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Couple ordered not to have children

2004-05-10 18:35:34.952808+00 by Dan Lyke 13 comments

Sourced from Medley: Judge orders couple not to have children.

Monroe County Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor ruled March 31 that both parents "should not have yet another child which must be cared for at public expense."

This seems perfectly reasonable to me, government services are a privilege, and they should not be abused.

[ related topics: Children and growing up moron Sociology Law ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-10 19:10:45.989338+00 by: meuon [edit history]

"I think what the judge is trying to do is kind of have a wake-up call for society," - A wake up call needed.. but dang what a precendent. It's been the subject of many a sci-fi / futurist short story and many novels, none of which have a good answer. Decent intelligent folk reproduce responsibly.. and if they decide to have 0, 2, 5, or 12 kids.. they do what it takes to raise them. The problem is all it takes to be a parent is a moment of irresponsibility.. no license, testing, or classes required. The leeches of our society breed like the leeches they are, causing an exponential load on society as their children propogate the problem when they reach breeding age.

Do I sound cold and heartless? I am.. I was "fixed" after my (our) first child.. a responsible decision of a socially responsible anarchist. Kudos to the judge for his attempt at shining a light at the problem, even though his solution is unworkable without means to enforce it.

As controversial as it is to do this, I would support a government requirement to be on Norplant or similiar long term contraceptives if the person was a long term 'supported' (welfare) recipient.. Want to have kids? Be able to support yourself and them.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-10 19:50:55.133868+00 by: Diane Reese

Interestingly enough, the judge making this ruling is a woman, with children herself, who seems to have been quite active in women's legal circles.

#Comment Re: Couple ordered not to have children made: 2004-05-11 00:36:49.392473+00 by: Pete

"should not have yet another child which must be cared for at public expense."

Or what?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 02:43:53.753798+00 by: topspin [edit history]

From the article:

The facts of this case and the reality of parenthood cry out for family planning education," she ruled. "This court believes the constitutional right to have children is overcome when society must bear the financial and everyday burden of care.
The judge is not forcing contraception on the couple nor is she requiring the mother to get an abortion should she become pregnant. The couple may choose to be sterilized at no cost to them, O'Connor ruled.
If the couple violates O'Connor's ruling, they could be jailed for contempt of court.

Another perspective with similar language:

The principle of family planning is to combine governmental guidance with people's voluntariness, thereby the basic rights of every individual and every married couple are respected and protected, at the same time the couples are aware of their responsibilities and obligations. Governmental guidance means that the government formulates plans, principles and policies in accordance with the strategic goal of socio-economic development and provides people at childbearing age with information, facilities and serivices to that they can make informed choices. People's voluntariness means that people at childbearing age take both family, community and state interests into account and voluntarily plan their births in line with the country's regulations and policies. The government is against coersion in any form.

Perhaps the judge reads Chinese?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 10:03:27.564734+00 by: polly

maybe this judge has seen too many children confiscated from crack heads and meth labs who are damaged and now live in foster care? the foster care system is overloaded because of too many dead beat parents strung out on drugs, won't work, abuse their children because they don't know how to raise or even take care of children. the list goes on...then, there aren't ENOUGH foster parents who can take in these damaged children who come with major issues, health problems, ever seen a crack baby? they never stop screaming. it's a vicious cycle that doesn't seem to ever get broken.

then the welfare momas just keep on having babies because that is all they know how to do...and they pass this legacy down to their daughters...and it just keeps on snowballing. makes me think of the spay/neuter poster in the vets office, the one that has the cute picture of a kitten and puppy with the comment about how many offspring each can have a year and how many those offspring can have and how it just keeps on snowballing...just like these welfare queens.

we see these welfare queens at school everyday...wearing skin tight clothing, dripping with jewelry, young, barely old enough to have a kid in middle school, AND, their kids are major discipline problems, an education is not a priority. the daughters are already on the lookout for their future baby's daddy, the boys are looking at either time in prison or hanging out on their future baby's moma's porch with their pants hanging down around their knees or walking the streets with their pants down around their knees because they CAN'T afford a car because they are too good to work or didn't graduate, they just sell the crack to the neighborhood kids to support their habit and give their baby's welfare queen some jewelry so they can have another baby. another viscious cycle.

