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Journal Article

The bad habit of bearing children

H. Theixos and S. B. Jamil
International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 2014), pp. 35-45
DOI: 10.2979/intjfemappbio.7.1.35
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Page Count: 11
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The bad habit of bearing children
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Abstract Procreation—the act of having and raising biological children—is generally not a life choice that is subject to moral scrutiny. In this article, we argue that decisions to procreate are morally evaluable, and that such evaluation reveals that prospective parents have a defeasible obligation to prioritize adoption over procreation. The obligation is defeated by the lack of desire to become a parent, and also in certain cases where legal hurdles are logistically onerous. We conclude that those prospective parents who are unaffected by the defeasibility conditions have a duty to prioritize adoption, regardless of the strength, power, or depth of the desire for biological offspring.

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