Streams

Bad Parent: How Many Kids Should You Have?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The "Bad Parent" column on the parenting website Babble.com delves into the unspoken realities of being a parent. Rufus Griscom, founder of Babble.com, returns weekly in January with a taboo-smashing discussion. This week: How many kids should you have?

Is 6 kids too many? Is 1 not enough? Is it anyone else's business how many kids you have? Tell us what you think about negotiating family size. Comment below!

Guests:

Rufus Griscom

Comments [80]

charlotte from bklyn

If you REALLY care about the environment and social responsibility, don't have more kids. Having kids is the worst thing you can do for the environment. Cap n' trade, anyone?

Jan. 22 2010 09:45 AM
Mike from Inwood

[60] bob states: "Few things in life are more satisfying than defying the wishes of those who earn little and yammer incessantly about what everyone else should do"

Few things do bob, but one of them wouldbe putting a bullet in your head!

Jan. 22 2010 01:10 AM
Mike from Inwood

Time for a change in your medieval consciousness: Having more than two kids is ecologically irresponsible. The equivalent of driving a Hummer to the office, eating a pound of beef everyday or flying several times a month. The yuppies in Connecticut may conspicuously consume a lot of kids, but that's what it is: showing the Jones' next door that you're so rich that your wife doesn't have to work.

Jan. 22 2010 01:06 AM
Meagan Francis

Actually, the US is hovering right around replacement fertility rates (2.1 kids per mother) and isn't likely to change regardless of a few families here and there having big families. Overpopulation is a problem in some areas of the world, but I've yet to see compelling evidence that we're at risk of that happening in the US.

Jan. 21 2010 08:28 PM
Steve from NJ

rm,

you wonder if any of these people are capable of making the mental leap and calculating that if they have fewer kids, they will be able to save more money and support themselves when they get older. duh.

Jan. 21 2010 07:43 PM
rm

I'm shocked at how many people commented on how important it is to have multiple kids so they can support you more easily as you age. Seriously?!

Think of the planet, think of the resources they will use up...doesn't matter if you use cloth diapers or buy used clothes. If your child breathes air, drives a car or turns on a light, it is using up resources. Consider society's needs before your own.

Jan. 21 2010 05:39 PM
Robots Need 2 Party from NYC

Money is Freedom and Power and Bob is an @$*hole.

Jan. 21 2010 03:13 PM
Robots Need 2 Party from NYC

Ann. I understand where you're coming from but I don't think its so simple as that. This topic is a hypothetical for yourself and not really a judgment of those who now have 5 kids or more. The discussion is about what people think about this idea. Personally having more than 2 or 3 kids doesn't make sense, even if you're super wealthy and can afford. More kids means many things to this world. Can the world support such large families? Can two parents really provide all that is necessary for so many children without sacrificing too much? Is it responsible to your community? These are questions not judgments. Liberal people try to ask these questions before making choices that impact everyone around them. The ideal of liberalism is about caring for the weakest among us. That is all. Having less kids can be seen as a practical choice in this day and age. In Japan having large families makes sense right now. They are in the midst of a population crisis. Too many elderly not enough young people. That isn't the case here. The world is fighting for resources and a growing global middle class will strain these resources further. Does having five kids make sense considering all that? Not to me.

Jan. 21 2010 03:09 PM
Steve from NJ

bob (#60),

assuming you are for real, your pillaging mentality is beyond offensive. the fact that you have to brag about it makes you even more despicable, not to mention pathetic. you must have tremendous feelings of inadequacy to be so motivated to leave your stamp on the planet in such a destructive way. what kind of world do you suppose your many children will grow up into if everyone else lived by the same credo that you do? you should be strung up by your b*lls.

Jan. 21 2010 03:05 PM
rt from NJ

"Ignorance, poverty, and chaos are hardly limited to people with large families. It's just that people with large families are in general more noticeable."

Incidentally, ignorance, poverty and chaos that is "more noticeable" is not good. I think you'd agree that the less noticeable the better.

Jan. 21 2010 01:58 PM
rt from NJ

I disagree with you based on my full time parenting of 2 young children meagan and will add that there is nothing about it that is amusing. i have no bias other than my inability to help these large families with the money they need.

Jan. 21 2010 01:56 PM
Meagan Francis

Ignorance, poverty, and chaos are hardly limited to people with large families. It's just that people with large families are in general more noticeable.

