© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Should Parents Need A License To Have Kids?

Having babies is something we're supposed to do - even though few of us know anything about parenting until we're deep in the game. 

At the most basic level, we have babies to pass our genes to the next generation. There's also society, which needs children who will grow up and support the economy. And, at a personal level, babies bring us love and connection to something bigger than ourselves.

Yet, despite all that, should everyone who wants to be a parent get to be one?  Should we need a license to parent like we need a license to drive?

That's a tough one. I would not want the reproductive choices of my three daughters curtailed any more than I wanted my own choices challenged. The intimacy of parenting defies reducing it to a license.   

On the other hand, are limitations warranted to slow human population growth beyond the seven billion people already on Earth when roughly one billion children are abused every year and many are already experiencing shortages of food and water? 

On the flip side, who gets to decide how we take care of the kids we already have?  Utah just legalized 'free-range' parenting to prevent parents from being arrested if they allow their children more freedom to roam and stay alone. How the government will distinguish good parenting from neglect is still to be determined, but history shows it has a lot has to do with race and class.

That's the problem when we try to legislate human relations. There are tradeoffs to every decision we make in life. Maybe more so when we try to control the messiness of our humanity.

So, who should get to decide how we reproduce and under what conditions? Join the conversation.

GUESTS:

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show. 

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content