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Family-MakingContemporary Ethical Challenges$
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Françoise Baylis and Carolyn McLeod

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656066.001.0001

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The Unique Value of Adoption

The Unique Value of Adoption

Chapter:
(p.109) 6 The Unique Value of Adoption
Source:
Family-Making
Author(s):

Tina Rulli

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656066.003.0007

Most people would agree that adoption is a good thing for children in need of a family. Yet adoption is often considered a second-best or even last resort for parents in making their families. Against this assumption, I explore the unique value of adoption for prospective parents. I discuss the value of adoption for all prospective parents, regardless of whether they use assisted reproductive technologies, and reflect specifically on non-relative, non-procreative adoptions. First, adoption can meet the important need that a child has for a family, whereas procreation creates rather than meets needs. Second, adoption provides a morally noble opportunity to extend to a stranger benefits usually withheld for one's genetic kin. As such, adoption offers a unique possibility in which impartial concern for an other can be the starting point for a lifetime of love and care. Finally, adoptions can have transformative power over adoptive parents’ conception of family and self.

Keywords:   adoption (value of), assisted reproduction, bionormativity, bionormative concept of family, biologic bias, child-bearing, coming into existence, ethics, procreation, rescue, sanctity of life, transracial adoption

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