As somebody who writes regularly about parenting larger-than-average families, I'm always amused by the anecdotal evidence people throw around to "prove" a point. So you know a family of 7 whose house is a mess and whose kids are toothless? Great. I know a family with two kids across the street, and they're jerks. It means...well, nothing.

Jan. 21 2010 12:44 PM
rt from NJ

I should add that they do not associate their problems with my assessment that they have too many kids, given their available resources.

Jan. 21 2010 12:27 PM
rt from NJ

I know a family (friends) who have the "5" tradition. All the people in this family have 4 siblings.

All underprivileged, at best, i.e. constant housing problems, no lessons, bad food, government assistance, etc., not to mention some awful domestic problems that involve the legal system -- due at least in part to TOO MANY KIDS. And those are just their problems, they are also taxing to have as friends, a real drain (though we do not resent them and try not to feel sorry for them either). Huge lesson for us.

Jan. 21 2010 12:20 PM
Ann from westfield, nj

These comments prove what I have always believed - ultra-liberal idealogues are among the most judgmental and intolerant people on the planet. Open your minds people - love and family are the only things that really matter in this life.

Jan. 21 2010 12:13 PM
Stefanie from west village

Not to self-promote, but I love that so many people here are interested overpopulation, adoption, and its confluence with environmental issues. I apologize in advance if this is an un-kosher thing to do on an WNYC comment board, but please join me on Facebook so we can continue the conversation:

http://www.facebook.com/Ecosex?ref=nf

Thanks to Brian and WNYC for bringing this subject to the airwaves!

Jan. 21 2010 11:43 AM
Stefanie from west village

Thatgirlfromnewyork:

I totally agree! Adoption advocates need to work on changing the restrictive, discriminatory rules, and making adoption less expensive. I also think that if more of us expressed interest in adoption instead of having biological children, this would change -- it's simply supply and demand.

And in terms of raising consciousness about this issue -- people should think about WHY they are having children -- sometimes to fill a hole in their lives, to be loved, or perhaps because it's just "the natural thing". Too many people have kids because it's the inevitable cultural trajectory. Europeans have far fewer children than we do. We are baby-obsessed here (baby bumps, Brangelina broods, Octomoms, Jon & Kate). But we should think about the psychological implications for our kids, especially if deep down inside, we are ambivalent about parenting. That translates -- children are very, very perceptive, even if you're a "good" parent. Americans really need to begin a national discussion about why we have kids and how many we really need to have.

Jan. 21 2010 11:40 AM
Tom from Brooklyn

A lot of us who are concerned about the environment are making changes in our lifestyles, like bringing our own bags to the grocery store, trading in our SUVs for hybrids, or taking public transportation. I think we should also be thinking about the decision to have more than 2.1 children in this light, especially since bringing another Western consumer into the world is probably the largest negative environmental impact that we as individuals can have.

I encourage those who are set on raising a lot of children to consider conserving resources in a different way, by adopting children instead of giving birth.

Jan. 21 2010 11:28 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

stefanie--i don't think people object to adoption. hell, many of us would do it if it wasn't a ridiculous process in the u.s., riddled with red tape, and it takes years and loads of money (that could be put to use raising said children). it's discriminatory--good people are rejected for their age (e.g. 50 year olds), housing status (people who rent can't be good parents--who knew?), or of the wrong ethnic background ("we'd rather put this child with a _____ family"). this is a big reason why americans turn to foreign adoption, though that process is getting just as muddled. once someone found out there's lots of money to be made preying on one's good intentions...

kathy--thank you for saying that! i see plenty of children being raised by financially well-off people who cannot look after them emotionally. unfortunately, it's impossible to pre-screen for that.

Jan. 21 2010 11:27 AM
Janet from west village

I don't care how many kids people have, as long as they can support them, financially and emotionally. We have one child. One thing that does bother me is that we, a one child family, paid the same amount for health insurance as a 10 child family.

Jan. 21 2010 11:27 AM
bob

I have earned tens of millions of dollars in my career and my wife and I will have as many more children as we please. I routinely strive to maximize my carbon footprint and teach my children to do the same. Few things in life are more satisfying than defying the wishes of those who earn little and yammer incessantly about what everyone else should do, especially with respect to "saving the planet". Money is freedom and power.

