"The Best Available Parent" - Publication by Anca Gheaus in Ethics

March 22, 2021

Assistant Professor Anca Gheaus's new article "The Best Available Parent" has been published in the journal Ethics


There is a broad philosophical consensus that both children’s and prospective parents’ interests are relevant to the justification of a right to parent. Against this view, I argue that it is impermissible to sacrifice children’s interests for the sake of advancing adults’ interest in child-rearing. Therefore, the allocation of the moral right to parent should track the child’s, and not the potential parent’s, interest. This revisionary thesis is moderated by two qualifications. First, parents lack the moral right to exclude others from associating with the child. Second, newborns’ relationship with their gestational mother often deserves protection.