Jack C. Westman Quote

“The denial or revocation of a parenting license would be expected to be a painful experience, particularly for mothers. The overall importance of protecting innocent children from incompetent parenting justifies the inconvenience to a few parents and the inevitable imperfections of a licensing system.”

~ Jack C. Westman

Licensing Parents: Can We Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect? (New York and London: Plenum Press, 1994), p. 243.

Ratings and Comments

Krystal, Cincinnati

i think this is dumb. Parents should not have to do this

Kathleen M. Cousins, Eugene, OR

This is, of course, true. But standards of licensing will eventually become the norm, just as the standards for obtaining a driver's license. Being denied a driver's license, or having one's license revoked, may or may not have a negative effect emotionally on the individual, but the responsibility of society to ensure that the number of unsafe drivers on the roads is reduced as much as possible is not in question. And, eventually, it will be generally understood that it is one's individual responsibility to meet the licensing requirements, not society's responsibility to modify the requirements so that no one will feel "left out".

Mike, Mount Holly, NC


Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Right on Kathleen! No one is saying that you can't be a parent, just that you have to be competent before you are allowed to be responsible for the life of another being. Society is little more than a set of social conventions and contracts to better serve the needs of the many for the betterment of all.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Anonymous, Reston, VA US 4/12/24

As I recall, Reston, you grew up with welfare and social assistance, public education and credit that with your success in life.  But under a system of regulation for having children, your parents would not have met the requirements, so they would have remained childless, and you would not have been born.

And depending on what political ideology is in vogue, the requirements for parenting might also include tests of political allegiance.  Those with the wrong ideals would be refused while those that would support the party would be approved.  This is how it works in communist Cuba, Reston.  And poverty has not been reduced one iota.

Mike, Norwalk

Spoken like a true immoral, clueless, godless communist; hate and power monger; and otherwise butcher of all that which is good, free, and decent . Family services' abuse of children and families in all states is legendary (as much, if not more harm being done than good). Only the most sick, vile, etc. etc. etc. individual(s) would reverberate or tolerate such concept (its on the same level as would make the graphic torture and mutilation of children humorous). Abortion is only 1st degree murder when compared to the subject at hand.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Indoctrination of our youth! It's social democracy in action. What happen to our Republic?

E Archer, NYC

Once again, good intentions gone awry. And who will set the norms for a parenting license? I would not assume Reston and Kathleen that you would get one. Of course the same people would also be determining whether you should be sterilized or not -- and eventually whether you are to be executed or not for the good of society.

David L Rosenthal

If men were capable of determining the adequate guidelines for such issues, mankind would probably not need them.

Someone, GA

Please don't lump all of us "immoral and godless" folks together. I am atheist, and I disagree with the subject of this quote. While it is clear that plenty of people are terrible parents, licensing and regulation of reproduction is not the answer. E Archer makes some excellent points regarding the dangers of such regulation. Who would set the standards?

David L. Rosenthal

The state might possibly condemn a criminally inadequate parent, after the fact, but the state is incapable of determining who would make a good parent, before the fact. Orientation classes and support groups should be available for those seeking to improve their parenting skills, but the state is no more capable of controling the outcomes of childrearing than it is in determining which technology will be harmful to the environment.

Mike, Norwalk

sorry, Someone, GA

Ken, Allyn, WA

These miserable elitists and pseudo-intellectuals are a danger to everyone. Why bother with licensing? Why not just have forced sterilizations for the undesirables among us? Of course this was done to many uneducated "hicks" of the Appalachians in the '30's who were looked upon as a little less than human. In fact some in my own family would have been prime targets for these government eugenics programs had they not lived so far back in the mountains. It seems we can never get rid of all the Aloph Eichmanns.

BerLynn, IF

There are too many cases of abuse and neglect in the united states to not stand up and finally do something about it. Children can often not speek for themselves, so if society doesn't do it for them who will?

Prof Bob, Oslo

Why not stick to the facts and argue them? Calling people Nazis or fasciasts breaches logic--as Aristotle and every logician since has pointed out. The question is-are children entitled to competent parents--and are all parents today competent? If not, what should be done? For those interested for more in depth discussions of these issues check out http://andgulliverreturns.info

"Bo", Lake Charles, Louisiana

Addressing those who dissagree; Have you ever been witness to the abuses of children? Child molesting fathers and psychologically disturbed mothers. I was a child of someone who should never have had children. And, yes, blah blah blah, i wouldn't be here. But nor would my brother, who, after significant abuses finally commited suicide. I am a patriot and veteran of wars and i believe in freedom and justice for ALL. Children should be raised in an environment of love and security, period. This has absolutely nothing to do with society and everything to do with the children. "Just because you feel that way, does not means its right"

J Carlton, Calgary

So we are, as a general rule going to regulate the laws of nature? We are going to protect children from incompetent parents even before they are shown to be incompetent? And we are going to do this through a bureaucracy? The entire notion is absurd in the sense that there has never been anything in history more incompetent than a government bureaucracy. Abusing children is already a crime. Unfortunately the breakdown in the system is our "Law" system. If we had an actual "Justice" system the punishment for those "proven" to be incompetent or abusive parents would be such that all would know the consequences of hurting a child. Now how about basic parental discipline of children? The complete lack thereof has provided us with a society without morals...A society on the verge of collapse.

