How many children allowed per couple?
0 (Lets Go Extinct!)
6.9% (41)
6.9% (41)
1 (Overall reduction in populace)
15.6% (92)
15.6% (92)
2 (Counter balance)
41.5% (245)
41.5% (245)
3 (More Babies!)
14.4% (85)
14.4% (85)
4+ (MOAR BABEYZ!!!)
21.2% (125)
21.2% (125)
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Poll: Maximum Children Allowed per Couple

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Humanity is going to always consume more than it creates. I'm not being misanthropic, I'm just being understanding of the majority. Certain people are NEVER going to be convinced that having more children than they can support, raise, nuture, teach, etc is bad for them. And how exactly are you going to teach them? If you put a child limit then they'll just rationalize their actions against a "us vs oppressive government" scenario where you're the bad guy trying to destroy families.

Sometimes, after going for a stroll in the city I live in, I start thinking that the spartans had the right idea when it came to population control. Seeing people who leech off the community and have more and more ******** kids makes me want to start a genocide.

SECRET OPTION F: Expand into the limitless expanse of space beyond our atmosphere(filled with planets, moons, asteroids, and comets, which in turn have vast amount of resources) and not have to worry about what sounds like a law that is a complete waste of human resources(these will probably be in short demand), time, and money. Enforcing would also be about as easy as trying to give a wolverine an enema, and then you'd have to deal with the civil uproar. Also, what if you set the limit to two kids,and someone has triplets? Or they have one kid and then they have twins? Setting the limit to 3 or 4 isn't helping, that's more kids then most people(or most that I know) have.

RyuujinZERO:

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/World%20Population.JPG

Haha, seems legit. Although I do agree with your points.
Especially about the Boom & Bust Food Resource.

Delsana:
2 Is a nice number.

Now, if they have twins and already had one kid.. or they had quints, or quads, or some strange thing happen... those babies are allowed to stay.

Sure, i agree also, and this would naturally be counter balanced by infertile women, adoptions and such.

There have been some people saying that you can have 2, but you can also have more if you can pay for them.
I would disagree, On a sensitive subject such as this, equality should be kept primarily.
Footballers / Bankers should not be allowed to have a myriad of children because their job is grossly overpaid.
This would cause a large rift between social classes (larger).
Not to mention that the richest people in the world are not necessarily the most skilled.

HappyCastor:
SECRET OPTION F: Expand into the limitless expanse of space beyond our atmosphere and not have to worry about it!

I'd feel quite guilty if humans spread throughout the galaxy without thought.

Well aren't we all feeling cheery and lovely today.

I don't think that anyone should be legally restricted to how many children they have, except perhaps unless there was a huge problem with over-population. Like we have now.

But for the sake of argument I put 3. That seems about right to me. If I ever had children I don't think I'd ever have more than 2, but more than 3 seems pretty ridiculous to me. How the hell do you control that many kids?

As long as the couple can afford the children, sure, have as many as you want. If a couple is on welfare, poor, and lives in squalor, then I would think that it is not ethicly correct to bring more and more children in on such a poor situation. I am one of three children in my family (Though both my parents had a child in a previous marriage) my parents were able to support me and all my siblings rather well, and we were all middle-class. To put a limit on how many children one can have is not right, but to say, start taking babies away when it's proven a parent isn't fit, and keeping them until such a time is determined a parent is fit to care for said child, is a good idea...Now only if we had something like that...A protection service for children perhaps...

Yeah, because that worked so well for China, except for all the problems they had with it. I know overpopulation is an issue but I think dropping a law down on people to limit how many children you can have still has problems that need to be worked out.

Birth rates are highest amongst developing nations and implementing such a rule there wouldn't solve anything. Overpopulation is a non issue in developed nations and anyone who says stuff like this should spend more time actually researching the issue they're debating and less time spouting nonsense.

War is the natural population control, and sadly the easiest method to winning a war is to have a larger population.

One or two, depending on the location and how overpopulated it is. We don't need more humans.

What is it with people asking for these things then going around complaining about the government having too much power...

Capcha: Forget this yeah forget this I'm out of here!

As long as they can care for the children people should have as many as they want. People like Octomom are a disgrace and should have her kids taken away. Chick is doing lowbudget porns and scraping the bottom of the barrel for whatever publicity and cash she can get.

Granted, having 8 kids was not her choice but I feel bad for the kids nonetheless.

My grandad had 12... I intend to break that record.

The overall population needs to be reduced and having lots of children isn't helping, so I'd definitely say as little as possible. However, I wouldn't wish a child to be forced out of having a brother or sister.

