Granted, our leadership pulled out of the Paris Agreement, but we can all still make decisions to protect the planet and each other. We can do better than our failing government. We live in a different era than our parents, in that we are now presented data regarding climate change and the carbon footprint of humans, especially those in developed nations. If one accepts the data, the decision to come up with a new plan doesn’t seem so absurd. There is a knee-jerk reaction to the Fair Start model, but if we can get past that, the model helps open us up to think about more factors than previous generations may have.
Personally, I currently have no kids. I have been part of Plan International USA (not affiliated with HK) for nine years, where I provide monthly donations to a community and hear back from the Plan-sponsored child. The first child was in Cambodia and the current child is in the Philippines. It’s rewarding to hear about community improvements, from latrines to school supplies.
The success of family planning can be seen in nations like Thailand, where the population has remained at a steady level for decades and its citizens have enjoyed greater access to federally-funded healthcare and education than some of its neighbors. Also, per capita income has nearly doubled since 1971, when the policy officially launched.
So long as the methods are noncoercive, I don’t see a downside to the Fair Start model. On the contrary, as the White Paper (draft) articulates so well, there are many upsides at the micro and macro levels.
About the Fair Start model:
Today many families are adopting the Fair Start family planning model. First, they try to give their child a fair start in life by having a smaller family where they can invest more in their child. Often they also foster or adopt one of the many children eagerly waiting for parents. Second, they a public role model of these choices. Finally, these families join public advocacy campaigns to shift resources from extractive centers of power like governments, corporations, and wealthy families in order to democratically empower children and future citizens by incentivizing better family planning by all parents. Why? All parents know that the quality of their own child’s life will depend on the decisions of other parents regarding having and raising kids.
By using the Fair Start model as a guide, families are simply saying this: “If you plan a smaller family with more investment in each child, we’ll do the same. We’ll also help each other, whenever we can, to make sure all our kids get a fair start in life.”
In the long term, Fair Start family planning is the best way to promote human rights and build resilient populations that can thrive in future environments. Studies also suggest it is the most effective way to improve child welfare, create equity, and protect animals and the environment, all at the same time. It’s the key to the future we want.