Reconceptualizing Family Relationships in an Age of Reproductive Technologies
The development of assisted-reproductive technologies sharpened perceptions of the differences among three major criteria for parental status—biological (genetics and gestation), volition/intention, and caregiving/functional. This chapter surveys the development of these justifications. It argues that of these, caregiving—and the underlying philosophic framework of the ethics of care—is the most satisfactory grounding of parental status for three reasons: first, it places relationship at the centre of its theoretical and practical concerns; second, caregiving focuses attention on the child; and third, thinking about relationships of care ensures that we consider the impact of social factors, such as race and class, on reproduction and family formation. But despite its strengths, this chapter concludes that caregiving is not fully satisfactory for grounding recognition of a parent–child relationship. It advocates a pluralistic account that regards the relationships established by all three criteria, as significant to both social and legal groundings of parental status.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.