In Search of Username:
1, but an unlimited number of adopted children. Seriously I don't get why more people don't adopt. All the, er, fun, of raising a child without the horror of childbirth. :P

But yeah, as others have pointed out, actually implementing any measures like these generally leads to a lack of human rights - even if you implemented it purely through something like financial incentives it'd still have a greater effect on the poor than the rich, so that'd just be another problem. Much as this policy seems necessary, it just isn't feasible.

I'm all for getting rid of this perception we seem to have that babies are the best thing in the world and your life is incomplete if you haven't had one though. Changing people's perceptions is the only real way to do it.

Of course, this will never happen because we're a bunch of idiots, and eventually it'll just be necessary to have the kind of population control they have in China, or die. Bye bye human rights!

Man, we're screwed.

Changing people perceptions of that will be hard as we have all been hardwired to want to have children to spread our DNA into the next generation. Overcoming our natures is a rather hard thing to do.

Aurora Firestorm:
One or two, depending on the location and how overpopulated it is. We don't need more humans.

so no limits on first world countries and heavy limits on 3rd world then?

Lets say we put in a limit of two kids. I'm going to use a real life example of some people I know and then put it into this new law. This family has one kid. They want another. They end up having triplets. Now they have 4 kids. What does the law do to them? Do they have to abort all 3? Do they send two of the kids to adoption? How do they choose which one to keep? Do they simply kill two of them post birth?

My point being this law would be inhumane. Even for people who attempt to follow the law, measures must be taken. It seems unreasonable for the government to force abortions, adoptions, or murders on innocent people.

What about divorce? Lets say I had two kids with my wife and she divorces me and gets sole custody of the kids. Now I get remarried. Can I have more kids with my new wife? If not that would be horrible because she could never have kids.

What if a child dies? Say a child suffers from some sort of condition and dies in infancy. Can I have another kid in that case?

And lets say they do manage to enforce it. How do we know it won't turn out like China's population control where most people wanted a son? That would lead to unnatural population distributions and a lot of infant deaths.

How do you enforce the law? Fines? That might work but it seems unlikely. Chemical castration (or regular castration)? That seems wildly inhumane.

TLDR: The law has too many flaws and could not be implemented humanely. I chose 4+ because limiting births seems shortsighted and could not be executed.

Really? A limit on the number of children you can have? Really? Wars have been fought over smaller infringements of people's freedom.

If you worry about overpopulation, then you could advocate small families. You can make a choice and be vocal about it. If you're worrying about child neglect, you could speak out for better child care services or stricter child care laws.

But if you really feel that the best way to go about it is by outlawing it outright... well... that really says a lot about you. And there's many, many scary analogies that could be drawn to that statement.

Think on it.

No limits. That's just silly. I think trying to persuade people to have less children is a good idea, but forcing them? Just no.

Black-Toof:
Hi everyone,
I was thinking... (Bad idea I know)

I've gotta go with Bujold's "Beta Colony" solution.

Everyone gets contraception implants at 15. These eliminate the ability to reproduce.

When an individual (or a couple) decides that they would like to reproduce, they then attend classes and take a certification test. It is no more difficult than getting a Drivers License.

Upon getting said license, the implants are deactivated until the individual or couple produces a child. The implants are then reactivated.

To get a second child, the individual (or couple) must perform a standard amount of community service. This could be in the form of donating old clothes worth a certain value to Good Will, volunteering at a soup kitchen, buying gifts of the yearly Toys for Tots, etc - basically any community service activity you can claim on your taxes.

When the individual/couple has saved up some points, then can cash them in for a Second Child - their implants are deactivated again and they can go ahead. When second child is born, implants reactivate again.

And that's it. Perhaps certain special accommodations could be made for a third child (like, if one of the others dies, or if one member of the couple has had no children while the other has already had the allotted two due to relationship status changes) but generally, two is it. And it is impossible for "accidents" to occur because everyone uses the same government-issue implants.

There are other issues of course - last time I posted this idea (from a Utopia society sci-fi novel, mind, that also had devices that allowed couples to let an electric Uterus take care of the actual pregnancy without inconveniencing the mother - or fathers, since it was just as easy for this method to be used by gay couples as straight, but that's another thread) a lot of people protested about personal rights and freedoms and stuff.

... which is a bit silly, considering the first thing that came to my mind was device malfunction, but whatever...

Anyway, since this thread already is asking if personal freedoms should be restricted to prevent overpopulation....

