“Unmarried people should not have children.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view. Refer to Judaism in your answer. (6 marks)
The answer to this question could come from a number of units in the GCSE syllabus both from Year 10 (Family Life) and Year 11 (Life and Death, Relationships and Lifestyle). As such I have placed this question under all three categories as the basic principles underlying the answer can be learnt from all three.
The main issue here is a moral question as to whether or not unmarried people should be bringing children into the world. It might be important to differentiate between people who live together and are just not married and cases where there will be just one parent in the home raising the children.
Let’s ask the question in the following way:
Is it responsible for an unmarried couple to bring children into the world?
Does it make a difference if people are married or not before having children?
I would use the following points to construct an answer from:
• Children need a stable environment to be raised in. Committed parents can provide for a great number of years.
• Children will learn the most about relationships from their parents so as part of their education; they should have married parents to learn from.
• The Torah commands people to get married prior to having children. The Torah actually prohibits sex before marriage.
• Many people who may have gotten divorced or lost spouses raise children who grow up to be responsible, stable individuals.
• There are many people who are married and don’t care about their children so one could argue that they should not have been allowed to have children
• It is more important that one cares about their children than having paperwork to say that they are committed to the other.
• It is a Mitzvah to have children as the Torah obligates us to “be fruitful and multiply.”
Some would argue that unmarried people should not have children because children need to be raised in a stable environment. People who are married are able to provide a stable environment for their children for many years as marriage is a declaration of commitment to certain values and goals.
Furthermore, children learn a great deal about relationships from their parents and this is an important part of their development as a human being in society.
The Torah prohibits sex before marriage so from a Jewish perspective one has to be married before having children.
On the other hand, some people do not have a choice – they may have gotten divorced or their spouse may have died and they are perfectly capable of raising responsible stable individuals. There are also many bad parents who are married and have children who cause social problems in society.
In conclusion, I believe it is important to be in a committed stable relationship (which is usually marriage) before having children to start with as this will give the child the best chances for a stable upbringing.
Some words here about the topic