Contraception should be mandatory for both sexes until they have passed a fit for parenting exam: theory and practice.

(154 Posts)
HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:21:47

I'm serious.

YoucanringmySleighBells Fri 07-Dec-12 11:27:15

I agree actually, although I don't think it will go down

bellarose2011 Fri 07-Dec-12 11:27:15

Maybe not a bad idea! Although just because you pass an exam doesn't mean you will be good parent.
Another criteria should be that the father off the child should actually want to be a father and not be married to someone else!

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:28:33

Why won't it go down well?

You have to pass an exam for everything else, drive a car etc, why not to create a live human being? It doesn't make sense.

YoucanringmySleighBells Fri 07-Dec-12 11:28:56

OOh yes questions would be on the theory?

I would ask
Do you need sleep to survive? Yes or No
Do you enjoy having a pelvic floor? Yes or No

YoucanringmySleighBells Fri 07-Dec-12 11:29:48

Well isn't it a basic Human Right and Need to reproduce?

I agree with you though.

MrsJingleBells74 Fri 07-Dec-12 11:30:00

Not a bad idea but I don't see how you would enforce it

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:30:25

It shouldn't be.

It's nonsense. How can it be a right?

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:30:45

I would contracept everyone at 13.

Dawndonna Fri 07-Dec-12 11:30:56

My mother should not have been allowed to have children. She would have passed any exam available. As the local headteacher the bitch always got away with it.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:32:13

Oh dawn, that is sad.

Theory AND practice tho, and I guess full psychological assessment.

Sparklingbrook Fri 07-Dec-12 11:32:18

YY I will back that. Another question or two could be

Do you enjoy building things out of cardboard boxes for school projects and homework shouting? Yes or No?

Do you enjoy standing on the sidelines of a football pitch in minus temperatures watching children play football? Yes or No?

<it's been a bit of a week>

Myliferocks Fri 07-Dec-12 11:32:28

What about if somebody falls pregnant whilst using contraception but hadn't passed or even taken the exams?

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 07-Dec-12 11:33:03

What would happen for contraception failure pregnancies?

Which contraception would be approved? I used a cervical cap and my GP was horrified (even when I never had an issue with it and I can't take hormonal pills for medical reasons).

And while it might seem like a good idea, any exam/text will be biased. You could make it as objective as possible, but people are subjective. The people affected would be the same already affected by eugenics policies. Those policies still cause pain around the world - multiple Indigenous American nations have practically collapsed due to the up to 80% of women being forcibly sterilized within our lifetimes. The main target of these have always been The Other, basically anyone who isn't a WASP.

The government should never have control over people's bodies.


HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:33:55

It would be unlikely. If it happened they would be regarded with the utmost mistrust and carefully monitored until exams were done and then after the birth too.

Sparklingbrook Fri 07-Dec-12 11:33:55

They will need to do a crash course. Nine-ish months to revise Mylife smile

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:34:31

Not sterilization, contraception.

SugarplumMary Fri 07-Dec-12 11:36:16

The worry is that someone will get to decide who is allowed DC - that people with disablies, genentic conditions how ever copable they might be or red hair or whatever then wouldn't be 'allowed' them.

YoucanringmySleighBells Fri 07-Dec-12 11:36:53

Hully - go and put together a full proposal with contingency plans and then we can all really get our teeth into the nitty-gritty.

Then with the full backing of MN we will change the world
<<manic laugh>>

lostconfusedwhatnext Fri 07-Dec-12 11:37:39

how would you contracept them? I am very dubious about hormonal contraception. Some people do very badly with it (general health and moods etc). Barrier methods are surely only voluntary. So I am not sure how this could reasonably be done

LalyRawr Fri 07-Dec-12 11:37:39

I was using two forms of contraceptive and still got pregnant!

But seriously, though this sounds great in theory, people's ideas of a good parent varies greatly. Who would decide what a 'good' parent is? Is a SAHM a better parent because they spend more time with their children, or is a Working Mum because she is earning for her family?

But isn't this what the adoption process is? & haven't we all criticised that because loving people were deemed to old/fat/gay to give an unwanted child a home?

I know this was meant to be lighthearted, so I'm sorry for ruining it!

Sparklingbrook Fri 07-Dec-12 11:38:09

Can't wait for this to be the topic on The Wright Stuff next week.

<waves to TWS researchers>

lostconfusedwhatnext Fri 07-Dec-12 11:38:10

Also, you could pass the exam, and then just choose to be a horrible parent, out of malice, or laziness.

HazleNutt Fri 07-Dec-12 11:39:05

YANBU. In Switzerland you need to pass a theory and practical exam to get a dog, so at least the same requirement for parents is very reasonable.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ideal world:

a) everyone undergoes some form of reversible sterilisation at birth
b) only reversed when you can prove yourself financially, mentally, physically and every other ally capable of bringing up children
c) after 2 children, you are sterilised permanently

That way enough money for all - decent pensions, free childcare, better standard of living, no children in poverty, university education paid for, better pay for nurses, decent council houses etc etc

I know some people would like 3 or more kids, but let's also think of the finite resources of our planet. It would also stop irresponsible people having kids with everyone they shag. Admittedly, if you had 2 kids and then formed another relationship, if you've had your quota, you won't be able to have more kids with the new partner. But them's the brakes!

