As the world population continues to grow, people are beginning to realize that wide open spaces may quickly become tightly packed cities without control of birth rates.
China is the only country to prohibit the birth of more than one child per family. Any additional pregnancies are excessively fined. (There are often rumors that many pregnancies are ended with an illegal mandatory abortion.) While this result is very harsh in comparison to India, Iran and the United States that only strongly encourage family planning, I question why fertile males and females are not simply sterilized after their first child. This seems to be the most humane option.
An alternative to the dilemma in China is to implement specific criteria for potential parents. I would suggest an automatic sterilization of any mature male or female with a below average IQ or cognitive development. Next, people with serious genetic conditions, like sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis, would not be allowed to procreate. Because of modern medicine, individuals with such ailments live much longer, increasing the probability of baring children. Sterilization would prevent the genetic exchange of serious conditions and ultimately reduce the occurrence of these devastating diseases. (I am not against modern medicine, but it does interfere with natural occurrences regarding longevity.)
Now, I am not so cruel as to say that individuals that didn’t meet the established procreation guidelines couldn’t be parents. Adoption is a great system that places over 100,000 children every year in the United States. Fiscally and mentally capable adults would be encouraged to expand their families through adoption. To draw a comparison, Tristan (from the folk tale, Tristan and Iseult) was adopted and was given great opportunities through his uncle. (His situation may have been very different without his uncle’s influence and fatherhood.)
Ultimately, according to Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest, the earth eliminates over-population with various natural methods (disease, starvation, poor living conditions). The best in a population of animals will survive and the weak links will die off. Unfortunately, humans could face this very same dreadful fate without some biological control of rapid reproduction. Sterilization is the simplest solution that prevents mass natural disaster.