Dr. Clam said:
The idea that children raised by parents who suck will do better than ones raised by a benevolent state or NGO is one that has too many historical counter-examples to bother refuting.
Humour me, how, in history have children been raised by the state? And is that from birth?
I find your 'licensing' system infinitely more terrifying than putting drugs in the water. Beyond the obvious axiom that legislative solutions are bad and fail, while technological solutions are good and succeed, it will have absoluely ruinous compliance costs except in the limit of the Global Village, where it will be superfluous.
Is having to have a driving license terrifying? Would it be better to just take cars away from people who have caused accidents and never let them drive again? Would it be better to think of the desire to drive as a mental illness? Maybe you should clarify your "obvious" axiom - at the moment it sounds like a gross exaggeration. Legislative moves such as making the wearing of seatbelts compulsory is much more cost-effective at saving lives than technological air-bags. Technological solutions such as shipping everyone to Mars to solve our population problems is not a helpful vision, because it isn't realistically feasible. The compliance costs of licensing can be quite low also. The "Blue card" system for suitability to work with children, for instance is not expensive and is a useful tool to police regarding paedophiles.
Also when you say:
I envision technology that would take the children away from unwanted parents at a very early age and raise them in tanks, so they would not be forced to bring them to term and would not be likely to form an emotional bond.
You ignore your own arguments with regards to legislation. Clearly, you need legislation to allow this technology. Even technology needs basic tweaking of legislation to develop properly. There was a policy of taking away children who were deemed to be in doubful circumstances in Australia. The children are invariably called the stolen generation. They weren't brought up by the state, but were moved in to well-adjusted families. I don't think they ended up any better than those that were left with their parents.