FreudiansSlipper Fri 07-Dec-12 11:43:05

I think also what needs to be added is this should be governed and controlled by some on here. I am often left amazed and in awe of the perfect parenting abilities of some on mn not only do they know what is best for their own children they know what's best for others be it friends or strangers

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:44:11

It's not lighthearted, I am serious.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:44:53

It could be based on Winnicott's "good-enough" parneting.

How would it be enforced? What's standard of parenting are you looking for? One persons essential is another's optional. What about the people who crumble around examinations?

While I think everyone has thought about this at times I wouldn't want to see anything remotely like it come about.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:47:39

I would.

What? You think human beings are doing a great job with themselves and the world??

LRDtheFeministDude Fri 07-Dec-12 11:47:42

I don't see how it could work. How could you devise a test that didn't discriminate against people with learning disabilities (I say that because it's difficult to devise a test, btw, not because I mean to imply people with learning disabilities would be naturally worse parents!!).

I think you'd be buggered by the human rights laws, too.

And wouldn't people who come from naice, affluent, non-abusive backgrounds be at a huge advantage, because surely a huge amount of parenting is learned from your parents?

Wouldn't it be better to have mandatory intensive support for everyone who has a baby (impractical I know, esp. looking at the rap HVs get)?

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 07-Dec-12 11:48:04

The end result is the same.

There are multiple countries where it is common for women to find out that they have an IUD implanted without their consent (most commonly in Mexico). These women are almost always part of the minority groups. The doctors will admit they do it because they think it's better for there be fewer of those/that they aren't as good parents because they are part of that group.

No one should have that control over another person. No government or medical body or individual or test can be unbiased. Attempted genocide through birth control has already happened and is still happening around the globe as has attempted cultural genocide through forced adopting out by people who think those people can not be good parents.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:48:45

No, because we also need less people on the planet.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:49:20

My system wouldn't be like that.

It takes moments on t'internet to find arguments against Winnicott, many of which you see on these boards daily.

LRDtheFeministDude Fri 07-Dec-12 11:49:55

Wouldn't be like what, hully?

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 11:50:36


my questions:

Do you get that smoking around a child is damaging to their health and not something you have any right to do?

Do you get that making permanent alterations to your childs body to suit your own aesthetic prejudice is a violation of their rights to autonomy over their own body?

Do you get that hitting a child under the age of one who is totally incapable of understanding the link between cause and effect is stupid, potentially damaging to the child and above all else totally pointless?

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:51:15

discriminatory and limited.

All this Oh oh we can't do anything because because means nothing will change. And it's shit right now.

If we agreed on principle, we could figure out the details.

LRDtheFeministDude Fri 07-Dec-12 11:52:03

But it would, hully.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:52:25

WHY does each individual member of the species have a "right" to reproduce themselves?

Think about it, it's nonsense.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Fri 07-Dec-12 11:52:47

what would the test include. In reality parenting is a very simple easy job - you feed a baby and child, change its nappy, take it to school. An average six year old could pass a test on the practical side of parenting.
Most really awful parents are not stupid they could pass a test say all the right things and still go on to be abusers or at the very least shitty human beings.

Proving you can afford a child is very difficult - I have seen posts on mumsnet where people claim to struggle to support a single child on what amounts to three times the average income perhaps they would have the licence removed and the children taken into care?

In theory I see the idea but in reality it would be ridiculous, dangerous and probably lead to a whole host of other oppressive measures.

LRDtheFeministDude Fri 07-Dec-12 11:53:21

It's not 'details', either. Everyone agrees with the principle that, if we could ensure all babies have lovely, 'fit' parents, we should, surely? So the difficulty is the execution. It's not like you need to convince people that it'd be really nice if all parents were good parents.

What's the standard you're looking for?

I'm dyspraxic and have worked with children and disabled adults/elderly before - have proven skills/experience.. I would love to have children one day in the future but would require a level of support physically, e.g. with cooking, feeding, nappy changing, dressing etc (I can't tie laces or do buttons well!) - although practice makes perfect etc. Due to my physical disabilities I'd probably fail a practical assessment but with a bit of support I'd be fine...

fedup - in my scheme, if you scored less on the physical side, we'd provide the assistance you needed because there'd be more money to go around due to less drain on the public coffers. it's only if you failed on ALL tests you would be completely excluded.

Peetle Fri 07-Dec-12 11:55:59

Given how hard it is to adopt it does seem logical to make people jump through hoops before having their own. However, who decides the criteria ? I think the Nazis had a go at this and I'm not sure it's an example we should follow.

When I was about 16 we had a talk at school from the head of a school for "challenging" children, many of whom had been severely abused. That was the first time I was made aware of the horrible things some people do - I don't remember many talks over 30 years later. He was in favour of a child-bearing "permit".

