The question of whether or not parenting should be regulated or licensed is a difficult one. On the one hand, the number of children who end up in foster care because of incapable parents is staggering as is the number of children from broken homes who are unable to regain their lives after being abused. Even more staggering is the number of parents who force dangerous ideologies on their children which promote sexism and racism or even ignorance on topics which science has proved to be wrong, such as vaccines causing autism. On the other hand, how can you regulate that? Creating a test that would prove that someone is fit to have a child would be incredibly difficult. How do you say, this is a good parent and this a bad parent? Do you put the potential patent in a room full of children and see how they do? Do you give them a written test? Do you test their genes for possible drug addiction or alcohol abuse? Do you send them to a psychologist whole diagnose whether or not they know what they’re doing? Who’s paying for all of this? The DMV constantly faces budget cuts. A brand new licensing system for something completely different and difficult to test wouldn’t make it past the laugh test in Congress.
And even if you could pay for this all and you found the perfect way to test it, how do enforce it? Does a parent have to show their parent license every time they try to pick up their kid in kindergarten? If a couple gets pregnant on accident without a license, is that child forced into foster care? I think the one positive that this would bring about is that it would force birth control and planned parenthood to be more widely available, perhaps even required. Though it’d be difficult to regulate, one could give a person birth control from the time they reach puberty until they get got this license. But seeing as there is already so much controversy surrounding birth control right now, it’s unlikely that this would be possible to put this into practice.
Though licensing would force birth control to become more widely available, it could also be used to do wrong. Same-sex couples already face enough trouble trying to adopt a child. Imagine what anti-gay rights leaders would do with this license. In some states, it may become completely impossible for same-sex couples to even attempt to have children. It’ll take a long time before we can even begin to put something like this into practice.
Another problem is that because of the price of such a maneuver is that it would make parenthood exclusive for rich parents. And if rich families are the only ones giving birth, poorer families will die out, and minimum wage and infrastructure jobs would be empty. A constant cycle would arise where a poor people die out then the rich become poor and the cycle starts again.
All is not lost, however. Foster parents and adopters are visited by social workers to ensure that the child will be given to a good home. There is clearly a way to prove whether or not a parent is suitable. Though it’d be difficult to do this on a larger scale, it’d be possible. And with overpopulation and high competition in schools, it may be vital to put into practice in the near future. If that means one less child has to live with an abusive parent or have harmful ideals forced upon them, it may be worth it.