Parenthood: Right or Privilege?

Is parenthood a privilege or a right?

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

To become a parent is to accept a range of duties and responsibilities as well as pleasures. Becaus...

To become a parent is to accept a range of duties and responsibilities as well as pleasures. Because the emotional and physical well being of the child is involved, the decision cannot solely be that of the parents. To have a want is not to have a positive right: i.e. if anyone wants a child, then they must be enabled to do so.
No because...
To say something is a right is not to say it must be done, but simply that there is a legal imperative not to interfere with someone who wishes to act in that way. To be a parent is a privilege, but it is a privilege to which no-one can be denied: i.e. it is a negative right: nobody who wishes to have a child should be prevented from doing so.

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

There are plenty of opportunities to adopt a child and act in the role of a substitute parent rather...

There are plenty of opportunities to adopt a child and act in the role of a substitute parent rather than a literal, biological one. The shortage of parents willing to adopt means that this should be encouraged.
No because...
To argue this is to create a situation where people are impelled to choose second-best, if they would have tried IVF or alternative technologies first. There is no reason why homosexual couples, for example, should not use science to create their own children rather than going through the rigours of the adoption process.

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

Creating one child merely to help another is to undermine the value of humanity. Every individual m...

Creating one child merely to help another is to undermine the value of humanity. Every individual must be considered as an end in themselves, as Kant wrote, not merely as a means to assist another.
No because...
Parents have a right to help their other children by using science to help them create babies genetically selected or structured to provide bone marrow, for example, to help their siblings. This does not inhibit a full life for the created child. Indeed, increasingly gene-therapy treatments could be derived from the baby’s umbilical cord alone, so no suffering or medical procedure would be required.

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

Provision of assistance to parenthood by the state should not be a priority for use of resources. I...

Provision of assistance to parenthood by the state should not be a priority for use of resources. If families wish to pay to have children, then they themselves should fund treatments.
No because...
Such a proposition will create a society divided between those who can afford to pay for treatment and genetic testing and those who cannot. Either parenthood is a right for everyone, or for no-one -- not a privilege for the rich.

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

In a world suffering from the effect of over-population, potential parents must think carefully abou...

In a world suffering from the effect of over-population, potential parents must think carefully about their choices. The concept of an unlimited ‘right’ to parenthood places undue pressure on resources.
No because...
This does not hold for developed countries, where the main demographic problem is an aging population. The elderly will only be supported if the rate of procreation rises -- in fact, it will soon be a duty to have children to support the elderly.

Parenthood: Right or Privilege?
Yes because...

Being a parent is not necessarily right for everyone. Limiting parentage would allow the gradual re...

Being a parent is not necessarily right for everyone. Limiting parentage would allow the gradual reduction of hereditary genetic diseases. If parenthood is not seen as the privilege it is, then those who decide to remain childless will be undervalued by society.
No because...
Construing parenthood as a right does not entail forcing it upon the unwilling. But couples who cannot have children by natural means do retain the moral imperative to assistance by technology: the child once born retains the same human value and dignity -- the proposition is coming dangerously close to eugenics.


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