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 11:56:00

hully the right to reproduce doesn't stem from our animal kingdom routes...where in essence only the "best" parents get to reproduce. Obviously that definition of "best" isn't the same one we would use but still the idea of limiting reproduction to the better parents has solid grounding in the evolutionary world.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:56:30

You sound sane, you're in.

See? Practicality, thoughtfulness, maturity, sanity...

We all know it when we see it.

And when we don't.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:56:51

My last was to fedup

Even if you agree that there's no right to reproduce which I actually kind of agree with there's a right not to take contraception or any kind of medical intervention.

rogersmellyonthetelly Fri 07-Dec-12 11:57:48

I think a first port of call should be anyone who has their child taken into care permanently for neglect or abuse should have compulsory contraceptives. I know several families who have proved themselves time and again to be unfit parents with previous kids in care who are still happily reproducing, only to have the kids either removed at birth or taken into care once it is clear that yet again, the parents cannot care for their kids.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Fri 07-Dec-12 11:58:56

Just because you pass a test though, doesn't mean you would be any good.

I passed my driving test first time, you wouldn't necessarily want to be a passenger in my car what with the near misses and the gazing into the middle distance.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 11:58:57

me too rogers.

I know one woman given a "chance" to parent her ELEVENTH child. That's ten lost into the system to have their lives fucked up.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 12:00:15

Oh and that eleventh didn't work out, funnily enough.

In theory, I think it's a great idea.

I can't bear it when I read a story of someone who's had multiple children, and they each end up going into care. Maybe if you've had one or two children that you can't look after/have been taken into care because of your bad parenting skills, then you shouldn't be allowed any more.

I was flabbergasted that to adopt my dog, I had to fill in several forms, chat to several people, have someone come and inspect my house/garden. Took two weeks all together.
But when it came to my baby, I was home within 4 hours, no one even asked if I knew how to change a nappy/feed/clean/soothe etc.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 07-Dec-12 12:12:23

wanting to have a child is selfish no matter what situation you are in

but desires, wants and what we feel we need take over

and winnicott only really applies to western ideals of parent/child relationships not to those where children are bought up in communities and all adults are central to a childs development

MrsHoarder Fri 07-Dec-12 12:15:05

Good idea in theory. How do you intend to contrascept people? Given men can only use condoms or be sterilised. And in my case I can't take hormonal contraceptives because they make me murderous and can't have the coil because my periods already lead to time off work (hence why I was so keen to find a pill that worked for me).

And what would the punishment be?

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 12:29:12

We should and do put the human rights of existing people above those of the unborn child.

This proposal would infringe the human rights of actual existing people in order to protect those as-yet unborn; this is a slippery slope IMO.

Plus, abusers will pass the test. Poor parenting comes in many forms.

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 12:34:06

hmm I would usually agree except that it is totally unclear to me that the right to reproduce should exist for either existing or unborn people. In essence the born and unborn would have the same rights...they just wouldn't include reproduction.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 12:35:38

I can't see why it is a "human right" to reproduce.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 12:40:10

Completely fucking agree, Hully.

Excuse the unnecessary "fucking".

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 12:40:26

As it were.

More tea, Vicar?

FreudiansSlipper Fri 07-Dec-12 12:40:53

but why should it be a given right to those who tick a few boxes

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 12:41:22

Okay so a minimal solution

Physically tie off (reversibly - even if we can't reliably do this now it won't be more than 20 years coming) everyone as or before they reach sexual maturity.

In order to get it reversed you must:

pass a psychological assessment (I know full well I would have failed this part)

pass a theory test to demonstrate you understand the nature of a childs needs both physical mental and emotional.

pass a physical assessment to demonstrate that (with any adaptations/ support necessary to overcome disability) you can look after a child.

deposit the minimum cost of raising a child to maturity for progressive release as the child requires the resources.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 07-Dec-12 12:42:12

I like this idea.

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 12:44:36

Are you absolutely sure that giving the state powers over peoples' bodies is the way to go?

Who would people like to see as the Minister for Children, Families and Contraception, I idly wonder? Let's just make it Michael Gove. Associating him with sex will make a large proportion of people stop doing it for sure.

And what will the sanctions be for breaking the rules? We could do forced abortions like China, but it might be more effective to say miscreants have to have sex with Michael Gove?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 12:46:46

Actually, my mother would have passed every test going - she's clever at passing tests. She has, however, no empathy, no sympathy and no people skills at all in the real world. She's a psychological bully. It would have had to have been an extremely clever test.

AmberSocks Fri 07-Dec-12 12:49:09

Dont agree of think its a good idea,i like freedom,even if it does mean occasionally some people abuse it.Once you put things like that in place where does it stop?

Also,what is a fit parent,there are so many different opinions on that,and just because someone passes a test doesnt mean they will be a good parent,there are lots of qualified drivers who are dangerous but passed a test,i got mostly As in my gcses but i was stoned for half of them and just guessed the answers and ticked random boxes,i got mostly As and some bs and cs.Tests are bollocks.