YES. Hell yes. For pregnancy safe sex, enforced classes and testing for parents, and population control, I am willing to give up some personal freedoms that are entirely biology based. The personal freedoms GAINED by not having to worry about accidental pregnancy would far outweigh what was being given up.

It's a terrible idea, say there's an accidental pregnancy when they're at the limit.You going to force them to have an abortion? If they are able to hide the baby that mean much worse life for the person. They can't register, can't get a birth certificate or anything so the kid will be like an illegal immigrant.

dagens24:
This thread makes me sick. Procreation is a fundamental human right that should NEVER be limited.

EDIT: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/07/07/china-forced-abortion.html

And where are you going to keep all these extra people? If we want to keep current population rates, we should have started terraforming Mars a good century ago or so.

I think you should only be allowed to have children if you can afford them. Rich people can have as many as they want, because they won't be mooching off the gov't any time soon and their wealth will slowly be redistributed. As poor people slowly die off, there'll be more job openings available. It's a shame that Subsaharan Africa and SE Asia would pretty much go extinct except for a handful of despots, but that's the price of progress, and it's not like anyone born there has any opportunities in life anyway.

This would mean that I'd probably never have children either, which is a shame, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. actually, I'll probably never have children anyway.

China has tried (and continues to try) this idea. It doesn't work very well.

There are far too many "what ifs". Say we only allow two children. A couple has twins who both die of a serious birth defect before they reach six months old. Are the couple allowed to have more children? What if the children die at 8 years old instead? 18? 28? What age do your children need to reach before they make up a permanent part of your "quota"?

RyuujinZERO:

Colour-Scientist:
I think they should be allowed to have as many children as they want to have.

And, where is the spare planet you're going to need to house, feed and supply them?

The birth rate in the UK is already at about 1.7 children per woman, so it seems to be working out just fine without any totalitarian regulation. Some people have loads of kids whilst others have none.

The trend seems to be that as countries become "richer", the birth rate drops. So maybe we should be addressing global poverty rather than fixating on the number of children a couple should be allowed to have.

You know, here in Germany we actually need MORE children. Germany is becoming older and older because people keep having less children.
Yes, the earth is overpopulated. However, you need to think regionally. Some regions need fewer children, some need even more.

Edit:

MetalMagpie:
The trend seems to be that as countries become "richer", the birth rate drops. So maybe we should be addressing global poverty rather than fixating on the number of children a couple should be allowed to have.

This is the solution. Listen to him.
In poor countries: "Oh, the state won't help me, so I need children who support me financially when I can't work anymore." Children are old-age assurance, you need them to survive.
In richer countries: "Oh, children need so much time, effort and especially money! They are hindrances in my way to economic and academic success! Children are luxury, I will focus on my own goals."
We need to find a middle-way. We need to assure that children won't be hindrances in someone's way to happiness and success, but also assure that no one needs lots and lots of children to survive.

I think positive reinforcement is probably the easiest way to implement a desired policy of this type, with incentives and tax rebates for up to 2 kids, and less incentives, reduced incentives, or none even, for families with more. That way, people can have as many kids as they want, but are rewarded for up to 2.

But that's just my opinion.

I always love it when people bring up how we should totally limit births. Yeah, no, that's a stupid idea. We actually need more births. What we also need is alot more of the resource drains we call old people to kick it.

I remember hearing somewhere that to have sustainable growth the mean number of children per couple is actually 2.1 rather than 2. This takes into account premature deaths, accidents, disease etc. and that, apparently, it is slightly more likely to have a boy than a girl (not sure on the truth of that).

I grew up in a family of 6 (4 kids) but I'd be inclined to say 2. If anything, the more kids you have the more of a pain they can be :p

Meh... I can't say I really care.

As long as I don't have to have any, whatever.

Imposing a limit on how many children a couple can have is a really, really bad idea from a PR standpoint. I personally hate children to be honest and think people whose children outnumber the fingers on their hands are completely irresponsible but I would hate to think what kind of death threats I'd get from those same people when I came over telling them to stop with the fuck-making. To be honest though, I think a good counter to this would be to have kids in a spaced-out time frame. If you want a family of six fine but maybe limit yourself to one pup every 5 years. It makes sense to me...

I think people should be able to have as many children as they can handle and support, and I think the last thing we want is a law telling us what that number is.

I think it works just fine as is. The more advanced a country gets, the more land it takes to support each person and interestingly enough, the fewer children they seem to have.

Really, a decent sized farmstead can support twelve people. We could probably support DOZENS of billions of people. It's when we all insist on consuming oil, natural gas, coltan, difficult-to-grow foods, etc. that we start having problems.

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