«License for parenting» in pictures.
- Should parenting require a license?
- Libertarianism and Parental Licensing - Bleeding Heart Libertarians
- Should We License Parenting?
Should parenting require a license?
Some people that would be relieved would not voluntarily give up the child for fear of social censure. Having it required counter-acts that.
Monitoring might be passive, but I don’t see why a libertarian should be happy to have people’s privacy removed. Maybe it would be better (or some people may think so anyway) than having the child removed, but I would need some convincing of this.
Libertarianism and Parental Licensing - Bleeding Heart Libertarians
The third criterion would be possession of basic knowledge of child-rearing, such as by completing a parenting course in a school or clinic or its equivalent. In all likelihood, parent licensing would stimulate the development of family life education, already offered in many communities. The mass impact of such a program would likely discourage premature marriages and reinforce awareness of the gravity of child-rearing responsibilities. From the point of view of the educational curriculum, preparation for parenthood is more important than any other academic subject. Moreover, the need for education in parenting is widely perceived today by most parents.
Should We License Parenting?
We could just take a shortcut, and go back to the 6955’s. “If you aren’t married, you are exceptionally unlikely to be able to raise a child without harming the child, so someone else will raise your children.”
For the well-being of our society, we also need to accord children a civil right expected by adults: the opportunity to be free of insurmountable obstacles to developing one's potential in life. The civil right to competent parenting is widely acknowledged in declarations of the rights of children in the United States and by the United Nations. Competent parenting is a legal right because incompetent parenting is a cause for state intervention and the possible termination of parental rights. It is a divine obligation when parenthood is viewed as a covenant with God.
So, bleeding heart libertarians believe in state-enforced eugenics. It is good to know that I can write off Andrew Cohen as a fake libertarian.
I’m not even going to argue for or against this idea. All I’m going to say is that if you are for licensing parents, you are not a libertarian. If you want to advocate that, that’s fine. Just find your own label for yourself because a libertarian is not it. You do not believe in freedom if this is what you are advocating. Lots of people don’t believe in freedom. Most of them don’t go around calling themselves libertarians.
The evolution of families in Western civilization has been marked by successive societal restrictions on the authority of parents over their children. Families originated out of clans with power invested in leaders and fathers, who were free to do as they wished with their wives and children. This meant absolute power over the life of a child, including the right to kill the child.
A few years later, while living in Pueblo, Colo., I took Laura to the local mall and lost her. Yup, I lost my preschool-aged daughter at the mall. With my heart pounding, I frantically scrambled in ever-widening circles until I came upon her. She was in the safe company of two concerned women. The withering glares the women gave me (as they triple-checked with my daughter that yes, I was her daddy) made me want to reach for my wallet and turn over my “Daddy License” right there on the spot. In my mind, the two women morphed into one stern-looking, imposing, motorcycling, jack-booted person with dark glasses and a badge. “Yes, officer, I was driving over the speed limit, I have a broken headlight, and I LOST MY DAUGHTER IN THE MALL! Haul me off to jail right now!”
Let me dwell on this fourth point a little. There are strict guidelines, and regulatory structures and processes in place to ensure that the child gets the best, most secure parenting they can, or at least a high minimum requirement. This appears to be a rather obvious example of double standards, certainly if one agrees to this practice, and yet argues that regular childbirth and parenting should be an unregulated human right.
Taking care of a child is a huge responsibility. We get licenses to drive, to use a gun, and for god sake, to fish even. So why shouldn't one get a license before having a child? To me, the process of getting a license not only makes one accountable but it also makes one think about what they are getting into. If they want it bad enough, why not go through the paces?