Should People Be Required to Obtain a License Before Becoming Parents?

Reading Assignment with Persuasive Essay Prompt
Should People Be Required to Obtain a License Before Becoming Parents?
By Bobbi Leder, OpEd News, September 7, 2009
We have to obtain a license before getting married and driving a motor vehicle, yet we aren’t required to get a license to become parents. How does that make sense when raising a human being should be the most important job in the world? It seems that having children isn’t always a decision that is well thought out, and in some cases it just happens by accident. Some people choose to bring life into the world knowing full well they are not capable of taking care of that life – I guess they assume the government, teachers, or family will pitch in and do their job for them.
Of course, there are extremely responsible and loving parents out there, and there are people who would make wonderful parents, but for reasons beyond their control, they won’t ever achieve that goal. But I’m talking about people who have children and raise them irresponsibly, which inevitably affects not only society, but scars those children for life.
I know only a few people who have had children for the right reasons; I also know a few who have had children to save their marriage – which is a horrible burden to place on a child. I’m sick of watching the news and learning about people abusing their kids, neglecting them, and leaving them in cars (during the sweltering heat) with the windows rolled up. I just don’t understand why these people have children. Having a child is a gift, and parents should treat their children as such. Raising a human takes patience, love, education, compassion, sympathy, and time. If you don’t have the time or the desire to spend your weekends reading to your child, teaching them how to ride a bike, going to the zoo, cleaning up dirty hands, or helping with homework, then don’t do it.
There are so many unwanted, neglected and abused children and it saddens me that they were brought into the world by irresponsible people. Often these children grow up with low self esteem and wind up falling into a life of crime. I know there are also children who go through adversity and wind up better human beings for it; they go on to become psychologists, teachers, and social workers. They go into politics to help change the world, and they become successful in whatever field they choose – but that is not the norm. Go into any inner city where kids are growing up with one parent who they rarely see and another one who left years ago and never contacts the kids – see how successful those children become when they turn into adults. Chances are they will just repeat the cycle and wind up becoming what they loathe most: their own parents.
Why is it that when we adopt, we have to go though strict tests to make sure we are going to be fit parents, yet when it’s a biological child no tests are required? The government should make sure that people have the resources, the knowledge, the proper housing (one where there is no mold), and the time to take care of children before being allowed to become parents. Shouldn’t a license to become a parent be just as important as a license to drive a car?
Article condensed from Leder-090902-457.html
• In your introduction, briefly identify the author’s main points.
• Then, in a persuasive essay, discuss your position on whether or not people should be required to obtain a license to become parents. Use text evidence from The Glass Castle and observations and experiences in your own life to support your argument.
● Three or more excellent reasons need to be stated with good support.
● A solid conclusion needs to be written
Remember that to be successful in this essay, you must have a solid thesis, good reasons, and a strong conclusion.
Outline format
Introduction (3-5 sentences)
● Hook: question, descriiption in 1-2 sentences
● Background Information
● Thesis Statement – A strong argument in 1 sentence
Body Paragraphs (3 paragraphs)
● Argument 1 with supporting evidence
● Argument 2 with supporting evidence
● Argument 3 with supporting evidence
Conclusion (3-5 sentences)
● Summarize
● Restate thesis statement
● Make a closing statement

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