Parenting

Minimum Age For Raising Children Should Be Established

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My friend just told me about how a site she frequents has all of these teenage girls saying how badly they want to get pregnant and have a baby and whatever. Some as young as probably 14 or 15 years old. I can't even begin to imagine the awful consequences of being raised by a young teenage mother. How would I have turned out? Probably not too well, because teen parents create more problems than they prevent. It's truly an awful thing. Hell, not even most people in their early 20s have yet developed the maturity required to raise a child, and same can even be said of some middle aged folks, but I digress. The line needs to be drawn somewhere. 

Given all of the problems that usually come of children to young parents, it seems a perfectly reasonable thing to require individuals to have attained a certain age before being allowed to raise children. We already have ages that are required to be attained for driving, tobacco use, voting, drinking alcohol, gambling, among other things, and it has to do with level of maturity. Why, then, shouldn't there be a minimum age to raise a child, something that requires far more maturity than any of these things. 

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By age 25, most people are at least somewhat socially mature (some more mature than others, but reasonably mature), and are probably mature enough to raise a child by this time. People in their early 20s even just do not have the maturity nor the personal discipline to raise children (some might, but those are a rare exception, and not the rule). By age 25, the reproductive system has matured and is fully developed and therefore ready to handle a pregnancy. Given these social and biological factors, it seems reasonable to set a minimum age requirement to raise a child to be age 25. 

Setting a minimum age requirement to raise a child would alleviate so many problems. It would alleviate the problem of a child having to be raised by the grandparents due to having a minor parent. It would also alleviate the problem of socially immature parents who just are not ready to raise a child. Further, it would prevent reproductive health problems in young women, and would provide more opportunities for mature, of-age parents to adopt children.

That said, should there be any legal repercussions to a teenage girl getting pregnant or a teenage boy impregnating a girl? No, there should not be. Said couple should not, however, be allowed to keep the child. Termination or adoption would be the only options offered in this case, but aside from that, I'm not advocating for jail time, a fine, or even forcing said individuals to be given contraceptives against their will. 

Nobody is a perfect parent, but young parents are far from ideal, and as a general rule, extremely dangerous to the well-being of a child. Requiring a minimum age to raise a child would be beneficial to children and to society as a whole.