Parents of a child should either be MARRIED or in a VERY STRONG, LASTING COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP. There are no two ways about this. In addition to these components, parents of a child must be at least solidly middle class socioeconomically & have at the minimum a college education. It is preferable for parents to be upper middle to upper class so that children can have myriad intellectual, cultural, educational, & socioeconomic opportunities.
Poor & less educated parents(married) should NEVER think of having children. Such parents have absolutely nothing to offer their children & these children will be condemned to a childhood of struggle, want, poverty, & diminished opportunities which will adversely affect them in adulthood. I would like to add that there should be psychological tests & licensing before any couple want to be parents. Not everyone is parent material. Parenthood should be a privilege, not a right. Too many unqualified people are parents-look at the detrimental & deleterious effects of such parents on our society & culture.
My rules regarding being a parent:
(1) Married or in a strong committal relationship.
(2) Be at least solidly middle class. It is preferable to be upper middle & upper class. Children who are poor have diminished chances & opportunities. There is also more stress in poor households.
(3) Have a college &/or advanced education. Educated parents have more to offer intellectually & academically to their children, giving them a head start. Children of educated parents have more advantages & are academically advanced as opposed to children of less educated parents.(4) Be emotionally, intellectually, & psychologically mature.
(5) Don't have children before they are at least 31. Parents should be established educationally & socioeconomically before having children. They should explore relationship options(sowing wild oats) so they have no regrets when married or in committal relationships. Better to have children when one is in the mid-30s. Parents in their 30s have explored their youth & life options so they are more patient w/their children than parents in their 20s who haven't lived yet & have resentments towards their children because of lost youth.