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Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By FairytaleGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jan 21, 2010 05:26 AM

Alright..

Im interested to see where this will go, And for the sake of argument can we ignore the fact that it would be impossible to implement?

Im not sure about the States, but certainlyin the UK in recent years there have been several cases brought to light in which kids have been so badly abused by their parents /carers that they have died.

Baby P being the most recent,
www.timesonline.co.uk . . .

Victoria Climbe, Roughly a decade ago,
en.wikipedia.org . . .

I dont understand for instance, why it takes a couple who long for kids, and probably cant have any of their own have to go through an emotionally draining,immensely difficult process which can last anything between 2-5 years to be cleared to adopt a child?? (In the UK) This process being so thorough, including checking Vet details to see if any animals owned by the couple had 'Suspicious Injuries', and delving into the medical and phsycological history of both immediate families.

Yet a drug addict can go and get pregnant and bring a child up in squalor surrounded by drugs and alcohol and no questios are asked, because as the parent, she has rights.

What about the rights of the child?

Its not just cases of child abuse, but also child neglect.

Ive actually put this on the debates board after an incident in my home town over Christmas.

It had been snowing for a few days, and was laying at about 5 inches deep. A taxi driver had been driving at 4am, and noticed what he thought was a dead body laying by the road. It was not a body however, It was an 8 year old boy in jeans and a tshirt, unconscious. The taxi driver put a blanket around him, and phoned an ambulance.
It emerged a few days later that his parents were not a home at the time of the incident, so he ad been home alone, 4days after the incident, he was in the care of Social Services and his parents HAD NOT COME FORWARD TO CLAIM HIM.

Further investigations revealed that the boy was known to his neighbours for going door to door asking for odd jobs to get money for food. Also on Christmas Eve, his neighbour could hear him crying through the walls of her house, she went in to enquire if everything was ok, and found the boy alone, no christmas presents or decorations.
Turns out he was under the 'watch' of Social services the whole time, and his parents had a daughter taken away from them previously.

So what are your thoughts?Do you think some sort of vetting process should be undergone before you can have children?
After all if there is nothing to hide, then why not?

China have a one child policy, (admittedly there are problems with this, but it shows such laws may be feasible)

Enjoy!!

34 Replies to Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?

re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 06:05 AM
I saw this thread, sitting all by its lonesome and felt so badly for it. I didn't initially want to respond because reproductive rights are so basic.

However China and that one child policy? That has so many problems going on with it right now, it's proving to be catastrophic for them.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids? (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 07:23 AM
I agree that adults shouldn't have the automatic right to have children. I've seen people use children solely for child support and unemployment benefits. I've also seen people ruin their child from punishing too much or not punishing enough.

There needs to be some regulation, but I'm not sure what.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 07:58 AM
The problem is that to regulate who is allowed to have children or not would put the government in control of such a basic human right, that it would be impossible to enforce.

In China, with the one child rule, and forced abortions if you're found pregnant, girls and disabled boys are dumped in the orphanages or out on hill sides so that parents can have the one child they want.

If it was to become a controled process, you'd have an immediate black market for children, and more abuse.

About the only way to control it is for hospitals to offer parenting classes to patients who have children in their maternity ward, but even then, you can't force people to take them, and it won't prevent accidents, or people who didn't show signs of an abuser until they had a helpless child in their arms.

Child abuse and neglect is the saddest crime there is, and apparently one of the least forgivable, as child molesters and abusers tend to suffer the most punishment by fellow inmates in prison.

All that can really be done is to take on a village attitude in neighborhoods where there are children, and everyone looks out for the kid. Everyone becomes a nosy neighbor, to be sure the child is okay.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 08:26 AM
Totally a hijack, but did anyone else get sick reading the story of Baby P? This was the first time I actually became physically sick from reading a story on the net.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:03 AM
Edited by Dancing_EMT (115664) on 2010-01-22 09:11:06
All that can really be done is to take on a village attitude in neighborhoods where there are children, and everyone looks out for the kid. Everyone becomes a nosy neighbor, to be sure the child is okay.


Sorry, but other people's kids are not MY responsibility. Your kids, your responsibility. If you can't look after them properly and teach them how to be safe when outside playing, then you shouldn't be a parent. My parents never had neighbors "watch" me while I was outside playing with friends. I was their responsibility, no one else's, I had boundaries within eye distance of my parents house. I never got hurt, kidnapped, etc. Amazing.

