Gamete donation and parental responsibility

Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (1):77–87 (2003)
Unlike surrogacy and cloning, reproduction via gamete donation is widely assumed to be morally unproblematic. Recently, a number of authors have argued that this assumption is mistaken: gamete donors, they claim, have parental responsibilities that they typically treat too lightly. In this paper I argue that the ‘parental neglect’ case against gamete donation fails. I begin by examining and rejecting the view that gamete donors have parental responsibilities; I claim that none of the current accounts of parenthood provides good reason for ascribing parenthood to gamete donors. I then argue that even if gamete donors do have parental responsibilities for ‘their’ children, it is not clear that they treat these responsibilities too lightly. I conclude the paper by examining the wider question of just what kind of responsibilities gamete donors might have towards the children that they have a role in creating.
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DOI 10.1111/1468-5930.00236
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Robert Sparrow (2009). Therapeutic Cloning and Reproductive Liberty. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (2):1-17.

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