Is the Family Uniquely Valuable?

Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2):120-131 (2012)
Abstract
Family relationships are often believed to have a unique value; this is reflected both in the special expectations that family members have from each other and in the various ways in which states protect family relationships. Commitment appears to set apart family relationships from other close relationships; however, commitment is in fact present in other close relationships. I conclude that family relationships do not have any special value; love does. In the case of families with children, however, a high degree of commitment between adults may be useful or even necessary for advancing children's wellbeing. This could be a reason to give special protection to relationships between co-parents
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