There needs to be some regulation, but I'm not sure what.


I can't say I disagree with you. I find it odd that you have to have a license to hunt, fish, drive, etc. but any 2 morons can have sex and raise (and I use that term rather loosely) a kid.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By aerial
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:16 AM
I do think that there should be a process where you obtain a permit. It would include a psych eval. background check and you would have to be able to prove that you could financially support the child for its basic needs. I am really tired of hearing about women having child after child on MY tax dollar. If you can't take care of the one or ones you already have, don't have more! I do understand the fact that bad things can happen for instance you get pregnant and then you get laid off and lose your income and medical benefits, but 99% of the women I see having their kids on Medicaid and then being on the system are stupid and are just breeding to have more paychecks. In my opinion if you slip up once you have to give it up for adoption, twice you get sterilized. I don't think the ability to have babies in which you abuse or neglect or which tax payers have to foot the bill for is any kind of "basic human right."
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:21 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-01-22 09:21:46
^^ Wow, misanthropic much? We've become so insulated from the people who live around us because of "stranger danger" and other perceived threats that situations like the OP's scenario can happen. I bet many people can't tell you the names of the people who live next door to them. If you see a child being mistreated, it's not your responsibility? I didn't know that not wanting to have children meant you didn't care whether they lived or died. I'm sure you get tired of having people tell you that you SHOULD have kids...what gives you the right to turn around, judge them and say that they shouldn't?

China's one-child policy is creating a HUGE gender imbalance, among other problems, but it also doesn't really solve any problems. How does having just one child stop child abuse? And how, exactly, do you propose this "vetting" system even goes into place? It's highly impractical to have someone visit EVERY pregnant woman in the entire nation, even in the smaller ones. Besides that, what is the government going to tell you? You're unfit, go get sterilized? Have an abortion? I'm a pretty crunchy liberal but this is way too Big Brother for me.

I think a more effective solution would be to work on eliminating poverty and promoting education to make life for both parents and children better, instead of just making a blanket decision if you're poor and uneducated, you have no right having children. I'm sure the children of parents who happened to be born into poverty and encouraged them to get out would disagree with that.

Dani
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:27 AM
In my opinion if you slip up once you have to give it up for adoption, twice you get sterilized.



Oh yea, the courts would never mess that up, they would only take the right kids out of the 'wrong' families. Social Services and Family Court always knows what's best. :?
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By aerial
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:39 AM
Misanthropic means that I hate the entire human race. That is not at all what my post suggested. Maybe look the word up before spouting off big word you don't know the meaning of. I do not hate the entire human race. I hate stupid, lazy, useless people who live of the system to keep having more and more kids so they can get more of my tax money while I go to work 6 days a week to pay for them. Then most the time we get to pay for their kids to be on welfare and have their own kids. It is a nasty cycle. Yes I suppose education may help, but honestly you can't cure stupidity or ignorance. What is the big deal about checking to see if a person has the proper credentials to be a good parent? It is a big job and a tough one. Employers check to make sure you will be a good fit. And what is wrong with consequences for going against the rule?
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:41 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-01-22 09:42:48
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-01-22 09:44:25
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-01-22 09:46:53 ehhhh nevermind then!
^ means I was referring to you.
^^ means I was referring to the poster BEFORE you.

If you're going to work yourself into a frenzy, at least make sure that I'm actually insulting you. :P

Dani
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By aerial
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:44 AM
Sorry I am not up on my internet sign speak lol, I thought the 2 arrows ment to the above 2 posters. My bad.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By FairytaleGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:49 AM
Dancing_EMT wrote:



Sorry, but other people's kids are not MY responsibility. Your kids, your responsibility. If you can't look after them properly and teach them how to be safe when outside playing, then you shouldn't be a parent. My parents never had neighbors "watch" me while I was outside playing with friends. I was their responsibility, no one else's, I had boundaries within eye distance of my parents house. I never got hurt, kidnapped, etc. Amazing.


Hmm :\ Its people who have your attitude who dont help the situation, If anything your opinions and actions (or lack of thereof) Help the abusers/ negligent prents get away with it for much longer than they should.
If that neighbour had the sense to phone the police when that kid was on his own on Christmas Eve the near death of him might not have happened, perhaps he could have been placed in a warm, clean foster home with a meal in his little belly.

