On Dec. 6, the LA Times reporter Karin Klein has some questions about marriage and that Presumptious Phrase: "Responsible Procreation":
"If that's the purpose, why on earth do we let people marry who have no interest in having children? How can we let the elderly marry, or people with infertility problems? Why do we let people who aren't ready for responsible child-rearing give up their children for adoption, and why do we let couples who have all the desire and ability for children adopt them, and why do we let inattentive parents get married?"
Let me answer briefly:
a. Because when they have sex they can make children, even if they aren't interested. Intention is not what makes babies.
b. Because every man and woman who marries can give any child they create a mom and dad, and none who are faithful to their vows will create fatherless children in alternative relationships.
c. Um, because the alternative is irresponsible and incompetent parenting? Giving up a child is such a difficult thing to do, we're inclined to believe the young mother when she says it's necessary.
d. How do we know they are inattentive parents? The fact they are willing to take on the responsibility of marriage--fidelity and joint parenting and caretaking--helps filter who's in a position to be an attentive parent. Don't have kids unless you first find someone you want to be tied to for the rest of your life. It improves deciionmaking among those attracted to the opposite sex.