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Archive: 28 September 2005

Parent Processes

Suppose I said that all people of a child-bearing age should be given mandatory contraceptives, and that they only be allowed to reproduce once they had completed a rigorous financial, criminal, intelligence, safety, and social screening process.  That the screening could result in mandated changes to the house, such as wiring upgrades, regardless of the cost those changes might incur.  That without submitting to interviews with a social worker, without completing an exhaustive application process, without becoming certified in infant/child CPR, without all of the preceding—nobody would be permitted to forgo the contraceptives and become a parent.  And suppose I said that after the child’s birth, a social worker would visit the new family for at least half a year—and if during that time the worker became concerned in any way for the child’s safety, or was sufficiently worried about the general conditions in the home, the worker could have the child taken away and assigned to another family.

What would you say?

Suppose I said that the process of adopting a child should be radically simplified, to the point that anyone giving up a child for adoption would just anonymously hand the child over to an agency, and that anyone who wanted a child would simply come into the agency and anonymously pick one up.  That there would be no more background investigations, no mandated education, no screening of any kind, no followup checks, no need for large amounts of money, no waiting—no barriers to becoming an adoptive parent save the initiative to go to the agency and walk out a parent.  That a child would simply be handed out to anyone who merely asked for one, no matter how unprepared or unqualified or unfit they might be for the job of parenting.

What would you say?

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