I also agree that you should have to prove you can afford to have a child, and there should be a regulation (although not in the case of multipule births possibly) That you should only recieve state benefit only to support ONE child.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 09:51 AM
I bet many people can't tell you the names of the people who live next door to them. If you see a child being mistreated, it's not your responsibility? I didn't know that not wanting to have children meant you didn't care whether they lived or died.


I can't tell you the names of my neighbors because I haven't met them. I keep to myself and I like it that way. Also, since i'm an EMT, I am bound BY LAW to report child abuse. And I have. Several times, even if there was a doubt in my mind whether or not the child was abused. But I do not go out of my way to become nosy and check on the neighbors to make sure they are treating their kids right.

I'm sure you get tired of having people tell you that you SHOULD have kids...what gives you the right to turn around, judge them and say that they shouldn't?


Being in EMS, you see the worst of the worst people. I see more of the people who had kids like rabbits so they could get more money rather than the people who didn't have 6 kids by 6 different men, who have fallen on hard times, gotten laid off, etc. So sorry if i'm jaded, but until you have someone in the back of your ambulance to tells you word for word they enjoy living off the govt because they have 5 kids and no job and don't want a job, that they enjoy their little meal tickets, then you can tell me i'm cruel.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids? (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:00 AM
I brought up in my Sociology-Marriage and Familiy course that there should be something like "You can't be permitted to raise a child unless you have the financial means to support it, so you must find a family with the means to support your child or abort". However, my teacher pointed out that this puts the inherent belief that rich people are more capable of being a parent than a poor person. While that is not necessarily wrong nor right, I can see how easily it could be manipulated. It would successfully get population under control, but so many would be from high-income families that the balance of the job market would be thrown way off.

But I DON"T think that everyone should have the inherent right to children. I think that, as with foster parents, that at a certain young age, someone comes and visits and checks to make sure the child is in a safe environment.

My big problem is my bf's sister: She has 2 children and we're thinking she's pregnant with another. Each child has a different father, none of whom is her husband, and she is in the process of going through separation/divorce at 24 years old. She drinks, smokes, and does illegal drugs with money that should go to her rent. During any given week, she sleeps at 4 different people's houses and for the vast majority of the time, she doesn't see her children. She leaves them with her parents, or the child's father's family, and will disappear. She refuses to go on birth control, or use protection, because more children means more attention for her, and more money for her. (She gets the child support whatevers and isn't using it for the children.)

It burns inside me that she still has the legal right to make decisions for these children. While her oldest child is now legally the dependent of the child's grandparents, and they have legal control there, the younger child can still be taken by his unfit mother. And there's really nothing to do until the father steps up and takes responsability for the child completely.

That's not right. At all. I would prefer her to be required to be on birth control, in a rehab program, and have monitored visits with her children if she is even to see them. In my mind she has lost all ability to make decisions for her children indefinitely...possibly forever. It's not a right, nor is it a public service, to simply have children. Not anymore. We don't NEED more children constantly (from societies standpoint.)

Hell, lace illegal drugs with something to sterilize anyone who uses for all I care. If you used it enough to become infertile, you aren't in a place to be a parent anyway. (I know this is drastic, but the heartache of watching situations like these is immeasurable. Were there physical or emotional abuse I would snap.)

What if everyone who wanted to be a parent was required to adopt/foster care for a bit first. Prove that they can handle it and help children that need help?
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:01 AM
I just think this whole idea is totally back-asswards. If you're upset about your money being used to support deadbeats, or you're worried about child abuse, how about focusing on reforming the welfare / social services system instead of BANNING people from participating in one of the most basic human functions? The US (and other countries) have had forced sterilization programs in the past. The United States got rid of them because it brought up this nasty little issue called "eugenics". See Buck vs. Bell. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional to sterilize a woman who was mentally retarded, which I'm sure would fit the criteria being thrown around of not having enough money, smarts, whatever to have children. In the 20's many states also had programs sterilizing women of color because some people thought having black people in the gene pool would make the human race dumber. Sounds awful, backwards and totally arbitrary, but it's the same idea. Who, exactly, are you to decide?

Where do we draw the line? Do parents need to earn a certain amount of money before they have kids? A high school diploma? A college degree? A certain IQ? No criminal background? No history of drug abuse? How about throwing mental illness in there too? That doesn't make you feel just a TEENY bit uncomfortable?

