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The Changing Landscape of Parenting Rights and Responsibilities

In a world where parenting norms and beliefs are constantly evolving, a recent proposal by a World Economic Forum (WEF) professor, Connor Kianpour, has sparked a heated debate. Kianpour's assertion that parents should require a government-issued license to raise their children and that they must align with certain societal agendas has raised concerns and led to discussions on the future of parental rights.

The Shift in Parenting Philosophy:

In Kianpour's paper titled "The Kid's Aren't Alright: Expanding the Role of the State in Parenting," he argues that the government should assume a more substantial role in the upbringing of children. He boldly claims that biological parents have no inherent right to raise their own children. This assertion has raised eyebrows and prompted in-depth analysis of his proposals.

Parental Rights Under Scrutiny:

According to Kianpour, parents should not be alarmed by the government's increasing involvement in child-rearing, as he maintains that parents have no intrinsic right to rear their biological children. He argues that since these rights do not exist, regulated parenting policies cannot be seen as a threat to them. This perspective challenges the conventional understanding of parental rights.

The Concept of Parental Licensing:

Kianpour's proposal for a "parental licensing scheme" involves a series of requirements that prospective parents would need to meet. This includes government-approved views on various issues, such as pro-LGBTQ+ stances and acceptance of diverse backgrounds. Strongly opposing views, such as homophobia or racism, would disqualify individuals from becoming parents, according to Kianpour.

Testing and Standards for Parental Competency:

To assess whether prospective parents meet the required standards, government officials would need to develop and implement specific criteria for parental competency. This would involve evaluating individuals against these criteria, preventing those who fail to meet them from raising children.

The Implications and Concerns:

Proponents of traditional family values and parental rights express deep concerns regarding Kianpour's proposals. Kimberly Ells, a pro-family leader, highlights the potential dangers and disruption to the functioning of families and society as a whole. She warns that such ideas, while seemingly radical, are not as far-fetched as they might appear and could gain traction in some circles.

A Broader Academic Movement:

Kianpour's ideas are not isolated; they are part of a broader academic movement challenging parental rights and advocating for increased state control over child-rearing. Law Professor James Dwyer, for instance, argues for the state to take a more dominant role in defining parental relationships, claiming that the state confers legal parenthood.

Concerns About Academic Extremism:

While these ideas may appear extreme to many, they reflect a growing trend within academia that seeks to delegitimize parental rights. Additionally, some academics have advocated for the normalization of child-adult relationships, which raises alarming concerns about the direction of certain academic research and advocacy.


The ongoing debate surrounding Connor Kianpour's proposals emphasizes the changing landscape of parental rights and responsibilities. It raises essential questions about the role of government in child-rearing, the rights of parents, and the potential implications for families and society as a whole. As discussions continue, it is crucial to consider the balance between individual freedoms and societal interests in shaping the future of parenting.

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