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 12:51:44

amber and ariel I think the thing is that while some tests are indeed bollocks (gcses being a prime example) it is not the case that ALL tests are bollocks.

Clearly to make this work you would need one of the not bollocks variety.

lostconfusedwhatnext Fri 07-Dec-12 12:57:47

a. you can't "contracept" without consent without violating people's bodily autonomy. (Also what about nuns? them too? If not them what about people who say they are celibate but are not religious? Are they less or more credible? or is everyone universally assumed to be at it?)
b. there is no way you can meaningfully quantify what is "good parenting" such that it is subject to objective testing
c. even if you could, it is possible to pass a test and not apply these skills to day to day life
d. have you any idea how horribly disgustingly terribly persuasive the most evil abusive people are? Of course you are, if you think about it for 5 seconds it is terrifying. the wrong people would pass
e. this idea is profoundly immoral and unethical, any practical details aside
f. plus it would erode the notion of parents as people who should be supported by the wider community (which is being badly eroded already by the privatisation of the nuclear family) and promote the idea of "if you can't cope you shouldn't have had children" which is ultimately bad for kids
g. If you are serious, as you say you are, where on god's green earth do you get off?

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 12:59:00

"I can't see why it is a "human right" to reproduce."

Reproductive rights were first established as a subset of human rights at the United Nations 1968 International Conference on Human Rights. The sixteenth article of the resulting Proclamation of Teheran states, "Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children."

The WHO defines reproductive rights as:

Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.

AmberSocks Fri 07-Dec-12 13:01:17

what lost said.

Plus some people you can never in a million years imagine being a good parent and then it happens accidentally and changes them for the better.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 13:04:34

Yes but that's bollocks tethers, isn't it?

Where's the correlation with population numbers, the planet, forward planning, parenting ability etc etc etc

MyNutcrackerSuiteAudrina Fri 07-Dec-12 13:11:23

"Associating Michael Gove with sex will make a large proportion of people stop doing it for sure.... And what will the sanctions be for breaking the rules? ... it might be more effective to say miscreants have to have sex with Michael Gove?


FreudiansSlipper Fri 07-Dec-12 13:11:26

so let's put a stop to all those in India and china unless they are very wealthy and have western ideals on rearing of children and of course in the poor African nations too

it is what the nazi's would have done

RubbishCrackerPuller Fri 07-Dec-12 13:11:57

Unworkable. I suspect that NO-ONE would ever be able to pass the test. We all have times when life doesn't go smoothly but we muddle along and paper over the cracks. Who here could genuinely put their hands up and claim parent of the year award? The thing is the vast majority of parents do a good job, sometimes only just good enough, but overall we do OK.

However if we were tested on our parenting prowess I'd bet most would fail on one aspect or another. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, or a perfect child for that matter.

And if you think 11+ tutoring is bad can you imagine the competitive cramming for parenting 101. It would overtake all other academic subjects, we would be tutored from infancy to be perfect parents. Steptford Wives would have nothing on this!

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 07-Dec-12 13:12:26

in theory i see how this could be a good idea. Its heartbreaking to see so mant children in horrible situations that could have been avoided.. however..................
i was using contraception and still got pregnant. Was not in an ideal situaton, young ish, not much money, not been with partner long, and 100% unprepared for...well any of it tbh. From the outside it would have been viewed as one of the situations that this thread would be trying to avoid...but i think we did pretty well!
My partner and i walked out of the hospital carrying this little bundle and thinking ' what the hell do we do with this?????'' But we learnt...quickly, lol, and all is goodd ( if not stressfull :P )
Basically i think what im trying to say is it would be hard to make everyone do this, there are so many different situations, and even in the ones that dont look great on paper, theres not always a need for such drastic measures. Although it would be worth making everyone do something like this if it would save any children in anyway...

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 13:12:41

But whether or not anyone thinks it's bollocks is irrelevant, Hully- that's the reason human rights have been enshrined.

Plenty of people think it's bollocks to be homosexual, or have a differing faith.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 13:13:34

Well at the very least "responsibly" needs defining

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 13:14:02

I did. Examined and passed.

Do I get to be Uber-parent in charge of the deciding?

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 13:14:07

And it could be changed to take account of the reality of the planet

WorraLorraTurkey Fri 07-Dec-12 13:17:32

And what do you suggest when the prospective parent doesn't pass the test?

Forced abortion like in China?

Whip the baby away from parents at birth?

MN's gone bloody bonkers today.

MyNutcrackerSuiteAudrina Fri 07-Dec-12 13:17:39

I'm not sure how stringent the approval process was for adopting in the early seventies but my parents passed with flying colours and are the most fucked-up and abusive people I know.

I would have loved to have lived in foster homes because there was a chance I might get a nice one, but no - test passed for me and for sibing two years later and then they pretty much did what they wanted.

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 13:22:14

Nutcracker - I think in teh 70's as long as you ----had clean towels in the airing cupboard and a reference from your local vicar or doctor then teh only probing question asked was "boy or girl?"

