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The Contender
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Children Should Be Raised By the State

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,511 times Debate No: 67936
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Resolved: Children Should Be Raised By the State

children - citizens under 18 years of age
the state - the government of a country
should - ought to be (because it will be beneficial)

Round One: Acceptance
Round Two + Three: Arguments and Rebuttals
Round Four: Conclusions (no new arguments)

Other Rules...
No semantics
No trolling
Upstanding conduct



This sounds like a Con job... I mean a job for Con.

Am sure the will be a fun debate - Enjoy and best of luck

Over to you Pro.......
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for taking this debate.

1. Cultural Unity

One of the biggest benefits of having the state raise children would be the creation of a unitary culture. All children would be raised in a homogeneous cultural identity. One of the biggest sources of strife and conflict in modern society arises from differing cultural groups. Culture is largely and greatly instilled in children at a young age and therefore a unitary culture could be instilled in children by the state throughout childhood.

Genocide in Germany, Rwanda and Bosnia all arose from cultural differences driving groups to hatred and violence towards one another. Today in urban areas gangs and even school groups are divided into differing cultural groups. This strife and division could be eliminated by a unitary cultural group. This would lead to a more peaceful and unified society.

2. Brotherhood

Arising out of a unitary culture would follow a universal feeling of brotherhood. Imagine the love, attachment, bonding and selflessness that arises out of traditional family units. These things are not created by blood (as is evidence by adoptive families) but rather because you grow up as a family unit. Imagine these benefits being transferred to all citizens so that all felt as though they were part of a big family. Once a unified culture is established and the traditional family unit eliminated it is only natural to supplant that with the citizen family group.

This, combined with the universal culture, would lead to a drop in crime and division among citizens as they would view one another as a family. Brothers, sisters, parents, cousins all. This type of attitude can be fostered if the state raises children. Family units are inherently divisive as they divide people from one another via tiny family units. People treat their families better than everyone else (usually) but these family groups are usually only 6 people, sometimes smaller. These feelings could be expanded to many more people and thus reap the benefits of familial connections across an entire society.

3. Already Halfway There

A traditional school day for children runs 8 hours. If you add in before school services such as breakfast and drop off care and after school activities such as intermurals and bus rides a typical day at public school could run a kid around 12 hours. That's half of your day already. Factor in 8 hours for sleep and the public schools dominate a child's waking hours. Even if we split the day into three parts, 8 hours school, 8 hours sleep and 8 hours other time, the public schools still get half of the child's waking hours. Yet very few people have qualms about public school raising their children though public school is a state entity. Are not the potential benefits proposed by an entire state run childhood worth those extra few hours for the kids? The state already dominates many of a child's formative years with no outcry at all. Is it that difficult to imagine handing the rest of the reigns over? I think not. In fact, doing so has many more benefits for the adults in society as well.

4. More Hours for Adults

Raising a child is tough work. It takes a lot of time and energy. Imagine all the time parents spend cooking, cleaning, transporting, helping, entertaining and disciplining their children. Countless hours, countless years. Imagine if those parents could get all of those hours back. Adults would have all of these countless hours back in which they could use to work, create, pursue a hobby, relax, work out or any number of things that they wanted to do. The result? A more prosperous, happy, fit, relaxed adult population which would then factor into the workplace and thus the economy. Imagine if every parent in America had 4 more hours in a day that were taken up by children. Imagine the good they could do. Imagine the work that could get done. All women could work without fear of their children if they so chose. The workforce could grow, the population and the state would be way more productive. It would be incredible.

5. Economics

But what about the economics? Wouldn't this cost way way way too much? Not really. It costs roughly $12,000 a year for an average American couple to raise a child [1]. Now let us assume that there are 50 million parenting couples in the United States (a number that is actually low) and we take this same $12k that they would have spent on their kids and take it in taxes. This would create an economic wash in that the parents are in the same financial situation either way, state run or not. This would raise $600,000,000,000 for the state to raise children, a significant amount from a child rearing tax alone. Now say we wanted to decrease the amount parents pay by 25% and then we sell the benefits of a state run child rearing system to the rest of the population for $2k in taxes a year. Not inconceivable. This would then raise the amount per year raised for the state to bring up children to nearly a trillion dollars. The economics are there. In fact, taxing parents who birth into the system would actually decentivise child rearing which would have a positive affect on population control making the children more manageable. The economics are there.

