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Gheaus, Anca. Biological Parenthood: Gestational, Not Genetic
2018, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):225-240
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Common sense morality and legislations around the world ascribe normative relevance to biological connections between parents and children. Procreators who meet a modest standard of parental competence are believed to have a right to rear the children they brought into the world. I explore various attempts to justify this belief and find most of these attempts lacking. I distinguish between two kinds of biological connections between parents and children: the genetic link and the gestational link. I argue that the second can better justify a right to rear.

Comment: This paper explores questions concerning the biological relevance of connections between parents and their children, ultimately arguing that the most important connection is gestational rather than genetic. The author also explores the way in which these claims allow us to challenge the status quo in relation to parental and custodial rights. Further, the authors examines how these conclusions may help in the assessment and settling of the more complex cases that have arisen as a result of developments in technology and medicine which allow a child to have more than two 'biological' biological parents. It would therefore be useful as further reading in the context of philosophical discussions of parental rights, the rights of children, and whether such rights are moral or political, as well applied or interdisciplinary contexts in which related philosophical questions arise, such as bioethics, legal theory, politics, and sociology (of the family, for example).

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