Should There Be Limits On Who Becomes A Parent?

elders with a baby.jpg

My ‘Me-ternity Leave’ post managed to get me branded as the ultimate hater of family. Today, I’m going to dig myself even deeper by questioning is there should be limits on who becomes a parent? You just have to visit the UK and you’ll surely encounter a ridiculously young chav mother with a baby in one hand and ciggy in the other to question whether just because one is able to procreate that necessarily means they are capable of being a half decent parent?

OKCupid certainly thinks this is an important issue as one of the questions it uses to match users is : Do you think stupid people should be allowed to have children?  Well, this questions is itself just that STUPID because it is subjective and dependent on how we define the term stupid – Is it someone with a low IQ? A kid who failed to finish high school? Or can someone with a PhD even be classed as stupid if they air ignorant/racist views?  While it may be a useful exercise for OKCupid users (maybe I’ll get matched with another hater of family and we’ll live happily ever after) but in the grand scheme of things it is pretty pointless because it’s not as if most of our opinions are going to change things.

While our opinions have little control over who has kids, there is something that does and that’s nature. I’m no scientist so I have very limited knowledge on why some people are able to spread their legs and get pregnant while others have to jump through hoops to have a child. Thankfully (for some a least), the forces of nature are no match for the human intelligence and advancements in medical science have meant that those who aren’t able to have kids the traditional route still have hope. From IVF to sperm donation and surrogates there are plenty of other ways for people (especially those with money) to continue increasing the world’s population.

While I do support such advances and am fully aware that thanks to them many reproductively challenged people have been able to have the one thing they’ve always ever wanted, I do think such methods also allow for an element of control (although at present it seems that if one has enough money they’ll get access to these services) and as such need to be used responsibly.

One of the things that got me thinking about limits on who should be parents was the case of the 70-something couple in India that had a baby via IVF. None of us have any idea of when we are going to die and the fear of the grim reaper certainly shouldn’t put us off having a child. But I would have thought that would be a greater concern for a 70-something than for the average 30-something mother? I really hope this old couple live long enough to see all the important milestones in their child’s life (especially after waiting so long for him!) but you do have to wonder whether such cases show IVF being used irresponsibly?

In this case, we can’t solely blame the doctors involved. The couple from a part of India where their inability to have a baby meant they were stigamatised and they were believed to be cursed so even if they had been open to the options of adopting or fostering a child when they were younger would not have seen an end to their problems. But still, is it really a legitimate reason to have a child at such an age? If they are alive when he graduates university the chances of health being questionable is at least very high. I’m not saying age should be only limiting factor…how about a person’s capability to bring up a child? Should criminals or peadophiles be allowed to procreate? What about poor people (I’m not sure but I doubt at present they’d have access to things like IVF)?

At the end of the day, I don’t think that having the ability to impregnate a women or simply being able to push out a kid makes you a (good) parent. The best parents are those who have either made the considered decision to have a baby or, in the case of accidental pregnancy, decided  to grow up and put someone else’s needs before their own.  It’s not simply about following the crowd, avoiding the stigma or satisfying some temporary broody phase. A child is a long-term commitment (just like a puppy – sorry I couldn’t help myself!) and people should make the decision to have or not to have a child responsibly.

Ok darling Rinsers, go wild. Do you think there should be limits on who should be a parent? Should elders be allowed to have babies via IVF? Is it any different from those with serious medical conditions procreating? What about those who can barely afford stand on their own two feet financially? Should they have kids knowing full well that they’ll have to turn to outside parties for support?      


  1. Are you anti family? Your last two post kind of leave me thinking something is a mistake here. I do think teenagers shouldn’t have babies too young too immature but to say too old…seriously? If we were to go by if a person is straight financially or not many of the people born would never be. But the real issue is why are you even going there on this subject it’s insulting to even think there should be a limit …Miss you’re too old to have a children, sir how dare sire a children and be 70 years old or excuse me you’re not rich enough to have children so…we are cutting you off…seriously you wasn’t kidding about digging a deeper hole…for yourself. None of what you suggest matters when it comes who is a good parent. Trust me.


    • I’m not anti-family. But people assumed I was. I am anti irresponsibility though.

      I do think there should be an upper limit to people having children, especially when it can be controlled by doctors.

      I think if I was in my 70s I wouldn’t want to bring a child into this world, knowing the likely hood of me be alive to see the big milestones in their life was unlikely. Sure this couple faced stigma for not being able to have a child. But what about the kid? He may face stigma at school for having such old parents. How about if the die really soon? (yes I know a 30 something mum can die too..but you know its different!) I wouldn’t want to have a child knowing full well I’ll be leaving it orphaned (the chances are quite high).

      Scientific advances are great but they need to be used responsibly. We shouldn’t keep making babies to push boundaries or for our own selfish desires.