Furthermore, such a system would create countless jobs. Jobs in construction, transportation, infrastructure and child raising and education. It would give adults more hours who would normally have children and create jobs for the economy on top of it.

6. No More Bad Parenting

There are a lot of bad parents in the world. Many social and psychological problems arise from bad parenting. Abuse, neglect, overbearing parents, underwhelming parents and stupidity run amok in the child rearing process in today's society. These things create a whole host of problems in people later when they age. These things can be severely limited or even eliminated as child rearing would be considered a career. You cannot show up to work drunk, abuse employees or beat people at the office without getting fired. This would be no different. Child abuse, neglect etc would be hampered in that the people raising the children would have no incentive or opportunity for such behavior. These types of things happen because parenting happens primarily at home, in private making abuse that much easier for parents to commit. Since state parenting would be primarily in public by employees such things would have little to no opportunity to appear.


Therefore the benefits of brotherhood and cultural unity would lead to a more unified, peaceful society with less strife and division than traditional family units create. We're already half way there to allowing the state to take care of our children, ceding them parental control on decisions concerning their upbringing is a short beneficial hop away. Adults would have far more hours in the day to work and be productive. The economics seem favorable at a glance for such a program and such a program would eliminate the negatives that come from bad parenting.

Overall it would seem that the state should raise children.
Thank you.



Thanks to my opponent for a thought provoking first round.

The concept of the state raising children is an interesting one, but ultimately a fundamentally flawed one for the following reasons:

Early Childhood development

The first years of a child's life is paramount in their long term development. The close, intimate and frequent contact parents have with their infant and young child has a long lasting positive effect on them. This spurs growth, cognitive development, and self-actualisation in children.

Children raised in state orphanages (as parents will give their children up at childbirth) will become serious affection starved throughout their formative years. Unfortunately due to the rash of child sexual abuse cases that have been well documented in child welfare institutions it can be imagined that strict guidelines will be established that would both reduce the risk of children being abused, but will simultaneously deprive them of necessary affection.

Institutional care has shown to have the following effects on physical development. (It is important to note that this is not due to wanton neglect, but rather due to the clinical environment and emphasis on nursing care rather than psychological care).

Physical under-developments
Hearing and Vision problems
Motor skills delay
Poor health and sickness
Physical and Learning disabilities may develop due to combination of the above

This lack of physical contact and ongoing relationship with a primary caregiver also has been shown to have a similar negative effect on the child"s psychological development with multiple studies showing that children brought up in such institutions can develop anti-social behavioural traits, and limited social competence in play and peer interactions. A relatively high proportion of children (10%) who spent their early lives in poor conditions have been shown to display "quasi-autistic" behaviour.

The prospect of every individual in the country growing up in such manner would have significant negative effects across society as they reached adult hood. Through our work and personal life, maintaining relationships is one of the most important skills and is the social lubricant that makes for a rich and rewarding life. A deficit in this area would hamper a smooth society, and all hopes of a utopian homogenous society would be dashed due to the many and varied physical and psychological problems stemming from institutional care.

Unfulfilling Adult lives

The impact of every couple in the country being forcefully denied the most basic human nurturing urge will have appalling consequences to their feelings of fulfilment. There is no amount of hours of work, no fancy house, no overseas holiday that can compare to having a close personal life long connection to your children.

Children grow into adults with ample time and when they eventually meet their mate they still actively and consciously choose to create little wee miniature versions of themselves. When they are unable to do so they will go to great lengths to do conceive via multiple bouts of IVF, hormone therapy or surrogacy.

Spending your adult life, especially as you get older without any connection to children and grandchildren would become increasingly isolated and lonely, especially when your life partner passes away and you then have no extended family. No brother, no sister, cousins or children. The only thing you would have is a group of children you grew up with 50 years ago that you might contact now and then on Facebook. An institutional reunion is no substitute for a close family bond.

