Parental rights and the importance of being parents

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It is widely accepted both that adequate parents cannot be denied custodial rights for the reason that someone else would do a better job and that children should be reared in adequate families, even when communal arrangements would be no worse for children and would promote equality. So-called dual interest theorists of parental rights defend their view on the grounds that it can fully explain these convictions because only their view attaches importance to the interests of the parents which are adversely affected. In this paper, the author argues that this defense of the dual interest view is flawed because some of these convictions can be explained only at the expense of others. The author offers an alternative defense of the dual interest view, one that requires us to revise these widely accepted convictions but ultimately puts the dual interest view on a surer footing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP)
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Parents' Rights
  • Equality
  • Distributive Justice
  • Children


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