      Liked by 2 people

      • How often do you see such a wide gap in age between parents and children? It’s not the norm for sure and it does have some challenges all of which are real ,but to set limits seriously???? To call someone who has lived at least double your life irresponsible doesn’t sound fair does it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • They would be no point setting limits if it was out of society’s control. For example, my issue with the ‘should stupid people be allowed to have kids?’. But in this case it was in a position to be controlled because they were using IVF. I think that technology has a time and a place…and this wasn’t it. I do think it was used irresponsibly on the part of the doctor. It seems it was very much an experiment to see how far they could push the boundaries of science.

        As for calling the old couple irresponsible…not all wisdom comes with age! It’s an ethical matter of bringing a new person into the world that you may not be around to take care of.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Without offending you what do you have against society? You want to put a limit on things that happen naturally like having children, and your previous post about maternity leave …comes across very angry and controlling. Instead of ranting against older ones having children how about really ran of teenagers having babies , babies having babies and having more than one and living off the state on taxpayer dollars….that maybe be a more fair rant, it is something that happens more frequent than older having children as part of a science experiment.


      • I have nothing against society or against babies. I do have something about people being indoctrinated into believing that having children is the BEST life path for everyone (as this old couple were). Even in more ‘progressive’ Western societies it seems like if you don’t give the world a child you are not fulfilling your womanly duty.

        My posts are intended to open people’s eyes and help people realise that there are alternative life paths which are just as legitimate as marriage and babies. In fact, if we encouraged alternatives maybe we’d have fewer social problems like divorce and unwanted progeny.

        As for the teenagers having babies – don’t get me started. I have a lot to say about the stupidity of that. But maybe if country’s such as they UK stopped giving these teenagers incentives to have babies then they’d be more keen to use contraceptions.

        The difference between teenagers and the old people is that they teenagers can’t be controlled – they are out there on their rampant mission to have kids. In the case of the old people, there was a doctor involved. There was actually some scope for intervention.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Making dogmatic statement about having a limit is not the way to raise awareness,you apparently aren’t going to be adding to the population anytime soon. Where is said that having children is the best path? I think there is enough evidence either way that shows which ever way you choose to live there are cost and responsibilities to be had either being single or being married with children or whatever. Making dogmatic statements follows the same path you accuse others of doing to you


      • I didn’t make a statement. Look at the title of the post. It has a question mark at the end. A question that is intended on making people think and stimulate some debate.

        I made no indication of whether or not I’d be adding to the population anytime soon. If I eventually do I hope it would only be after some thought about what kind of life I’d be able to offer my kids.

        The fact that society is willing to support people (male/female) who have children with benefits such as maternity leave but offers little support for people who choose to follow other life paths that don’t involve children – i.e. travelling, writing books, volunteering, etc – demonstrate that society thinks that having a baby is more legit than any of the above.

        I think sometimes people make a wise and brave decision not to have kids. They admit that they can’t offer a person a good quality of life and so opt not to bring a kid into the world and maybe adopt a puppy instead. I believe these people also need to be commended and made an example of. Instead of being stigmatized/ penalised for not giving the world a baby.

        As it stands, people can CHOOSE to have kids. That’s fine and good. Until it falls to society/childless people to pick up the pieces of other people poorly made choices/mistakes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • On another note, we are basing our beliefs on western culture. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like in India or anyplace, but maybe that culture has a different view point and maybe that couple has a huge network of extended family that encouraged them to do it. Lol. I really have no idea, but that’s just it, I have no idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is a good point. I do hope some provision has been made for the family to take care of this baby should the parents die (as should be done regardless of age) and in India that is probably likely. That would be responsible parenting.

        But again, why the desperate need to have a baby in your 70s? Could they not have adopted … especially in a country that is known for being overpopulated?

        Especially in India, I think doctors need to be a little bit careful when using IVF.


  2. For me, there are too many abstracts in the above passage. Age, money, intelligence…all these terms need to be quantified–and looked at individually. And none of these terms have anything to do with your capacity to love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get what you are saying. Of course a 70 year old can love, but don’t you think it should be as a grandparent at that stage?

      Our grandparents love us but there role is very different to that of our parents.

      I personally feel its a little irresponsible to have a child at such an age. Sure you’ll love them but the chances are you’ll probably kick the bucket before the child gets to high school. And so they are worried about the stigma that comes from not having a child? What about the stigma that child faces for having such elderly parents?

      With all of the things I mentioned (except maybe the intelligence thing), its about being responsible and putting a child’s needs before your own? If you know your broke and already on benefits, what kind of life will your child have?

      Naturally, its all circumstantial and not and black and white issue. But all I am saying is just because IVF is available to us doesn’t mean it should be used in all cases.