Rapid decline in population & economic growth.

With all children being mandatorily removed from mothers and fathers after birth, there will be no personal incentive for women to go through the discomfort of morning sickness, late pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnancies will be systematically aborted to avoid the heart break of giving up a life to a stranger after going full term.

Within a few short years population growth would descend into negative territory as what most parents consider their most fulfilling undertakings they can do in life is outsourced to the state.

With the drop in birth rates, Schools would close, child care needs would evaporate, housing and SUV demand would shrink as would the economy in general. Countries such as Japan and Italy are good examples of what occurs economically when new births do not exceed the replacement rate.

As the population aged there would not be enough young adults, to maintain the tax revenue required to care for the burgeoning bubble of retirees, let alone fill all the roles that allow society to function.

Children born into the world will only be done so in a surrogate arrangement where women will have to be paid to go through pregnancy and the children will grow up knowing they only exist in the world, not because they were loved, but because the state needed them to sustain its viability.

So in short institutional childhood would lead to:

Miserable children
Miserable Adults
A Shrinking Economy, and
A Dying society

The world needs more hugs and cuddles not less.

I thank-you.
Debate Round No. 2



1. Early Childhood Development

My opponent mentions orphanages and institutional care being given to the children but that is not necessarily how such a system would work.

Children raised by the state just means that they are being raised by an entity that is part of the government not necessarily that they'll be raised by current state institutions. The state can assign a small group of caregivers to a small group of children during their formative years. The system can behave similarly to preschool education programs which can start as early as 3 years of age. Such programs can start earlier and the other hours in the day not devoted to sleep and preschool-like educational programs would be devoted to being tended by caregivers to meet the children's emotional and physical needs on a more personal basis.

It is widely known and respected that preschool education has a plethora of benefits for children that improve their abilities both linguistically, socially and physically [1]. These benefits have been found to be long lasting and long term and parents and educational workers are in agreement that it is a good program [2].

This care would not be "institutional" as my opponent wants to paint it but rather a type of preschool-like development and education from birth supplemented by unique and individual care by the same caregivers to meet the children's needs. Therefore the negative affects of such care that my opponent described would not truly be a factor in this type of system.

*Opponent's Concession

My opponent also concedes one of my major points to me. He writes:

"that would...reduce the risk of children being abused"

My opponent concedes that this system, due to the guidelines proposed, would indeed reduce the risk of child abuse, which is a huge problem in today's world. This is a large concession. The children's welfare could be vastly improved as the risk of abuses is drastically decreased. This is especially true since the negative affects that my opponent tries to tie to this statement could be eliminated.

2. Unfulfilled Adult Lives

If adults wish to have connections to their children or children in general they would have a few options in this system. First, they could apply to be a caregiver or educational worker and be able to work with children all the time. Adults who have a deep need to connect with children do not have to be deprived of child contact at all. They can work for the state and work with children at any stage in their development. Adults can form connections with children who are not their own that are just as enriching and rewarding as a natural born child. This can clearly be seen in adoptive families in which children develop strong connections to people in their lives in which they are not related. There are opportunities to form these bonds within this system.

Also, simply because a child is not being raised by their parents does not mean that they cannot see their parents or form a loving relationship with them. Grandparents (usually) do not raise their grandchildren yet they see them fairly regularly and form loving lasting bonds. Same thing goes with quirky aunts or godparents. They do not actively raise a child yet they still develop these relationships with them. The state would take all of the hardships and difficulties of raising a child but leaves the option open to form these connections that humans need with each other intact. It's the best of both worlds.

3. Rapid Decline In Population and Economics

My opponent is thinking about this program as it is being initiated. They are in a mindset as if this were going to happen overnight and the reactions of people who are not privy to this system. This is fine but we also have to look at the long term process and effects that this system will create. While it may seem pointless to go through pregnancy if children are just going to be raised by the state that is not the case. Down the road women in this system will understand the duty and benefits of bearing children for the society. Society needs children, everyone knows that now and they should know that in the future during this system. The motives would simply shift from being primarily selfish in nature (I want to raise a kid) to one more community oriented (the community needs children so I should have one for the general good). This is not an inconceivable or even farfetched change in attitude.

