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Licensing parents

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 468 times Debate No: 73077
Debate Rounds (3)
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Should people have to get a license to become parents?


The question of whether governments should regulate citizens who wish to procreate, and by extension reserve the legal privilege to deem accidental procreation a crime, is obviously controversial due to the conflagration that this would be an abrogation of fundamental human rights. However, I will argue that as long as governments do not discriminate the issuance of licenses based on race, religion, sexuality, nationality, or any genetically defined characteristic, but solely on the ability and desire of parents to raise and support another human life then there would be no infringement on anyone's liberty.

First, we must ask ourselves what the benefits would be of requiring individuals to acquire a license in order to rear a child? The most fundamental and immediate benefit would be that the children produced under this policy would be well cared for. This doesn't mean that child poverty would be eliminated, this doesn't mean that single mothers that choose to have their children won't have to struggle tirelessly to make ends meet, this won't mean that those that receive a parenting license will be perfect parents and never make a mistake in the upbringing of their children. However, it will mean that those couples or individuals that become pregnant truly wish to care for their children and go through whatever hardships they may encounter for them.

Why does this matter? Why should people be forced to care about their children? This is not only a moral question but a fiscal one as well. Children who do not experience a loving household are more likely to feel anxious, more aggressive, and engage in erratic emotional relationships according to Psychology Today

as well as Time Magazine.

This means, in the very least, that the children of ill equipped parents are more likely to be dependent on some type of anti-depressants or other narcotics to cope with the emotional trauma suffered as children which may be a drain on our health care system. Furthermore, if neglected or emotionally abused enough they are far more likely to commit crime or be caught up in the justice system which is also a drain on tax payer dollars.

This doesn't begin to address the even bigger issue of the ethical nature of allowing unequipped individuals to undertake in the most significant act one can do as a human being, create another life. The government already regulates sexuality in a variety of ways. Why would we not go a step further and regulate the act of procreation itself, in a manner that does not discriminate against age, race, creed, religion, or sexual identity? The compound positive benefits of this policy being implemented are innumerable.
Debate Round No. 1


Taking away freedom Why would you want to strip American's away from the right to reproduce if they want? Why should good parents suffer because abusive parents are treating children unfairly? Who would be making the rules to parenthood, and what if a good parent fails this test? What if a sociopath (who is good at pleasing people and fooling others acting civil and moral) when they're not? You cant judge a persons character unless they show it on the outside which is very unlikely. Then good parents who may not pass the financial or educational part (if there is one), they don't get to become parents. 3 words... No American freedom. If the government can control this, soon they'll be able to tell you how many kids you can have, or have to approve of your marriage.

Lastly, what happens to the children who's parents don't pass. Do orphanages or foster homes capacity increase 10x what it is now? To many unknowns, and to many questions the government doesn't have an answer to.


Before I refute my opponents fundamental points I feel it is necessary to summarize his argument to make it easier to follow,

First off, my opponent failed to define that this policy would be specific to the United States. While it is for the most part irrelevant that he is now limiting the debate specifically to the U.S. I felt it necessary to point out that he failed to define this in his opening argument. However, ironically, it actually makes it easier to make my case as historically the U.S. actually passed and implemented eugenics laws in the early 1900s and continued to abide by them all the way to the 1970's in certain states.

The main point that my opponent makes is that issuing licences to parents infringes upon American freedoms. He ignores all the benefits that this policy, in how I defined it, would offer. Since no counter argument was made the benefits I suggested stand.

The harm of he suggests is two main points:

1) That good parents might not be able to receive a license. 2) That bad parents might be able to get a license.

The third potential harm mentioned, that I suggest be ignored because it is outside the realm of the debate as it is merely a "slippery slope" scare tactic is:

If we allow this type of regulation what could happen next?

As I have effectively broken down his argument I will now begin my refutation of my opponent. My opponent seems to care deeply about American freedom however, if one asserts that American freedom is derived from the Constitution of the U.S. then one cannot say that this policy limits freedom as it would be well within the bounds of the Constitution. While I would say that eugenics is a far more radical and discriminatory of a practice (sterilization of undesirables), if it was at one point implemented in the U.S. and never ruled unconstitutional then it is not an infringement upon American freedom as only that which is unconstitutional could be considered an abrogation of American freedom.

Furthermore, my policy falls in line with other non-discriminatory policies currently implemented in the U.S. As I stated before it will not be based on age, race, sexual identity, creed, ethnicity, nationality, or genetic attribute. The policy will solely be based on two criteria.

1) The willingness of the parent to care for the child

2) The mental capacity of the parent to care for the child (mental illness that could be detrimental to the child's care, care being the defining word here, the mental illness itself is not the variable that will be judged)

All prospective parents would be required to pass a test, a simple test not unlike that which can be taken at the DMV, which is another government entity which issues licences to protect the safety of the population as a whole. This test would be a multiple choice exam in which a minimum number of question would have to be answer correctly in order to pass. The test unlike the DMV exam could be taken innumerable times, however a mandatory 4 hour child development class would have to be taken in between attempts at the parenting licence exam. If the prospective parent fails to complete this exam they lose their child to CPS at its birth until they are able to pass the exam or seek treatment for a debilitating mental illness which could disqualify them from a licence, they would have to continue with treatment and receive a "conditional licence" as long as they regularly attend therapy sessions and take all prescribed medication.

As you can see, this specific policy would not stop a good parent from being unable to get a licence, as they just would have to care enough to learn basic parenting practices and they have unlimited times to take the exam. This policy would deter bad parents from trying to raise children and while it isn't 100% fool proof it would at least be better than nothing, which my opponent advocates.

As I have successfully refuted all my opponents arguments and he has failed to address any of mine I have already won the debate.
Debate Round No. 2


Ombatool forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the final round. I have won the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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