My grandparents adopted in the 50's and were nearly turned down (for a kinship adoption of a family baby with them since birth and adoption applied for as a toddler) on the basis that they ran a pub. My grandfather being teetotal swung it in the end.

Things are a little more thorough now - but not fool proof.

MyNutcrackerSuiteAudrina Fri 07-Dec-12 13:25:30

That was probably it then, Kewcumber. Naice Catholics using a Catholic agency. Blimey, r.e your grandparents. Glad it worked out.

Thank you for your answer smile

Meringue33 Fri 07-Dec-12 13:28:14

Yabu - horrible idea. Control over ones own body and reproduction is a human right sad

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 13:36:10

Anyone approaching my bits with a view to controlling them (or my childrens' bits, for that matter) will have to come very heavily armed because I have no intention of ceding my bodily autonomy without a battle of Biblical proportions. Just so you all know.

All together now:


Sing it: It's my womb, and I'll breed if I want to...

etc etc

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 13:38:00

actually it is clear to me that you don't have the right to autonomy over your least not until you are an adult.

also it is far from clear that a right to reproduce (responsibly or otherwise) is something that the planet can actually sustain into the future. It may well need reconsidering.

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 13:40:16

Oh blimey Nutcracker - naice catholics (or even not naice catholics) with a letter from the priest using a catholic agency were a shoe-in... I'm not even sure it mattered whether they had clean towels.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 13:43:01

Just you and me ICBINEG...

lostconfusedwhatnext Fri 07-Dec-12 13:44:45

Well there are two things, aren't there: the rights or otherwise of people to reproduce (in the context of an argument that the planet is overpopulated); and the rights of children to be looked after properly. the two things are completely separate, because at least in theory you can arrange for children always to be looked after properly, without actually stopping anyone in particular giving birth to them. Frankly I think that is much more important than the overpopulation waffle - the more secure and the more educated people are, and the more control women in particular have over their fertility, the more modestly sized their families tend to be, this has been shown. There need to be radical technological solutions to the ecological disasters we are inflicting on the world, and we need to take great care of all the children born to the world, not fucking about with womens bodies (let's face it, it will be women)

YerMaw1989 Fri 07-Dec-12 13:46:41

Ok.....and who would judge analyze these exams? hmm

who would be the paragon of parental judgement who would have that level of power over reproduction of others. this would never work because parenting is not black and white.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 07-Dec-12 13:55:53

Your concern about numbers doesn't match reality. The UN states that at the current rate without anything else being done the human population will plateau around mid-century then begin heading down. The current fertility rate globally is 2.45 children per woman in her lifetime and has been on the decrease since the 50s. The countries with the highest also are the ones with the highest infant mortality and least social welfare - lowering their birth rates without dealing with these would have severe consequences.

Using birth control to control resources basically punishes poorer countries for rich countries stealing their resources. The world has plenty of resources, many parts of Africa are extremely resource rich which is why first countries and now multinationals backed by countries swept down, take them all for themselves and avoid any form of tax or fair price for their goods (the amount of tax avoided by one company in Zambia is ten times more than all the aid they get from the company's country of origin. Haiti's entire economy was thrown into disarray because an American company - possibly backed by their government - wanted to sell them pigs and agricultural resources so made up lies and forced them to destroy what naturally grows there). Fighting against technological, distribution, and tax, and the general injustice in the world along with greener reusable initiatives will give a far better resource than birth control.

And none of these have anything to do with taking a test to prove one is a good parent. You already proved it would be biased by having a very Western ideology as the presumed basis of it.

YerMaw1989 Fri 07-Dec-12 13:56:53

Why is it bollocks?
we are all born with reproductive organs, I decide when and what comes out of mine no-one else, should be a right everyone has.

plus Its interesting how people who bleat on about how reproduction is not a right already have kids themselves, if kids is such an issue why did such people not find their way around a condom themselves and keep their opinions to themselves.

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 14:00:59

Every human should indeed have the right to do what they like with their own body including reproduce. However I think there is a debate to be had about how much people should expect others to pay for this right (including their own children).

Am I to get no credit at all for already having passed this parenting exam? None at all? Really? It was hard I deserve some credit <<sulks>>

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 14:03:02

I have to go out now, but...


Graduated with honours <kiss kiss>

EleanorGiftbasket Fri 07-Dec-12 14:03:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 14:05:18

That's very good Eleanor, I think we could work with that.

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 14:06:00

[slightly mollified emoticon] but it was a bit too little, a bit too late

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 14:06:29

oh it was quite a lot

you did get honours and kisses

Kewcumber Fri 07-Dec-12 14:07:36

I have to do an annual report to update on how DS is doing. I think this too is an excellent idea... it boils down to "He is well fed and watered and I haven't managed to break him yet"

Not sure who you'd send it to for birth children though confused

MiniTheMinx Fri 07-Dec-12 14:07:46

Isn't fertility declining, so what is all the concern with population.

Thank you Tethers, reading that extract about Human Rights, women in Africa have little control over their reproduction. Many do not have access to contraception. Surely the act was meant to extend rights to all women.

