Marginalizing Adoption through the Regulation of Assisted Reproduction
38 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2007
In the regulation of assisted reproduction around the world, countries have taken two directions. Some prize a genetic connection in parent-child relationships so highly that access to assisted reproduction is tightly controlled. Whether justified in terms of optimal rearing conditions, a child's right to know, or that heterosexual marriage has no value apart from the children it produces, such regulation is based on a narrow view of what constitutes family life. Within such a regulatory structure, adoption tends to be regarded as at best a substandard form of parenting or, at the other extreme, is legally impossible and culturally rejected. Countries with a less constrained view of the possibilities for organizing family life believe strong commitments to both individual autonomy and child welfare are compatible. They reject the notion that medical assistance to reproduce should be employed only to enable heterosexual couples to complete the picture of a family that, under happier circumstances, could have arisen without medical intervention. Under this view, access to both assisted reproduction and adoption is more open.
In this Article, the foregoing analysis emerges in the course of a critique of recent work by Lynn Wardle and Robin Fretwell Wilson advocating preferential treatment for married heterosexual couples in assisted reproduction and adoption.
Keywords: assisted reproduction, adoption, marriage, family, parent, child
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