Thursday, July 29, 2004

Two-Child Policy
 
I’m all for this, if only to curb the staggering population growth. The Catholic Church is against the proposal, though I don’t think the policy is entirely anti-family.

One of the criteria for annulment as far as the Church goes is if the marriage affects the couple in their practice of the faith, if continuing the relations makes them as I interpret it, less Catholic. Why can’t this principle be applied to building families?

During the years of our elders, there are couples who have been successful in raising as many as seven to ten children, but the present economic climate makes this endeavor highly stressful. Building a strong relationship with a lot of kids is difficult enough, but providing for their material needs, even the most basic ones, has become an x-variable. We’ve heard enough stories of parents resorting to illegal ventures with the “feeding the children” excuse, thereby making them “less Catholic.” The Church has to realize that the two-child policy is an ounce of prevention to help Catholics in the strengthening of faith.

In my book, a couple should show proof that they can sustain the growth of more than two children. A simple public document like a tax return or even just a partial declaration of liquid assets is a start.

Those who can’t provide proof of financial stability through current livelihood should be subjected to the policy. This isn’t going against their right to build a family. The policy just helps make family-building more financially and emotionally manageable. The brood can be increased once further proof can be presented, complete with an affidavit. The system is summarized thus: when a couple says, “We want to have more than two kids,” we ask, “Can you afford it?” “We’ll work on it” is no longer acceptable.

On a larger scale, the two-child policy supports nation building and promotes the pro-family cry. By analogy, the government is already struggling to take care of 80 million people, with almost 20% below 18 years old and almost half declared as “poor.” Why can’t the Church see that there are just too many poor children running around? Can they conceivably strengthen their faith?

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