Whilst I agree with the statement "no one has to right to reproduce" because I don't agree with funding fertility treatment on the NHS, I don't believe anyone has a right to other peoples bodies and their reproductive ability.

I think the idea of the state controlling reproduction is dangerous. The state can not be trusted. The state might decide that two children are too many, poor people are not permitted to have any children, women with blonde hair must be prevented from breeding at all costs etc, they might then decide we don't have enough children and decide to enforce conception upon certain women with certain characteristics.

MrsHoarder Fri 07-Dec-12 14:08:37

You haven't given a feasible way to make it happen though.

How will you do it?

What will the punishment be for not complying?

What evidence is there that abusive parents are incapable of pretending to be good parents when under exam conditions?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 14:18:55

Two points:
Even if fertility declines it simply means the world's population will increase at a slightly slower rate. It cannot support so many people.

And generally the folk who disapprove of the NHS funding fertility treatment have their own children already.

MiniTheMinx Fri 07-Dec-12 14:18:57

I don't think it will be necessary to change the law to make certain that some people do not breed. Changes to the benefits system being implemented by now is likely to be quite effective. As is the fact that women in the west have control over their reproduction. Its been proven that women who are educated and have access to opportunities for work and access to contraception have fewer children. Women can choose to have fewer children. many do because they also wish not to be pregnant for most of their adult lives and they like working. If you give women incentives not to have children.......they won't. Give them incentives to have children and they will.

GetAllTheThings Fri 07-Dec-12 14:19:09

I think there should be an exam for the foetus.

If they don't pass they 'ain't coming out.

MiniTheMinx Fri 07-Dec-12 14:21:45

Should the NHS fund fertility treatment to those that pass this exam ?

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:39

If we are going to put the need to decrease the earth's population over enshrined human rights, then there is a much quicker way to do it...

MiniTheMinx Fri 07-Dec-12 14:25:55

I thought the elites had already decided that we were over crowded

Do they not already have various means of culling us all?

EldritchCleavage Fri 07-Dec-12 14:30:19

Oh, let's just have a war. That'll weed out a few people.
Iran, anyone?

ICBINEG Fri 07-Dec-12 14:30:29

Tethers Oh I do like that fact why not combine both together...someone asked what the punishment for having a child without permission was....the obvious answer would be if you reproduce without permission then the child replaces you!

one in one out rule.

could work

ReallyTired Fri 07-Dec-12 14:33:09

similar idiot thread

nuff said!

HullyEastergully Fri 07-Dec-12 14:53:59

Mine is not an idiot thread.

people just don't ike to think beyond the existing.

MiniTheMinx Fri 07-Dec-12 14:54:36

From the OP on that thread

Apparently huge numbers of new parents say "when I left hospital the first time, I felt terrified; no-one had given me any education on what to do"

YES they had, that's what your own parents are for.

Why do we need the state to provide everything. Whilst I am the first the hop up and down about a shrinking state and the cuts, I really wonder why middle class, educated people from fairly comfortable backgrounds should need Big brother to tell them how to change a nappy.

lostconfusedwhatnext Fri 07-Dec-12 15:29:11

I think that one of the big problems this world is facing is the completely bonkers belief that everything is best determined by markets.
However I would far rather see rules applied to resources than to people's bodies. If a serious attempt was made to determine ethically rather than commercially how resources were distributed, yes, it might look iconoclastic but you could do a lot without having to go anywhere such vile abuses of persons as proposed on this thread.
This thread is clearly wrong on a million levels, but the only bit which makes sense is that if we showed the will to do so, there is so much we could do for people. we don't because we are being brainwashed into accepting certain conditions as being fate, like the climate, when actually they are deliberately imposed because they make certain people rich

Coming back to the issue of who can and should have children, there is a direct link between poverty and poor outcomes for children. Address the resources (this is a global issue as well as local one), instead of rolling over for the markets, and you might get somewhere

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 16:17:49

Well said, lost.

FrothyOM Fri 07-Dec-12 16:20:05

I would have probably failed a test like this due to my mental health history, and yet I have happy, healthy kids who are doing well at school. Good parents aren't always perfect people IYSWIM.

SantaWearsGreen Fri 07-Dec-12 16:22:32

Flawed. Simply because you are presuming that all crap parents are uneducated and stupid. Not true. Many crap parents would fly through a test, doesn't mean they then make great parents in reality.

Also we are not living under the Gestapo.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 07-Dec-12 16:41:15


GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 07-Dec-12 18:32:10

Agreed, lost.

Ariel - Not according to the United Nations. Their report on population states that the current rate is 2.45, and at the current rate (which has been declining since the 50s) the population levels will begin to decrease after 2050 . We have to get over the bump of people already here born when birth rates were higher. If one were to view the population as the main problem (rather than the horrendous way resources are stolen and distributed) you'd deal with the far larger population...which would be us not babies.