Jan. 21 2010 11:26 AM
Lisa Spiegel from Manhattan

As director of Soho Parenting, a two decade old parent counseling center, I have some concern about having many children. I see the desire often come from baby lust combined with the fantasy of the big happy family. The reality of the lifelong commitment to take care of children as the grow throughout the life cycle is quite another matter. In addition to the environment (or because of it), rates of autism, psychiatric illness and developmental delays are rising. It's a complicated world and each child takes a tremendous amount of care, supervision and support. For those who really have it in them to provide that to many children-- all power to you! Unfortunately I think most of us are experiencing quite a bit of stress regardless of the number of children we have. I think it should be well thought out decision.

Jan. 21 2010 11:11 AM
garth from brooklyn

How is this even a debate? There are too many people in the world. That is a fact! There is a direct connection between poverty in the world and over population. The book "Collapse" argues that overpopulation was a major contributor to the genocide in Rowanda. Unless we start thinking about the long-term health of our planet, rather than our own short term selfish desires, we are all screwed.

Jan. 21 2010 11:05 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

ADOPT! In the USA

Jan. 21 2010 11:03 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

Adopt! No NEW kids! There are many children in the foster care system dying some literally for good homes!

Jan. 21 2010 11:03 AM
john from the office

Brian of course worked in the gay marriage issue, again.

Jan. 21 2010 11:02 AM
john from the office

The failure to have large families is a factor of economics and the unwillingness to live frugaliy, by baby boomers. My parents had 6 kids and we lived hand to mouth for years, but arre richer for it. I have brothers and sisters to help me in this world.

Jan. 21 2010 11:01 AM
CT from Manhattan

I oppose using legislation to limit procreation, but I reserve the right to judge people personally for having too many kids. Procreation is VERY environmentally destructive. Proof: http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/07/having-children-brings-high-carbon-impact

Jan. 21 2010 11:01 AM
Sainted_Mother from Harlem, NY

#34 ... Sadly, EVERYTHING is tied to one's ability to pay. TANSTAAFL* has been in force from day one. You haven't been reading your science fiction.

*There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Jan. 21 2010 11:01 AM
ZB Smetana from Murray, KY

As much as I don’t support “social engineering” I do believe that large families (more than 3) are at bets selfish, it’s like always want bigger car or bigger house. Just because someone “WANT” something doesn’t make it good, right, or correct. Now for people who like children and want to do good… have two of your own and then adopt more who are unfortunate not to have carrying parents ( or any parents).

Jan. 21 2010 11:00 AM
Kathy from Flanders, NJ

I am the mother of one child, by choice, as well as an elementary school teacher. I feel that the number of children in a family is a highly personal choice. However, I wish that parents would consider how many children they can support not only economically (children are expensive!) but also emotionally. Not to say parents should be hyper-focused on their children (as a teacher I know the pitfalls of the helicopter parent) but life today is so complicated and requires a lot of careful attention and sacrifices to raise a child properly. Environmental concerns are just as important to me.

Jan. 21 2010 10:59 AM
sarah from philly

To the person who wrote in about paying for college...I am the oldest of 5 my parents have paid for all 5 of us to go to college, my husband on the other hand only had one other sibling and has parents who could not afford to pay for any of their college, they both got scholarships. I would love to have a large family, I look at it as making good people who care and give back, not drain the system/word.

Jan. 21 2010 10:59 AM
barbara forste from Teaneck

We are neither Orthodox Jews nor Catholic, but have eight adult children as well as eight, soon to be ten grandchildren. We lived in the Midwest, were poor, some siblings fought,but they are very close to one another and thoughtful, involved and productive adults.

Jan. 21 2010 10:59 AM
Allen from minnesota

There are simply too many people on the planet.
Sure, it would be nice if the only breeders were responsible, healthy, financially responsible, and had lots of time for the kids, and a huge amount of space for growing the food for them, creating the fuel to keep them warm. It doesnt work that way.
The midwest stinks of concentrated pig and poultry farms, miles of cornfields with little original environment left.
YOur having kids, whether you are in NY or Africa, affects everyone.
Breeding for the lord is really sick. The lord is not paying taxes or helping with social services or cleaning up the crapped up environment.

