Insisting that all prospective parents obtain a license before having a child (either naturally or by adoption). This license would require the applicants to attend and pass a course on parenthood, ensure that both parties were medically and emotionally fit to have children and had the financial wherewithal to satisfactorily provide for the child until the age of sixteen (at which point the child would become financially responsible for his/ her own tax debts). By doing this, a Compassionate Bastard government would ensure that parents had thought about the responsibilities of having a child before rushing into having one.
Of course, regardless of what is required to obtain a license, one can never be sure what the future will hold. To overcome this uncertainty, another requirement of the license would be that the parents should pay into an insurance policy to cover themselves should something not go to plan. Should everything go to plan, the insurance policy would be paid out to the child on its sixteenth birthday.
You will note that the license stipulates ‘parents’. In a Compassionate Bastard system, each child would be entitled to two parents. The Compassionate Bastardism system would not require the parents to be married or even be of the opposite sex, but both parents would need to be committed to looking after and paying for the child.
It would be naive for Compassionate Bastardism to believe that strict rules would stop people getting pregnant before they have a license. Accidents happen unintentionally or otherwise. Just as a Compassionate Bastard government would encourage people to make their own choices regarding what they eat, drink or imbibe and would permit abortion when required by the individual, a Compassionate Bastardism...