Personally, having countries and multinational companies having to pass an ethics exam and yearly portfolios proving continued ethics before being allowed to do anything in a country outside of its origins (particularly in resource mining and exports, would have to include tax) would give far better results. Ethical companies would give the resources that would leave the local population with better care and education - which is already shown to lower the birth rate - and would start us on the road to better resource usage.

ArielTheBahHumbugMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 18:35:21

OK I believe you! So what's all the stuff about the world's population being 9 million by 2050? Or will it be, and then will it start declining?

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Fri 07-Dec-12 18:38:02

I think it is an incredibly crap idea. Who gets to decide what is good parenting? I think some of the hoops you need to jump through to adopt are stupid and I disagree with a lot of mainstream 'good parenting'.

Plus what enforced contraception? Hormones, god no. Surgery?? Yeah, nothing could go wrong there.

All a bit brave new world ish.

Who gets to mark the exam papers? What gives them the right to judge my parenting skills? Is there an appeal process?

YerMaw1989 Fri 07-Dec-12 18:50:16

I think a lot of this works off the idea that its mainly benefit parents who are bad parents which everyone knows is not true,

I wonder how many 'wealthy' parents to be would be expected to pass an exam.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 07-Dec-12 18:51:40

2 questions:

Q1: Do you actually want to have a child? Both of you?
Q2: Do you want a child enough to stop smoking, taking recreational drugs and drinking (at all during pg, and to excess for the next 18 years)?

I reckon if you stopped the people who don't answer Yes to both from breeding then you'd send the world population into free fall without the slightest hint of abuse of human rights. An enormous percentage of births are unplanned, and the ones who want kids but not enough to kick drugs shouldn't be allowed them.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 07-Dec-12 18:56:01

(that said, I know that "shouldn't be allowed them" raises ugly spectres in terms of real world policy intervention. But in a magic world, every child would be a wanted, deliberately conceived child, and every boy and girl would have magic infallible reversible contraception implanted at puberty, and you'd need to pass a drugs/alcohol/nicotine test to get it reversed.

MrsBW Fri 07-Dec-12 19:41:55

My husband had cancer and repeated courses of chemotherapy.

He cannot have children. Not, 'there is only a remote chance'... He has had tests and there are no live sperm. Whatsoever.

Should we have to use contraception??????

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 07-Dec-12 19:54:33

Ariel - Yes, 9 million is the number usually given for the bulge which is the top generation or two (which are living a lot longer which is a big part of the bump) going through. The rate of fertility has steeply declined and will likely meet death rates quite soon (it's 2.45 now, 2.1 is considered replacement, rates have more than halved I believe since the 50s and will likely get down to replacement in a decade or so, possibly sooner if it keeps cutting at the current rate but it has slowed slightly in the last few years) but we would still need to go through the baby boomers bulge before the population would really decline. Even a less than replacement rate wouldn't slow anything down really until then.

Which is why any debate about resources would have nowt to do with babies, its all to do with the currently very unbalanced distribution and ownership of resources.

DrRanj Fri 07-Dec-12 19:57:13

Well let's hope you wouldn't have failed it op. hate the fact that if anyone else had posted this they would have got flamed.

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 19:58:28

Lady, stopping a human being- any human being- from breeding against their will is a breach of their human rights.

Even people you don't like.

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Fri 07-Dec-12 20:09:06

Sorry to be picky, but it's driving me mad; it's 9 billion, not 9 million.

The drugs/alcohol/nicotine thing isn't whether I disapprove of them, it's an imaginary symbol of having to prove that you want children enough to make a sacrifice to do so, because if you can't do it in order to get them, you'd be unlikely to put their interests first once they're here.

Not being able to have a child unless you want to have a child is not a breach of your human rights though, obviously, but unfortunately it's not the way the world works. In practical terms, long-lasting reversible male contraceptives would be nice.

ArielTheBahHumbugMermaid Fri 07-Dec-12 20:10:12

Well obviously 9 billion grin

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 20:38:30

It's the compulsory element which breaches human rights though, Lady.

Even inadequate parents have the right to have children; to forcibly prevent them from doing so breaches their human rights. They may not have the right to bring them up, but they have the right to bear them.

Whilst I can see that this can cause horrendous situations, I really think the alternative- to disregard human rights- is fraught with danger and ethically a more horrendous situation.

Forcibly controlling people's fertility is not the only way to deal with the situation, and is not worth the cost.

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Fri 07-Dec-12 20:51:19

Actually as a fully fledged Utilitarian I'm allowed to <shrug> at the whole "human rights" thing. They're a useful fiction, and generally best observed, but they're not an actual thing, and in extremis I ignore them for the purposes of argument. But even if they did exist, the right to have a child accidentally would not be one of them.

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 21:04:01

Anyone's allowed to shrug at human rights. It doesn't mean they don't exist.

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Fri 07-Dec-12 21:05:17

Bloody difficult to prove they do exist though. Valuable political construct, but that doesn't make them real.

tethersjinglebellend Fri 07-Dec-12 21:06:02

What proof do you need?

cory Fri 07-Dec-12 21:07:04

Will any consideration be given to different cultural interpretations of a child's physical and mental needs? Not entirely sure I would pass a British test, given my foreign ideas.