Women need only to have two children or men only need to father two children in order for the population to stay stable, a state that would be beneficial for the population as a whole as it would negate the rapid population growth that the Earth is undergoing and could prevent future population problems. As the incentive to have many children goes down the duty and incentive to maintain the population rate increases which is a net benefit for society.

Further Argument

1. Decrease in Certain Social Stigmas

The stigmas of being a single mom, having tons of children, having no children or having children out of wedlock or with multiple partners would all vastly shrink as this system goes into place. Since children would no longer be inherently connected to their parents these traditional ideas and the stigmas they create while considering children and family would shrink away. This would increase people's sexual ambitions and their happiness and would play into their more free lifestyles that are now possible due to the lack of child raising. Forced marriages due to children, broken households, and awkward child arrangements would all vanish which would be a good social benefit for society.


- Children still get their early childhood development and is shown that current early childhood state programs are beneficial to children as a whole.

- Adults can still gain fulfillment from children in a plethora of ways, all more relaxed than before.

- Populations have an incentive to stabilize rather than shrink and childbearing would shift to more of a dutiful role than a selfish one.

- Certain stigmas about marriage, family and households would go away increasing societal acceptance and bonding by decreasing judgement and confusion in this area.

Thank you.



1. Cultural Unity

There have been a lot of social experiments done in the past that sought to obtain cultural unity " the problem emerges with what you are to do with the people that don"t fit into the homogenous society that the particular government of the day wants to propagate. Nazi Germany did their best to create a homogenous society by taking out all the black sheep, Catholics, Homosexuals, Jews and those with mental disabilities. You do not make a strong society by making sure that everyone is the same, but ensuring that everyone is accepting of the diversity in their neighbour.

The state care model that has been proposed still appears to be an institutional one, but with shinier playground equipment and a higher care giver to child ratio. I will not argue against the benefits of children having access to pre schooling in their earlier formative years, as these studies provided by my opponent will be based on these children coming from, and going back to a loving home each and every day with a continuity of primary care givers. It is also based on children having the first infant years in close contact with their own parents.

It is a little bit presumptuous that children would receive care from the same care givers each and every day. Staff turnover rates in early childhood education have been found to be around 30%. (1) This would mean, between different shifts, staff allocation to different children and this turnover rate, children would experience a wide variety of care givers. Even if they were able to make a strong connection to a child, all this work would be undone as within a period of a couple of years they will have left that organisation/city/country/profession.

2. Brotherhood
Although my opponent states that state care would be small and intimate, in this argument about brotherhood it suggests that the small family unit would be supplanted by a much larger homogenous one. I don"t believe this debate to be on two fronts " i.e. both whether the state care is optimal, or what model of state care would be optimal " in the latter case there appears to be some confusion on what model my opponent is suggesting.

In the studies that I referenced earlier it was found that in settings where there were many children who were not getting the attention they deserved they often developed anti-social behaviour in order to get some one on one attention from their caregivers. This concept of brotherhood will more likely develop into one of fierce competition amongst a large body of children for a relatively small number of care givers " with the loud, confident and disruptive children getting the bulk of the attention, leaving many growing up slipping through the cracks.

3.Half way there
Children may spend about half their waking day at school or travelling to and from school, but it is overly simplistic to assume "half" the job is done. Schools are designed to primarily educate, not to provide unconditional love, emotional support and affection. In their "after school" lives state raised children would not have the luxury of having barriers between their two worlds. Issues at school will spill into their "home" life as their class mates and family mates would be one in the same. A case of bed wetting becomes infinitely more alarming when all your peers know all about it.

4.More Hours for Adults
Funnily enough, adults want to have kids, despite the late nights, snotty noses and dirty nappies it is one of, if not the most rewarding undertakings one can have as an adult. This is not to say that you can"t have a fulfilling life without children, but most adults choose to have families and they do so voluntarily.