      And you mentioned capacity to love not being defined by age, intelligence and money. I agree, but bringing a child into the world and giving it a half decent childhood is about more than just love.

      What about alcoholic mothers that have their children taken away by social services? Its not because they can’t love them but because they are not capable of looking after a child properly.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There are too many people already living on this planet to support a developed western lifestyle for everyone. It’s not about family, love, parenting or any other emotion biased proposition, it’s a simple fact of resources. Imagine the consumption if every person had a middle class lifestyle? At the present state, we’ve destroyed more wildlife, natural resources, and created more plastic waste than this planet can sustain. Simply take a look at the population expansion from 1939 – 2015! There’s never been such a human increase in the history of mankind. Now, imagine people living into their 100’s as an average life expectancy…have some more babies?


  4. There are no conditions in love dear… parenting is nothing more than selfless love..if one thinks that they can love the child with all that they have, then they are fit to become parents…but if you are being forced by social dogmas to become a parent than please spare the as already crowded planet😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! India is especially overcrowded! If they truly wanted to be selfless why could they have not adopted a child who was in desperate need of a home? Why the need to wait so long to give birth? These silly social pressures need to change and asap.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sure. But how about when children stop being solely the parents problem? How about when society has to eventually take care of that child?

        So many people make the decision to have children but when they can’t look after them – who pays?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm…The Chinese Government did that with it’s One Child Policy 😉

        But I am not advocating such a heavy handed approach but maybe just letting people know that there are alternatives to having their own biological kids. It not always necessary for fork out millions on IVF.


  5. What a controversial topic huh? Aha I completely get where you are coming from and I agree, it’ll depend on a case by case basis. Really raised an interesting topic though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay thought more about it and I don’t think having babies should have an age limit. Whether or not they SHOULD be having a baby is another subject. And shouldn’t we focus on telling people not to stigmatise children who have old parents instead of telling old parents not to have children because of what everyone thinks? My two cents anyway aha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment.

      Stigma is bad in either case. For the child and for the parent. But those things won’t change over night.

      There are also practical concerns for old people having kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think maybe one of the issues about older parents is not the love but their ability to keep up with the child physically, toddlers are so fast! I also think it’s very sad also that, that child will potentially lose it parents very young, we hope there is an extended family to bring that child up if the parents become sick and infirm.
    I think maybe we can’t put limits on who has children, unfortunately in the cases where children are abused. I personally think if the state has to pay for IVF for anybody then it shouldn’t happen. It is not a right to have kids imo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment.

      I am not doubting that these people will love their child. Grandparents love their grandkids but they are expected to play a very different role in a child’s life.

      With all these scenarios my point is people can do whatever they want…it’s really none of our business. When it does become our business is when we have to support the children they leave behind or can’t look after properly. Poorly made decisions have the potential to become problems for society/tax payer in many ways – financially but also in terms of social issues that may arise from children who don’t receive decent parenting.

      I’m not necessarily saying having an age limit. But maybe this couple could have been made aware of other options such as adopting a kid in their 30s/40s.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. […] Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages. The members of Coupleverse are usually quite advanced in adulting. When you’re single you’re planning your Friday night on a Thursday (best case scenario) or even on the same day. In Coupleverse you plan an event at least a week ahead (although I must confess we have events in our SHARED calendar that are happening only in a month or two). This is all very practical but sometimes I do miss more spontaneous meet-ups because one feels so and not because it’s been scheduled. Cancelling is also a big no-no unless a REAL reason for it appears unexpectedly. After all if you’re not going your partner won’t go either and if the plan was just two couples that’s just being a party pooper. There’s also a part of adulting which takes over conversations and that’s all the mundane stuff that has to do with advantages of Pick’n’Pay over Woolies and the other way round, retirement, medical aid, prenups and the most pressurizing topic CHILDREN and pregnancy. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The reason we are more geared towards helping people have kids, rather than those who don’t is simply biological, we need to procreate, in order for the species to survive. Most civilisations need that renewal of citizens. The idea of restrictions on procreation based on arbitrary and un-quantifiable criteria is just as irresponsible as the current whatever goes policy we have now. That said, it is a conversation to be had. We do have an exploding population, something needs to change before we start running out of things, or civilisation starts to crumble. I agree with you that, that child rearing is not for everyone and there is a stigma to not conforming. Being pro or anti family isn’t a black and white thing, we are all somewhere in between.

    Thanks for the post, it was an interesting conversation starter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment. I don’t dislike children or think people need to necessarily stop, I just wish that the other options were promoted equally.

      Not every country has an exploding population – some countries have negative birth rates as well. But also remember we can also use immigration to even things out as well.

      Hope you’ll keep following our blog for more interesting topics.

      Liked by 1 person

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