The Place of Parenting within a Liberal Theory of Justice

Social Theory and Practice 36 (2):233-262 (2010)
Abstract
Parenting has an ambiguous place within the liberal tradition. On the one hand, liberal theorists have traditionally portrayed it as a private activity. On the other hand, they have also acknowledged the need for some public regulation of parenting in order to protect children’s interests. Some theorists have suggested that this ambiguity within liberalism can be best resolved by implementing parental licensing plans that would limit childrearing opportunities strictly to individuals who could prove their psychological, moral, and financial competency to raise children well. In this article, I critique parental licensing schemes from a liberal perspective and argue that public parenting support, including paid parenting leaves, public childcare subsidies, and the like, is more consistent with liberal values and, in fact, a necessary component of any coherent liberal theory of justice
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Ryan Reed (2013). Are the Kids Alright? Rawls, Adoption, and Gay Parents. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):969-982.
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