Seeing as how Rumpelstiltskin in the orignal story kept taking valuable possesions from the Queen, he seems to want to take what is most precious to those he makes deals with. He told the Evil Queen in One Upon a Time that in order to have the curse she had to give him the heart of...guess what, what she loved the most. I don't think kids have anything to do with it. He just wants what is most dear to people.
I'm not sure it was ever explained in the fairy tales either.
I might be going out on a limb here but maybe because he's lonely? He's an odd looking imp creature person, I would think that doesn't attract many friends. So asking for peoples kids make sense since children are less judgemental than adults. Also look at what he wanted when he struck a deal with Archie, he seems to want some type of companionship from the looks of it. Or he could just be a weirdo lol, we'll just have to see.
I think some of the other answers are close, but are missing something...
I think he wants children not to keep, but to give away, and not for profit, but as another means of deal-making. To him, it seems, they're just another bargaining "chip", so to speak; after all, there obviously is a market for them, so why not be able to provide what he needs to to gain what he wants/needs?
Think about it. He's only going after the first born of royalty. Why? Because the key to controlling a kingdom is in controlling the heir to the throne. Everyone knows that his magic is mostly based on the name of an individual.
He lost his former life including his only son, not to mention Belle, the apple of his eye. Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin possibly yearns for an infant(s) since he shunned the opportunity when Belle returned her love for him.
Interesting question and the original story of Rumpelstiltskin doesn't give any direction. However, we've seen exactly what he does with the babies he receives, he gives them away to other people who want them. Rumpel is forever warning people about the cost of magic and deals, while he likes making them, he always gives fair warning. Perhaps he's making a judgment call or his curse requires him to ask high prices in exchange for life changing deals. Look at the contempt he has for Cinderella, especially when she tried to offer both twins. He's disgusted with her and knows full well that she is lying. Incidentally, what happens the next time we see Ashley with her baby? She's complaining about it, dumps it with someone and goes out drinking. Is Rumpel/Gold correct in taking babies? No, of course not but there is a lot to be said for the price people are willing to pay. If these people weren't willing to pay, if they were desperate enough, wouldn't they fight? You know, like he did?
He wants to fill the void left by Baelfire. I wonder who Henry's dad is? Could it be Baelfire? Angry young boy with abandonment issues? He would have been a little older than Emma but here in the real world and possibly drawn to Emma without them either knowing why.
That is a good question, and I think alot of people are wondering the same thing. I think we will find out more about that later, but for now my take on it is that we learned that Rumplestiltskin is all about making deals, and you can't really ask for somebody to give up anything more major than their child, so it is sort of like the ultimate deal.
I have figured this out using the promos for the new episode tonight:
He wants the first born of the queen because the previous king made a deal where he had Rumpel's son taken away for some war.
The reason he might be making deals all the time could be from that one experience, however it could possibly from him making a deal with the devil or some witch or black magic enthusiast and now he has to make deals as per his agreement. I'm not sure what agreement he made, but I do feel that this is on the right path. Also, he might have made a deal to save his son from war and now has to take others first borns.
Whatever it is we will find out his complete story tonight, hopefully.
I think the reason he wants babies so that he can sell them. There is a lot of money to be had since parents wanting children are willing to pay a lot of money to adopt one. He got Henery for Regina as well as Prince Charming and his twin brother for the king. It seems as if he has had his hand in the business before.
After watching episode 8, "Desperate Souls", I think he wants them because he gave up his own humanity in order to save his son from the ogre wars, but clearly lost his connection to his son in the process, as he tells Belle in episode 12, "Skin Deep. I think it's some sort of compulsion due to the curse.
Ive only seen esipode 1 and on sunday im goin to see esipode 2 but rumpelstiltskin will not get emma cos she went in the magical wardrobe thing.So rumpelstiltskin shall never have her.Though if he tracks emma down he will get her and u will see what happens then!
He wanted the queen's daughter to raise as his own, but only if it were a daughter. In one version she asks if he is to take her soul, he said 'no' and that she would need it when he was done with her body (?). The story ends with everyone knowing his name and him returning home to destroy a baby cradle and a hibernate.
i think its because he wants to controll the future and because he knows whats going on, trough his deals he brings the kids to all the right places. Where they learn to be the kind of persons he needs them to be.
he likes to play fate, he let people suffer, he let them fight and brings them at the edge of their abilities but in the end he wants a happy end.
I always thought that if someone was desparate enough to trade their child for something they wanted, having Rumplestiltskin take their baby and trade the baby to someone else who wants a child more than anything, well, maybe that would be a good thing.
(Kinda reminds me of Jareth from Labyrinth.)
In the fairy tale he wants the child only because he knows it's the most important thing the Queen has. It's kind of a revenge thing. Also,there's an old superstition which says goblins used to snatch human babies and change them for their own, which is where we get the word "changeling" used to describe a weird kid.
I don't know what the goblins did with the kids they took. The superstition was used to warn people about leaving their babies unattended.
Maybe it is because he misses Baelfire so much, that he thinks it will help that he has someone to love and look after.
Plus, he doesn't like babies so much, it's just that you must give your "Most precious" thing in the whole wide world and for all parents, the most precious thing is their child....
Hope this helped. It's just Logical.
Parenthood was everything to him. Losing his son was the worst thing to ever happen to him, and he stopped a war so that no one else would know that pain. However, the Ogre Wars started again, and he saw that some people were willing to do anything for power and luxury. To fix this, he grants their wishes. In his mind, if you are willing to give up a child for anything, you don't deserve one, so he takes them to someone who does but can't have kids. I'm sure that there are widows that want children and/or couples that can't have them, so he probably trades the kids to the just like he did with King George/Charming's brother.
okay in the OUAT version i think the answer is obvious he loves bael and lost him. he hopes that if he had another child then some of the hole of loosing his son would be fiiled and he could do it right. think about it yes he is trying to get his son back anyway he can but that will take awhile and in the mean time raising a baby could take his mind off his son and make it not hurt so much. in the original version no idea, he was a creeper?
I dont know why he wants them, maybe emma or somebody else will ask him and hell dramatically tell the story or maybe he skins them alive because hes always skinning people alive. Hopefully well know one day and it better be for a good reason.