Should Parents be Licensed?: Debating the Issues
Prometheus Books, 2004 - Family & Relationships - 364 pages
Would-be teachers are generally required to study fulltime for at least eight months before the state will allow them the responsibility of educating children for six hours a day. Many would say we have set the bar too low. And yet we havenít even set the bar as high ó in fact we havenít set a bar at all ó for parents. Should there be a national parenting policy, including mandatory parenthood training and screening of prospective parents?
In this informative and thought-provoking collection of articles, experts from the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, law, political science, public health, sociology, and anthropology consider the many issues involved in licensing parents. Following a thorough introduction to these issues, editor Peg Tittle presents the contributions in three major sections. The first part focuses on parenting, presenting several proposals for licensing, then taking a closer look at the problem of assessing nurturing skills, drawing on work done in the areas of custody, adoption, and new reproductive technologies.
The second part focuses on parentage, exploring the moral acceptability of passing on genetic disease, as well as the moral implications of genetic engineering.
The third part examines in greater detail objections and replies to the concept of licensing parents. Does everyone have the right to have children? Should contraception ever be mandatory? Should prenatal abuse be criminalized?
The informed debate on these and many other perplexing questions presented in this stimulating book will help to clarify this increasingly important issue.
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A Policy of Parent Licensing
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