Dani
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids? (karma: 4)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:06 AM
My state is famous for putting kids in foster care where the foster parents do the fostering solely because they want the money. And there are plenty of cases in my state where kids get abused in foster care just as much as when they were home.

So if the government can't properly figure out who is a proper foster parent how can they be trusted to determine who is a proper biological parent? And there are cases of adoptive parents who have abused their kids even after having passed all the tests. If you think that putting all of your trust and tax dollars into government-controlled parenting will create a child abuse/neglect free world that is a pipe dream.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By aerial
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:09 AM
Well I guess we could focus of the welfare system. Have as many spawn as you desire, but we will only pay for it if you have something unfortunate happen. If you breed to breed we won't. Then your child goes without food, and medical care and dies just like kids in Africa, instead of simply telling them they can't have one to begin with, that sure will teach them!

As far as money goes, you would have to prove you have the funds to support the basic needs of a child, food, diapers, clothing, shelter. Not that you would have to be able to buy them a Corvet when they turn 16 and send them to Yale. It would not be a policy where only the rich could have kids.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:15 AM
I just want to know what the regulations would be. Are you wanting to require a certain income level? Certain degree of education? IQ score? Psychological testing? What makes people good parents? What are the "proper credentials?

Honest questions, I'm not being deliberately snarky. I really don't know what would be a universal constant for acceptance as a fit parent.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:18 AM
Where do we draw the line? Do parents need to earn a certain amount of money before they have kids? A high school diploma? A college degree? A certain IQ? No criminal background? No history of drug abuse? How about throwing mental illness in there too? That doesn't make you feel just a TEENY bit uncomfortable?


Not really.


I'm not saying that people need a PHD to be a parent. I'm saying they need to be able to support their children financially, academically, emotionally, and 'spiritually'. (By spiritually, I don't mean religion per-se, but basic moral code and the idea that sometimes right/wrong isn't clear.)

I think the system of sterilization can be done without it turning horrible. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it's impossible. History of child abuse? I think that's a valid reason to make sure that they never care for children again.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids? (karma: 2)
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:21 AM
Edited by Nyssasistic (74238) on 2010-01-22 10:28:57
Wow, this debate has actually been going through my head a lot lately. I don't know whether I have a solid opinion one way or another on it, and let me tell you why:

When I got pregnant with my son, I had had plenty of experience with children due to having 5 younger siblings. However, I didn't really have anything GOING for me- I had a decent job that'd support a child for a time, but the older they get the more expensive they get and I didn't really have a career.
My husband was going to school full time, and before the baby was born got a full time job, but didn't know crap about taking care of children.
Chances that we would actually stay together to raise this child were pretty slim, statistically speaking.
Because of my lack of money/education, I wasn't really "fit" to be a parent. Because of his lack of knowledge on how to take care of a child, he wasn't really "fit" to raise one either. Not to mention both of our ages.
Fortunately, we both have very involved family that's helped us on the little details (like when I had a panic attack when my newborn son lactated a little bit- didn't know that could happen), and through determination we've been able to create a pretty decent home for our son and (soon to be) daughter.

By any sort of calculation, our income is STILL below the poverty level relative to the size of our family. I could qualify for ANY government program I want. But instead, we make necessary sacrifices to be able to make it on our own. Due to some people's criteria here, I had absolutely no business getting pregnant or trying to raise a child. And, while I can see where you're coming from, I can't agree with you.

In another sense, though, I've always felt that it's absurd that people have to get licenses for a number of things but they don't have to do anything aside from have a roll in the hay to help raise the next generation.
After a lot of thought on the subject, I think the only plausible thing would be to implement a "mandatory" parenting class before the couple gives birth. It wouldn't be ideal because you'd have people that are already child care experts alongside people that have no clue what they're doing, but, like Dani said, the only thing we CAN do is try to educate. There will always be those that will be bad parents no matter WHAT happens (educating them, threatening them, nothing'll be effective) and there will always be those that are good parents despite their situation. I don't think it's our business to regulate who has children... But it IS our business to be good citizens, and even more basic, good PEOPLE and watch out for each other when we have the chance.

Edit:

aerial wrote:

Well I guess we could focus of the welfare system. Have as many spawn as you desire, but we will only pay for it if you have something unfortunate happen. If you breed to breed we won't. Then your child goes without food, and medical care and dies just like kids in Africa, instead of simply telling them they can't have one to begin with, that sure will teach them!