Jan. 21 2010 10:59 AM
Alicia

“The Dismal Theorem” If the only ultimate check on the growth of population is misery, then the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth.

-Kenneth Boulding

Jan. 21 2010 10:58 AM
Robots Need 2 Party from NYC

Kudos Ben K we all need to be watching and learning from Idiocracy.

Jan. 21 2010 10:58 AM
Jamison from Ft Green

I hate to say it but when thousands of people die all at once I cant help think its good for the earth and when I see family with 4+ kids I feel bad for the earth.

Jan. 21 2010 10:58 AM
tom from uws

Of four siblings, only my brother has offspring (4, by two marriages.) So our family is ZPG for various reasons. but none of us would want to trade the rich experience of a large family with "dozens of cousins" and lots of aunts and uncles.

But looking around me, many of my friends with children have only one, most have just two. MOST of my friends are childless. From my view, those who raise families of four or more in the US are balancing my experience ...

Jan. 21 2010 10:57 AM
ondine from staten island

being one of 6 kids is the greatest joy of my life. We are like a team. Most of my friends are jealous of my big family and the closeness I have with all of my brothers and sisters - I feel sorry for those who have only a few brothers and sisters

Jan. 21 2010 10:57 AM
Sainted_Mother from Harlem, NY

Liberals need to have sufficient children. G_d help us if the conservatives multiply!!

It behooves "US children" current, future, and now adults ... to take care of their siblings in the rest of the world ... we are all children of the planet.

I knew one family of 11 when I was growing up ... as the older kids got thru college, they helped pay for the younger kids, and the younger kids helped the oldest with _their_ kids' college ... so it was a GOOD cycle.

Education MUST be a value passed on ... that's been shown over and over again to be missing in poorer communities. And in the 3rd world, EDUCATE WOMEN ... this equals smaller families and more education for those children.

Jan. 21 2010 10:57 AM
gowanna from gowanus

my roommate is one kid out of 10 of an orthodox jeiwsh family and he's embarrassed to tell people how many are in his family...i understand his discomfort - 10 is insane!
I'm ok with 5 or 6 kids though...I had a boss who ridiculed women with a many kids calling them Rabbits!
That's is insulting to all women.

Jan. 21 2010 10:56 AM
Ellen Ross from New York City

Large families of children "taking care of their parents" doesn't put it correctly for U.S. and the U.K. What it so often meant was that one of the daughters was "assigned" to the care of the parents. She was discouraged from marrying or even prohibited from marriage. She spent her days working for, amusing, and nursing the parents. The brothers were released from this responsibility. This is often not a gender-neutral situation.

Jan. 21 2010 10:56 AM
george from brooklyn

I am the second youngest of seven, raised by a single mother. We were active, self sufficient, lived on each others discards and took care of each other...the experience was slightly insane but I couldn't have asked for a better up bringing.

Jan. 21 2010 10:56 AM
RCT from NYC

My friend and her husband have eight kids. They can support them - -they're both professionals -- and both wanted a very big family. The kids range in age from 5 to 20, and are well-adjusted and doing great. I think that disdain for large families is class based; the assumption is that people who have large families are "low class." Contempt for big families pretends to be principled, but is really just snobbery.

Jan. 21 2010 10:55 AM
Mike in Inwood from Manhattan

Financial considerations may be first for most people, but the impact of over-population on the world affects everyone and should be considered by everyone. Regardless of how a particularly family raises their children the sheer number alone makes the biggest difference.

Jan. 21 2010 10:55 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

@ #11: I am the oldest of 7 and never resented having to take care of my brothers and sisters. But neither did my parents treat my like a babysitter; once I was old enough to have a social life, I was allowed to come and go as I pleased.

I think, to some degree, that is a stereotype that doesn't necessarily apply to all large families.

Jan. 21 2010 10:55 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

"You should not have more kids than you can afford to send to college".

More elitist, neo-fascist crap.

MOST Americans can't afford college for ONE kid. So they shouldn't have any?

Notice the parallel to health care? Access to health care in the US is intimately tied to ability to pay.

And here on WNYC, otherwise liberal people (or, I'm sure, many who self-identify as liberal) are having a child should be a privilege, not a right, based on ability to pay.

This is essentially bigoted and racist.