SO, i can see where the judge might be a little perturbed when she sees these dead beat parents in court because they can't/won't take care of their children. i think i remember hearing about welfare momas not getting more money after a certain number of children to try and reduce the numbers and make these parents assume some responsiblity. don't know if it's working. then i've heard that welfare parents have to go to ged classes and try and get jobs. there is some accountability in some places, but, i don't know how well it's being enforced.

responsibility and accountability, where does it fall and who is going to enforce it? we've got parents who have blocked the school phone number so they don't have to hear about how bad their child is or that the kid is failing. we have kids who are dropped off at school and we don't have a correct address or phone number on the kid. so if something happens, we don't have anyone to call. does it take the government to step in and make these parents become accountable? why not? the government (foster care) is raising their children or is supporting the children through welfare and government housing. i don't see what the difference would be.

should there be a limit of how many children a woman should have? maybe the question should be...how many children can YOU afford? having just one child and putting clothes on them, feeding them, daycare, putting them through school, taking care of their medical/dental needs is hard enough. but to do that for more than one? takes money, lots of money.

then this raises the question, only the rich can afford children? no, poor people can have kids, but it's going to be hard and difficult. which puts us back into the cycle of taking care of welfare families and it just goes on and on...so yeah, the judge is frustrated, perturbed, and she has made a statement that has everyone (with computers at least) opening their eyes to what is going on around them and what has been happening in our society, which has been going on for a long time.

accountability/responsiblity...who IS going to enforce it?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 14:08:02.695936+00 by: ziffle [edit history]

There are a lot of ideas that our ancestors had which we have rejected, not necessarily for the better. These people are out of control. They steal from those of us that do govern our affairs without burden upon others. There has to be a limit imposed. If not, then eventually they will breed until we are overwhelmed by their needs. Their needs are not and must not be a mortgage upon our lives. My children nor I owe these people anything. When they request welfare they are stealing from us.

To go farther here would invoke the tripwire of inculcated and infused ideas and viewpoints which come out as emotions instead of thoughts and after which no rational dialogue is possible, so this affiant sayeth more not.

Ziffle of Mayberry

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 14:21:49.239302+00 by: petronius

We don't need some futuristic scenario for licsensing births. Besides the example of modern-day China, we have ample precedents in our own past. Is this really where we want to go?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 15:50:38.037002+00 by: Dan Lyke

Perhaps it's because I'm one of those anomalies that has no desire to have biological children, but none of those examples shock me too badly. Maybe if I felt like they were taking away something valuable it'd be more of an issue with me.

However, I beleive that either we refuse to take care of their children and let 'em die or otherwise be abused, or we order the parents not to keep making 'em. There's a line to be walked there concerning involuntary sterilizations, as Petronius points out, but just as we don't subsidize people who run up large credit card bills because they want a shinier couch, offering 'em support for their unlimited desire to produce children is wrong.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-11 21:57:08.558852+00 by: petronius

Well Dan, at least in theory we don't offer support for these folks unlimited desire for children. We offer support to the children themselves. Yeah, I know that it ends up in the parent's pocket and we may or may not trust them to be responsible, but refusing them permission still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-12 00:04:07.324781+00 by: Shawn

I'm not convinced it makes a difference whether we say we're supporting the parents or the children. In all but the most extreme cases (rape, and even there I'd argue that one still has options), having children is a choice - a fact our culture seems incapable of recognizing. If you can't support your own kids, don't have them.

Okay, sure, it's possible to find oneself down and out after having a kid, but that's an easy enough condition to account for: No support for kids born while on welfare.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-12 00:38:48.070348+00 by: Larry Burton

Petronius, I share your concern over the government sticking it's nose in procreation matters however, there are some matters in my neck of the woods that tend to push me towards the "neuter 'em" side.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-12 10:10:16.464357+00 by: polly

while doing my stint with state of tennessee government, i secretaried with child protective services in chattanooga. some of the case workers ethics were questionable and some deserved medals. my mother is accountant with foster care and adoptions for the state. i've heard her complain about some of the case managers not following up on their "clients". over the past few years there have been some instances where a child died while in foster care or when the child was returned to the parents. there was some publicity but i don't remember a lot about it. it is a sad day when the system fails to protect a child and a small life is lost.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-05-12 16:20:51.220894+00 by: Dan Lyke

It seems to me that if we acknowledge the right of the state to perform pre-emptive restraint, as in motor vehicle licensing, speed limits, and gun control, then we've set precedent for the right of the state to act to stop violence before it has occurred.

Having children without the means to pay for their upbringing (and, in a strict philosophical case, an argument could be made to add without title to the land that they'll occupy as an adult) is an act of violence. If we as a society acknowledge that we must raise and educate these children at our own expense, then the parents are forcing us to perpetuate their genes.

In this case it's not even a pre-emptive act: The parents have already shown themselves to not want to participate in the upbringing of the children they've already brought into the world. In essence this is like a bankruptcy reorganization: the debt isn't being paid, and the court has dictated repayment terms.