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RBESRQ    10/21/09

As I said on yesterdays topics: Though I disagree with this quote I must agree that many parents should be pre-qualified to be a parent. Perhaps if we plowed money into education instead of war and bailing out corporate America there would be no need to even consider such an initiative. It has always amazed me that the pro-lifers are always first to unleash the dogs of war - by the way, isn't killing millions of innocent people with religious and political wars interfering with laws of nature? E. this whole subject of sterilization is stupid - what prevents child abuse is education, education and education. There are over a million children abused in American every year and 99.9% are abused in family households, many of them Christian. Perhaps we could operate on Parents and take out the child abuse gene.

jim k, austin

Ah, yes, another fine government bureau. Even if this wasn't a dispicable idea, the logistics would be a nightmare and the cost out of sight.

Waffler, Smith

Children do or at least should have rights. If the parents violate them the children should have recourse.

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Anon    3/23/10

Would anyone find it hard to believe that once signed, a marriage license makes any children produced wards of the State? The truth is out there.

Sonya, Lansing

who decides what abuse and negelect is? who sets the required standards? Are you so ignorant to believe that just because it's signed that it will be followed. Cheater, dirty cop, imbessler, abuse of power, tax fraud, just a few examples of contracts signed and not being followed. This does not even sound right in theory. I agree something need to be done. I am offended when it is said or implied that single parents produce bad adults for whatever reason. I am offended when it is said that children of single or unmarried parents well become criminals or burdens to society. I am a child of divorced parents. Raised by mother. father absent most of the time. Not abused or neglected. single working mother with no criminal record who works and goes to school. I am not extrodinary I an friends with like situation people. Maybe you are looking at the wrong stats. If I remember correctly the Menendez brothers are from successful married parents. The Colorodo shooting is as a result of a normal married couple as well. Think about it.

Mike, Norwalk

Prof Bob, the facts: License is "A right given by some competent authority to do an act, which without such authority would be illegal."

First, "a right given" in the de jure States united (USA) and at the laws of nature and of nature's God, government has no rights (to give or otherwise) but, duties only. Those duties are to represent individual sovereign's rights. It is an inalienable right of each sovereign to propagate the specie (within the bounds of justice) and then to parent without intrusion from third parties. At law, licensing of an inalienable right is a criminal act.

Second, a "competent authority" does not here include government. In the de jure States united (USA) and at the laws of nature and of nature's God, government's competent authority is limited to representing the individual sovereign's inalienable right to life (violation of being or property, murder), liberty (The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature) and property (perfected allodium / theft). No competent authority extends to parenting.

Third, "which without such authority would be illegal" This raises the question, was parenting illegal before government and/or other third party rights. If parenting was legal before governments, the right continues unabated and not-licensed as a faculty of birth, even after governments are formed. Parents' acts may fall within a preview of justice (that is in toto outside the scope of license)

Fourth, by what lawful nexus did an inalienable right become alienable and then transfer to an intangible concept (government) Lawfully, that is an impossibility; only through criminal acts is such perpetrated.

And, that only begins to scratch the legal surface of licensing. It appears the Kathleen's of the world are ignorant by lack of opportunity (probably a government school development) or has wholeheartedly taken on the religious canons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land (replete with compelled compliance, license, victimeless crimes, larceny and denial of rights) Either way, a pure lack of wisdom or knowledge concerning law, justice, freedom, liberty and rights is expressed.

"overall importance of protecting innocent children" is a misdirection monicker worn and touted by tyrants. BECAUSE government schools, media and other derivatives thereof do not allow the science of natural law and justice to raise their liberty expressing heads (only allowing the discussion to evolve around tyranny's many artful manifestations) no one understands what law is or the workings of justice. To "Bo" above, I have been a witness to your referenced gross and heinous, along with the consequences thereof. To or for me personally, it is to forgive (at the very least) and it is to law to define the crime and justice to restore and rectify.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Mike, Norwalk 4/12/24

Hear, hear, Mike!

Barry Kruse, Petaluma

My head is spinning. I cannot believe the hubris of this man. Maybe we should force people to be licensed before they are allowed to air their opinions in public?

Mike, Pleasant Hill

Hubris of what man?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Licensing is not comprehensive enough. A whole volume should submitted for publication by prospective parents who will go before different review audiences, talk shows, Oprah, whatever discussing every aspect of the publication. Respect for life is going to be internalized by the entire community in the process of the intended introduction of the newborn. The reviews could last 1000 hours discussing of strategies, procedures, goals, comprehensive birth preparation. Prospective parents will become the real celebrities and rightfully so. Socialism is the challenge of social abilities to create a winner.

Mike, Norwalk
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Mike, Norwalk Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 4/11/24

Sillik, legally  licensing would make parenting a criminal act under all circumstances (i.e., a society of criminals). A review audience acceptable to you would be far different than an audience acceptable to me (I would not participate in a review audience). By example: I home schooled all of my children; and, my eldest started university at age 13 (soon turning 14) and competed nationally in sports. I now have 4 grand children from that child and all are educationally advanced beyond their immediate peers. That could not have happened in your criminal / socialist review system.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown 4/12/24

Another completely arbitrary theory to be imposed on the people because some arrogant 'expert' deems it so.  This is just another prime example of authoritarian rule that could not be enforced but by threat. 

This is exactly the kind of narcissistic and arrogant rhetoric I have been talking about, Fred, in which you daily spout.


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