Jan. 21 2010 10:55 AM
Kitchen Philosopher from Central New Jersey

There are hardly any problems on the face of the earth that would not be lessened with a smaller population. Malthus was right, and 2 or 3 children max per couple seems about right.

These breeders who are calling to justify their fecundity are trying too hard.

Like kids? Get a job in a school, adopt. Your genes aren't that special!

Jan. 21 2010 10:54 AM
kenneth from tenement town


What about the use of public facilities by big families?

Who pays?

Jan. 21 2010 10:54 AM
eligit

sheesh....anyone ever heard of OVERPOPULATION?

limited resources?

anyone?

Jan. 21 2010 10:54 AM
Stefanie from west village

I'm the author of a forthcoming book called Eco-S*x: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable (Random House, 2010). Of al the research I did for the book, I found that this was the biggest taboo of all -- in fact I dedicated my last chapter to it. Overpopulation outweighs every other eco-sin, but people who choose not to have children are still deeply ostracized in our society. And why aren't we more open to adoption? Having one biologically, if we must, and adopting the other? The green movement and the adoption movement should realize they have common purpose.

Jan. 21 2010 10:53 AM
charles harris from island heights nj

you should not have children until two laws must be revoked

Compulsory education'
Child labor

Jan. 21 2010 10:53 AM
Karen from South Harlem

Suggestion: a segment on living child-free by choice.

Jan. 21 2010 10:53 AM
Liz from Brooklyn

I'm from a family with 5 children. My father is from 10 and my mother is from 7.

I have to stay that growing up in a large family yields wonderful traditions and fosters creativity. Not having a great deal of money, having siblings who are your friends, and a clannish oral tradition have only benefitted me culturally and instilled a great work ethic.

If the family is willing to make sacrafices, who cares?

Jan. 21 2010 10:53 AM
kay from nyc

it's an eco thing and a privilege thing. who are the ones who are demanding that they can have 4-6 kids, 3 cars, a big house in the suburbs, jobs that can support it all, low taxes, good services? spoiled upper middle-class white folks.

Jan. 21 2010 10:53 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

I agree with the caller who spoke about children in other countries taking care of their parents.

Admittedly, this is about 80% of the reason I'm choosing to have ANY children.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Having children is a selfish act. We all do selfish acts all the time, so I'm not saying it should be prohibitive, but let's be real. The world does not need more people, so don't procreate with the idea that you're being selfless. Selflessness only comes *after* the child has already been conceived, but the choice to conceive is selfish.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Edward from NJ

It's sort of a tangent, but I think there should be a limit on the number of children conceived with IVF or other medical means. At the very least, insurance shouldn't have to cover it.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Eli from Cleveland OH

Brian, you show your age when you talk about Jews being concerned about Hitler succeeding by the back door so to speak, that is mostly gone today.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Jeff from Hoboken

Isn’t there some socio-economic elitism here, to talk about having too many children as bad for the environment. There are families that can’t count on each of their 2.1 children making over $35,000/year. Some parents still need family for the support they can provide.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Julia from Skillman, NJ

What is difficult with those who want to have a big bunch of children are those parents that are not taking adequate care of those that they have. It's clear in those situations that the parents are looking to satisfy some insatiable need inside themselves and are not looking towards the child's needs.

Other than that, if you can take care of them, knock yourself out - have a bunch.

Jan. 21 2010 10:52 AM
Sainted_Mother from Harlem, NY

I think requiring "parenting licenses" would be good no matter what / how one brings a child into a family. HOWEVER ... how do you "enforce" that ... wouldn't social services be MORE overwhelmed than they are now.

Personally, I always wanted 5 kids, but now, I see 4 of them are cats.

I think large families are GOOD ... providing the parents can support the kids.

Jan. 21 2010 10:51 AM
Priya from Brooklyn

Both my parents (born in India post independence) were from large families. My dad was heavily influenced by Nehru and the Indian five year plans, one of which was family planning. They only wanted two children, and they only had two children. I think both of them influenced my sister and me a little too heavily as we have chosen not to have children at all.

Jan. 21 2010 10:51 AM
Rick from Somers

If people are irresponsible have 5-10 kids they should have to pay an addition school tax. The Catholic church promotes babies but isn't sticks the rest of us with the bill.

Jan. 21 2010 10:51 AM
Ben K from Manhattan

Has anyone seen idiocracy? In that movie, dumb people breed like rabbits and smart people barely breed at all. In ~1000 years the earth is run by morons!

