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Having Kids — Should There Be A Limit?

dsc_0120_cropThe folks at WalletPop UK, noting that a survey commissioned by the Optimum Population Trust indicates that nearly a third of people in the UK would support a cap on the number of kids a couple can have, took a look at the financial implications of family size.  Their conclusion?  Although kids are expensive and do cost the taxpayers money, they do pay that back when they become adults and begin paying taxes.  Furthermore, the author notes that at some point in the future, the current crop of parents will be grandparents (Get off my lawn!) and we will need those kids to support us and care for us.

Now, I do have more kids — three, to be exact — than most of the other families I know, but I would hardly describe us as “out-of-control” the way WalletPop does.  The Duggars?  Sure, but us?  No way.  We do have, of course, more kids than parents, but population growth is not so simple.  As an example, if you were to add up all of my wife’s siblings and siblings-in-law, and compare that number to the total number of kids, it actually comes up equal — 12 parents and 12 kids — despite some couples being “out-0f-control” to the tune of three kids each.

But the world population does appear to be growing steadily and it’s not hard to see that we have a limited amount of resources and space.  So do we need to limit the number of children each family has?  While I’m definitely not in favor of the number of people on the planet increasing, I’m also not in favor of placing limits on family size.  While I may not think that 18 kids and counting is such a good idea in the grand scheme of things, I also know it’s not my place — nor anyone else’s — to make such a judgment for anyone other than my own family.

Some, however, say that the need to protect the environment and our need to preserve natural resources outweighs individual rights in this matter — that has been the case in China for 30 years.  Still, I don’t think legislation such as China’s one-child policy is the way to go.  Sure, advertise, encourage, and educate the public to let them know the reasons not to have lots of kids, but I can’t support forcing that decision on them.  What say you?

Photo: kconnors

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