Please tell me you're joking, right? Please?
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By aerial
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:27 AM
Megan wrote:

I just want to know what the regulations would be. Are you wanting to require a certain income level? Certain degree of education? IQ score? Psychological testing? What makes people good parents? What are the "proper credentials?


For me for starters, yes there would be an income level based on where you live for cost of living sakes. It would be the proper amount to support all basic life needs of the child, food, clothes, shelter, basic check up's and shots, diapers. It would be calculated at the most basic level, for example the most inexpensive diapers etc. I am not a law maker so I am sure it could get complex, I am not denying that. It would serve to make sure you could afford a healthy child. I would not require a certain IQ score or education level so long as you could afford the child and passed a background check and a psych test and maybe requiring parenting classes would not be a horrible idea. The background check would be to look for patterns, and would be specific looking for certain things. You would not lose the chance at a kid because you wrote a bad check, or assulted some guy at a bar 10 years ago, or smoked weed and got caught when you were 18. It would look more at violnet crimes that could indicate the potential of child abuse. For example several recent drug charges, any violent crime, and of course child molestation. The psych test would not be to see if you are bi polar or something that can be treated with meds but more to see if you are a serial killer, or want to have sex with children and kill them. That is my rough idea of some of the requirments.



Honest questions, I'm not being deliberately snarky. I really don't know what would be a universal constant for acceptance as a fit parent.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:36 AM
Edited by Nyssasistic (74238) on 2010-01-22 10:41:38
But it really depends on how thrifty you are in order to determine what you can afford. Like I said, my family doesn't make a huge amount of money, but we don't want for anything. A large part of this is because I join co-op groups where we swap anything from clothes to furniture to even food sometimes- it keeps the things we don't need (baby clothes, diapers that are too small, etc) out of my house and supplies me with what I DO need. Are most people WILLING to do that? Probably not. However, it does save my family hundreds of dollars a year since I'm not buying as much as I am bartering or swapping.

I've known people who have gone through life in threadbare clothes and shoes with holes in them that are very well-balanced, intelligent people that contribute to society. Just because their parents didn't have any money doesn't mean they didn't love their kids to death. Two completely different things there.

Edit:
We also need to keep in mind during this debate that babies don't stay babies forever. If we're going to try and determine a minimum "requirement" for people to have children, then we need to take into account that children grow up, eat more, cost more, etc etc. It would be impossible to know whether the parents that are millionaires now are going to still have that money in 5 years, let alone whether parents that are poor are still going to be poor in 5 years. There's absolutely no way of knowing the future, which is why I think regulating a couples reproductive rights based on their financial status is a bad, bad idea.
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By iliahmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:12 AM
Just a comment about the one-child policy in China.

It has been revised in the last few years so that if both parents were only children, they are allowed to have two.

Easy for y'all westerners to point fingers and make negative comments about the one-child policy. The consensus is that no one likes it, but it's a necessary evil for the next generation or two. Even WITH the policy we're facing huge problems in overpopulation. The generation born between 1979 and 1985 are probably the most populated, and there were so many issues with overpopulated schools, extremely difficult exams to get into colleges, near impossibility to find jobs with a college degrees because there were just too many people, period. Can you imagine how the problem can be worse if the population was say, doubled, or tripled? Now THAT's a catastrophe. If you look at elementary schools now, the average class size has decreased from being 50-60 (in the 1980s-1990s) to about 30-40.

And people in rural areas who need sons to work the fields, have always been, are, and will be allowed to have two kids. The problem with people throwing out kids is NOT because of the theory to enforce population control. The national governmental policy has NOTHING on how to actually enforce the law. Local bureaucracies take over and enforce things such as forced abortions which are never outlined in the law and that abuse of law needs to be stopped, not the official governmental policy. I think the only thing that the national government has actually outlined is the amount of fines one has to pay to have an additional child. That amount covers the amount of money the government has to spend to put one more child through 9 years of public education.

And before I hijack the thread, I DO think there should be some sort of regulation, but I'm not sure where the line lies. :?
re: Should People be Vetted bafore they have Kids?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:09 PM
I'm just blown away that the people who don't trust the government to hand out aid properly think that somehow the "gubbamint" is going to get it right when it comes to regulating who gets to have children. :?

Dani
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