And most British parents would probably fail a test devised by a Swede, due to their failure (in Scandinavian eyes) to allow for children's need for independence and outdoor play. If my mother's generation got to devise the test, no parent who proved unwilling to spend several hours a day outside in the sleet and snow and pouring rain so their toddler could play in the mud would be considered suitable for a start. If you can't even give up your comfort, as LadyIsabella would put it... wink

monsterchild Fri 07-Dec-12 21:15:56

My concern is that this will unfairly penalize women (who we will know are having the kid) and not the man. Sure, if she tells you who he is, fine and good, but if she can't, then she's still penalized and he's off to make more babies.
Unless you have EVERYONE's DNA you can't possibly track him if he's a rebel rapist intent on spreading his sperm.

And you'll be encouraging lots and lots of infanticide, too. Not abortions, because many won't come in to have that doe due to fear of permanent sterilization (for breaking the law) and other repercussions. Just wait til the baby's born and expose it. (you daren't leave it at a hospital because there's DNA and all that).

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Fri 07-Dec-12 21:24:41

Also a good hoop Cory <shivers convulsively at the very idea>. Frankly any random mandated hoop that requires parental sacrifice but is not manifestly discriminatory has something going for it.

But I'd settle for "Yes we both definitely want to have a child today"

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 07-Dec-12 21:39:22

It is a nice idea but we will always need plenty of lowly workers at the bottom of the pyramid structure and for that reason alone, Yabu.

whois Fri 07-Dec-12 22:04:39

Yes. Just yes.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Fri 07-Dec-12 22:11:13


DH and I are infertiles, so contraception would be an unnecessary PITA. We'd be great parents.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sat 08-Dec-12 15:11:31

Lady, yes, sorry, that should say billion. 9 billion is the bulge.

Lia87 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:33:56

Most ridiculous idea i've ever heard. Unless you're forcing people to have invasive procedures eg. Coil, or to take medicines against their will how would you do it? It removes basic human rights to your own body. And how will you enforce it with males? Glue a condom to them?

Sure thats a similar theory to hitler, passing a criterea to reproduce?

The one thing i would like before anyone becomes a parent is a big investment of counselling services. Most people don't recognise why they shouldn't become parents, yet.

Practical tests are a waste of time, as you cannot test whether you would emotionally damage a thing that relies on you for their total emotional needs and development and the test would have to involve wider family.

A contract would have to be signed that you would never have another partner or regular visitor to your home, unless they passed an upto date test.

Speaking as a CP SW and someone who removes children, monitors parenting and carries out assessments and recomends interventions, you could not come up with a "blanket" set of testing.

The right to not be medicated against a natural function is a Human Right, as well as an ethical right.

Thankfully because of the Human Rights Act, it isn't something that we should fear.

If i set my test, i know from past threads that many on MN, wouldn't have passed them.

thebody Sat 08-Dec-12 15:45:37

So op whose doing the judging then?

GhostShip Sat 08-Dec-12 16:02:45

You would never ever be able to make a fair test. Tests on this scale are always biased in some form.

GhostShip Sat 08-Dec-12 16:03:08

But in theory I agree.

FellatioNelson Sat 08-Dec-12 16:07:37

I agree Hully. I had to sit through several hour long phone calls and a fee to face interview before my dog breeder would allow me to take one of her puppies but I have been allowed to spew out children without anyone giving a fuck about how capable, or not, I am.

When I am Prime Minister there will be a whole one hour lesson a week on the NC for senior school aged children about parenting and what constitutes socially responsible behaviour.

FellatioNelson Sat 08-Dec-12 16:08:40

face to face. Damned autocorrect.

exoticfruits Sat 08-Dec-12 16:13:27

No-someone would have to 'play God' with the decision. I can think of lots of people that I would not think fit-and they consider themselves good parents! (lots on MN!)

FellatioNelson Sat 08-Dec-12 16:26:16

people just don't like to think beyond the existing.

So true Hulls. I have wanted to start several threads on here lately that pose big, juicy, emotive and challenging philosophical questions about our society. But I have though better of it because they are just too big iykwim, and probably too sensitive for most people's appetites. Instead of being able to debate it sensibly as just a set of ideas, I think the immediate reaction would be for people to jump down my throat and say 'how dare you suggest that you wicked bitch' as though to dare to even put the question out there means, clearly, that I am saying categorically 'this is what I believe.' hmm

Which is not the case at all. I just want to explore things.

But nothing changes or gets better if we cannot ask ourselves the most difficult questions openly and honestly, and thrash out all potential solutions to problems. Even if we arrive at the conclusion that something is best left alone after all.

There are several topics on MN that I read, but rarely ever bother to post on because I just don't see the point in getting my arse toasted by people who are so convinced they already have all the answers to problems that are not going away, that they don't have the headspace to consider anything radical.

HullyEastergully Sat 08-Dec-12 16:50:17


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