A License to Have a Child? We Asked, You Answered

A License to Have a Child? We Asked, You Answered

Why you should care

Because having kids just got a little less romantic.

Last week we asked, “Should you need a license to have a child?” You answered with wit, snark and thoughtfulness. Here are some reader responses and perspectives, with editing for clarity. Check back tomorrow for our next question. Every Wednesday, we’re debating hot topics in the lead-up to our next TV show, Third Rail With OZY, launching on PBS this fall.

Elaine Dolan

We already should be decreasing the number of humans on Earth to about one half — perhaps 4 billion is reasonable and sustainable — by allowing the other species space to exist.

Joseph Langella

Absolutely! In the movie Parenthood, Keanu Reeves’ character says as much when he laments the fact that his dad “beats him up.” “You need a driver’s license to drive a car, you need a fishing license to fish, but you don’t need a parent’s license to have a kid!” Not only should parents have a license but also they should be held personally responsible for their children’s behavior until they turn 18.

Arshieal Johns

Any time a license in this country is invented, it’s always an issue or abuse of some sort in its availability to minorities.

Savannah Lambert

The answer to this question is yes. A lot of people are having babies, with their parents having to support them fully. Having a child is harder than [many people] originally thought. It’s important to be financially stable, or almost there.

James Jennings

Yes, and there are several good reasons why. Overpopulation is one — our resources have been unable to keep up with the burden of feeding all of us. Real estate is dwindling fast, water is being squandered by the self-absorbed industrial mega-corporations, people all over the world are starving, and to top it off, we can’t stop killing each other. Do you need to say more?

Carrie Demott

If folks have easy and honest access to reproductive health education and services, we would likely have less of an issue.

Thomas Burner

While there are many people who should never, ever have children, this is completely ignorant. It’s liberalism running amok. How about offering free vasectomies and tubal ligations and a $10,000 bonus check to anyone wanting one?

Rodney Hoffman

When I was a teenager (40-plus years ago), I wished that people needed a license to have children, but I saw no way to do it. Dr. Ballinger appears to have the answer. I definitely think there should be a license to have children.

Stacy Lynn

All a license signifies is that you possess a level of knowledge sufficient to qualify. The license is not important, the knowledge is.

Paul Otruba

Both parents need to be held accountable for each child they bring into this planet. This needs to be fair to the child, to their community and to all other life on the planet. In the U.S., a 5 percent school tax should be collected on each parent’s gross income until Social Security age, and another 5 percent infrastructure tax should be collected for any child born above replacement [rate fertility], that is, two children. This would delay breeding and lower the number born. A fair immigration limit needs to be set to a percentage of the declining population. Education and accountability about the consequences of children and overpopulation is more important than a license. The option for government-provided birth control, abortions and sterilizations is a must. Young people would be able to get a better education and training, to start a business, own a home and build a career if families were started later and with fewer children. Social costs and government spending would greatly decrease.

What do you think? Let us know below or email thirdrail@ozy.com.

OZYOpinion

Interviews, op-eds, and analysis to help you make sense of the news of the day and the news of the future.