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Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law$
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Elizabeth Brake and Lucinda Ferguson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786429

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786429.001.0001

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Surrogacy

Surrogacy

Reconceptualizing Family Relationships in an Age of Reproductive Technologies

Chapter:
(p.293) 14 Surrogacy
Source:
Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law
Author(s):

Mary Lyndon Shanley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198786429.003.0015

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.

Keywords:   assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation, contract pregnancy, parental rights, parental status, care, care ethics, children

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