As we have seen the average age of women getting pregnant has risen as they delay child rearing. This suggests that they have pursued a career, have taken lots of time to themselves and have travelled the world. Yet they still opt to bring a wee child into the world as all of these things do not satisfy them fully.

5.Economics & Birth Rates
This system and argument proposed makes no logical sense " my opponent states that by having the state raise your baby you can then do whatever hedonistic and selfish thing you like with your added time and money. That is unless of course you want to spend this time having and raising your own family. When given a choice and adequate support mothers will not give up their children.

Adoption rates are falling in the western world to an extent that childless couples are having to adopt from third world countries. Mothers do not give up their babies lightly and would prefer not to have them if that is the end result. The pain of loss would exceed any social benevolence they would feel

6. No More Bad Parenting
There are indeed bad parents, because humans are fallible. There are also bad teachers and care workers. In addition to the advantages of the genuine love and affection that parents show to their children, the other real benefit is that they love their children more than life itself and will sacrifice their time, money, and own personal desires to ensure that their children have the best start in life.

This is not the case for teachers and child care workers. Yes they can be very professional in what they do, but at the end of the day it is only a job and their ultimate responsibility is to themselves rather than each individual child they care for. They can resign, be sacked, and be transferred to another area. One of the worst things a parent can do is abandon their child, and with state run child rearing, this is an absolute certainty.

In my first round I did state that procedures would be put in place to reduce the risk of child abuse " This would work to reduce the rate of child abuse within an institutional setting " this does not mean it would make child abuse rates less than what they are within traditional nuclear families. In addition, depending upon the structure, ages and sexes contained within an institutional setting there may be increased risk of children suffering from sexual abuse from their fellow "brothers and sisters".

7. Decrease in Social Stigma:
My opponent is in one breath suggesting taxing those that have too many children, yet also saying there will be less social stigma. If you are a woman who is having lots of babies and do not have the resources to pay for any taxes that are payable you would be stigmatised quite quickly. The same could be said for a childless couple who are not pulling their weight for the state in keeping the populate rate at replacement level. The stigma"s will still be there, but based on a different set of criteria.

7.Unfulfilled adult lives.
There is a very real difference between rearing your own children and the thought of rearing someone else. Being a teacher or a child care worker is a totally different occupation than being a mother or a father. There is little sense in denying a mother or father the opportunity to raise their own child, whilst at the same time offering the chance to look after someone else"s offspring.

If we often cannot trust the government to provide adequate health care, spend our taxes wisely and provide welfare for the most vulnerable in society " why would we even consider offering up our first born to them?


Children brought up in institutionalised settings display an increased rate of developmental and behavioural problems
Early childhood education has shown to be beneficial to children that are brought up in traditional small families
Adults are restricted in the ways in which they are allowed to raise children
All citizens are denied a close family as they age
Mothers will place their own risk of personal loss above that of the wider social good
The economy and birth rate would collapse
New stigmas would emerge as woman do not comply with state dictated edicts

Debate Round No. 3


Clovis forfeited this round.


In closing I would just like to reiterate that woman will not voluntarily give up their babies to the state for the greater "good". In the present day woman already have the choice to allow their children to be raised by the state - and naturally and thankfully the vast majority do not make this choice. This is a better outcome for the children, the parents and society as a whole.

Vote Con - 'cause baby snatchers give you a bad case of the willies

Thanks Clovis for a great debate
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
I should have just seized the day, oh well. Good luck to Clovis and to ginger!
Posted by Clovis 1 year ago
The debate has already been taken.

Depending on how this first attempt goes I might be willing to give the topic another go in the future.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
Never mind.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
That1User, if you want to debate this than go for it! ;)
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
I would have to disagree, saying any government is an absolutely huge range. We would have to start arguing as to which nations are considered to actually have a "government." I would accept this debate, if you could limit it a bit.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
I'm interested in debating this, unless debater would like to debate the topic more so than I do.
Posted by Clovis 1 year ago
Not necessarily. It could be any government. The type is irrelevant.
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
Would this debate be from an American government perspective?
Posted by debater409 1 year ago
Would this debate be from an American government perspective?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round.