Having children MUST be regulated.
Society normally regulates a certain range of activities; it is illegal to perform these activities unless one has received prior permission to do so. We require automobile operators to have licenses. We forbid people from practicing medicine, law, pharmacy, or psychiatry unless they have satisfied certain licensing requirements. Society's decision to regulate just these activities is not ad hoc. The decision to restrict admission to certain vocations and to forbid some people from driving is based on an eminently plausible, though not often explicitly formulated, rationale. We require drivers to be licensed because driving an auto is an activity which is potentially harmful to others, safe performance of the activity requires a certain competence, and we have a moderately reliable procedure for determining that competence. The potential harm is obvious: incompetent drivers can and do maim and kill people. The best way we have of limiting this harm without sacrificing the benefits of automobile travel is to require that all drivers demonstrate at least minimal competence.
Consequently, any activity that is potentially harmful to others and requires certain demonstrated competence for its safe performance, is subject to regulation that is, it is theoretically desirable that we regulate it. If we also have a reliable procedure for determining whether someone has the requisite competence, then the action is not only subject to regulation but ought, all things considered, to be regulated.
Parenting is an activity potentially very harmful to children. The potential for harm is apparent: each year more than half a million children are physically abused or neglected by their parents. Many millions more are psychologically abused or neglected--not given love, respect, or a sense of self-worth. The results of this maltreatment are obvious. Abused children bear the physical and psychological scars of maltreatment throughout their lives. Far too often they turn to crime. They are far more likely than others to abuse their own children. Even if these maltreated children never harm anyone, they will probably never be well-adjusted, happy adults. Therefore, parenting clearly satisfies the first criterion of activities subject to regulation.
Licensing is unacceptable, someone might say, since people have a right to have children, just as they have rights to free speech and free religious expression – although in Africa especially, this form of expression has turned South Africa into a largely uneducated, dangerous welfare state.
Some facts from China's One Child Policy most strictly applies to Han Chinese living in urban areas of the country. It does not apply to ethnic minorities throughout the country. Han Chinese represent more than 91% of the Chinese population. Just over 51% of China's population lives in urban areas. In rural areas, Han Chinese families can apply to have a second child if the first child is a girl. When the One Child Policy was adopted in 1979, China's population was about 972 million people. In 2012 the population of China is about 1.343 billion people, 138% growth over that time period. By contrast, India's population in 1979 was 671 million and in 2012 India's population is 1.205 billion people, which is 180% over the 1979 population. By most estimates, India will surpass China as the world's most populous country by 2027 or earlier, when both countries' population is expected to reach about 1.4 billion.
If China continues its One Child Policy in the decades to come, it will actually see its population decrease. China is expected to peak in population around 2030 with 1.46 billion people and then begin falling to 1.3 billion by 2050.
Child rearing must be regulated!