Jan. 21 2010 10:51 AM
Madeline from Brooklyn

It's not only a matter of how many kids one family can support. How many kids can the planet support? This planet is a finite space with finite resources. Unless we get the population under control, we are condemning future generations to much more painful forms of population control -- famine and disease. Moreover, the path to those disasters will involve the razing of the worlds forests and mass extinctions of other species.

Why don't people who want lots of kids adopt of take in foster kids? There are so many children out there who would love to have someone to call mom and dad.

Jan. 21 2010 10:51 AM
Laurie from Manhattan

Mom of 2yr old twins. Thinking of having another in 3-4 years. i come from a large family (27 1st cousins) and my husband from a small (2 1st cousins). selfishly, we want another so that when we get older, the burden to help take care of us doesn't lie on one child.

Jan. 21 2010 10:50 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

I believe in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World." Marriage and families should be banned and outlawed and children be produced by the State in accordance to population and occupational needs :)

Jan. 21 2010 10:50 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

I am a feminist - what does that have to do with the fact that I'd like a big family?

I don't plan on having a farm, but I do plan on having a big family. My mother is one of eight, I am one of seven and I'd like four myself.

Jan. 21 2010 10:50 AM
D from Brooklyn


...I have to say that having a large number of children is patently unfair to the children themselves. Ask anyone from a large family who ends up raising these kids, or becoming a surrogate parent?
The older kids, of course! They are robbed of their childhoods

Jan. 21 2010 10:49 AM
Alaina from Weehawken

In terms of environmental impact, a group of children in one family will likely have less than six children in separate families, and may also be more frugal and resource conscious when they grow up. (Not that I would do it...)

Jan. 21 2010 10:49 AM
rj from NJ

where i come from, India, it was my grandparents generation who had a dozen kids on an average. but today, anybody going for their 3rd kid is labeled, uneducated/illiterate,who have no control over their libido, or labeled villagers/rural. who will never by upwardly mobile. with no social security network to fall back on.

Jan. 21 2010 10:49 AM
Suki from Williamsburg

You should not have more children than you can afford to send to college for four years.

Other than that, have as many as you want.

Jan. 21 2010 10:49 AM
the truth!! from BKNY

I dont want any! and no one should have any kids right now and when they do there should be a requirement for them to attend parenting classes, two involved parents should have to sign a contract to support the child for 18 years!

Children right now are out of control, lot of bad parents made kids in the 80's and 90's!

Jan. 21 2010 10:48 AM
James

What about the idea that, if you have kids in a well-developed country with access to education (fingers crossed for the future), those kids will be better enabled to grow up and solve problems like global warming (or the results of our current stupidity), global poverty, or even global overpopulation.

That's a view that is a slight against the developing world, but there it is.

Jan. 21 2010 10:48 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

So people with the "ewww" response to large families support something like China's one child law?

What white, rich attitude!

As the US gets poorer how many people are going have more children because it will be the only way they can find support in their later years?

Jan. 21 2010 10:48 AM
Nina from Queens

Please consider the environment... before having more children.

Jan. 21 2010 10:47 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side

People who want (and have) a lot of kids shouldn't bitch ten years later how "everything is so expensive" and "I can't make ends meet," which is typically the refrain. You want kids, it's gonna be an expensive proposition. Deal with it.

Jan. 21 2010 10:44 AM
Tracy from NYC

People can have as many kids as they can support financially and emotionally. It's nobody's business the way laws are written right now as long as you are having the children biologically. But when people adopt, we make it everyone's business to place children in homes that can support them. Maybe that's the right answer; make the needs of the children a higher priority than the privacy and decision-making authority of their parents. But how would we enforce a rule like that for biological parents? Require parenting licenses?

Jan. 21 2010 10:40 AM
Connie from Westchester

I have not heard the episode but before I listen, I must confess that I feel adamant that this is nobody's business but the parents'. I do believe, however, that one has a responsibility to be cognizant of one's ability to care for each child one brings into the world. Note that "caring for" includes more than just finiancial care. I know of children who have been raised with lots of priveleges who are "screwed up". I know of others who have had minimal financial security who seem O.K.. (Of course, I realize that it can also work in reverse!)

Jan. 21 2010 09:37 AM

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