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Article
Valuing Having Children
Journal of Law and Family Studies (2010)
  • Carter Dillard
Abstract

Are there objective values on which to base the claim of a right to procreate? Can we articulate reasons for having children so powerful that they justify our doing so, as a matter of right, even where it would conflict with the interests and values of others? This Article systematically and critically examines many of the values that, before now, courts and commentators have simply presumed and relied upon when making the claim that there is and ought to be a fundamental right to have children. This Article first develops a methodology for examining the values and interests on which fundamental moral, and eventually legal, rights might be based. It then applies this methodology to three categories of values specific to procreation: autonomy and relational values, as well as self-regarding values, such as the value of creating genetic lineage. This Article critiques each category as a basis for a right to procreate, rejecting autonomy and relational values, and ending with what might be a surprising conclusion about the final category: that self-regarding values, and the right that would flow from them, are sated when one has a child.

Publication Date
2010
Citation Information
Carter Dillard. "Valuing Having Children" Journal of Law and Family Studies (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carter_dillard1/5/