posted on 02/11/2012

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So lets assume we need a licence to reproduce. How long before the legislation gets tighter and tighter, you can only breed if you have certain religious or political views that agree with the current government, have a certain salary in order to support your family, only have x number of kids? Can't breed if you are poor, certain race / religion / political view, have a family history of medical issues / disability, stop at 2 kids?



What would you do with the unlicensed kids? Have them forcibly adopted by those who meet the regulations?



Having said that from working in a school for the last 8 years we have several parents who we wish wouldn't have more kids........ Maybe that would work, you can all have 1 child and after a few years at school the teachers can decide which good parents can have more kids (just kidding)!!!!

Stifler's - posted on 02/11/2012

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Having kids is reproduction just like any other species. No our governments shouldn't really get to decide who can have kids. There are aspects of everyone's lifestyle that someone doesn't agree with.

Maree - posted on 02/10/2012

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I think having to get a licence is a little extreme however i think everyone should be doing parenting classes. I find it utterly ridiculous that you have to do many hours of driving lessons before you can get a licence to drive,you have to be 18 or 21 (depending on the country) to be legally allowed to drink...or vote....but a woman can just go and get pregnant with no thought or consideration about whether or not she...and the dad are going to be good parents. This does not make any sense to me.



Also,too many kids are being abused and even killed because the government agencies..DOCS,CPS are not removing kids from abusive homes fast enough. Too many chances are given and unfortunately that means that sometimes childrens lifes are ruined and/or taken...

Abused children should be removed from their homes until the parents have done the appropriate classes,jail time or whatever necessary...if they abuse again then the kids should be removed permanently and should have supervised visitation ONLY with their bio parents.



Too much emphasis is being put on PARENTS rights instead of childrens safety.

[deleted account]

I think it would entirely depend on the criteria and who sets it because the whole concept is ripe for people who want to push an agenda of one kind or another. For example, if I was setting up the rules, I would deny licenses to those people who were anti-medical treatments due to religious reasons and anti-vaxers. Like I said, it's all an agenda and I openly admit mine. I think people who think like the two types I mentioned are nuts and make no apologies for it.



On the flip side, I know many people who would deny me for being an atheist, feminist and outspoken know-it-all smartypants.

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