Cloning, parenthood, and genetic relatedness

Bioethics 20 (6):308–318 (2006)
In this paper I examine what I take to be the best case for reproductive human cloning, as a medical procedure designed to overcome infertility, and argue that it founders on an irresolvable tension in the attitude towards the importance of being ‘genetically related’ to our children implied in the desire to clone. Except in the case where couples are cloning a child they have previously conceived naturally, cloning is unable to establish the right sort of genetic relation to make couples the parents of their cloned child. If anybody is the genetic parent of a cloned child it is the natural parent(s) of the DNA donor. Paradoxically, in order to resist the claims of the parents of the donor to the cloned child, the argument for human reproductive cloning must place more weight on the intention to parent a child, than we do in cases of ordinary reproduction. It must insist that the parental relation is established by the intentions of the couple who bring a clone into the world and not by their genetic relation to the child. The emphasis placed on intention as establishing the parental relationship works to undermine the justification for cloning in the first place. For cloning to play a useful role as a reproductive technology, it must allow couples to become parents who could do so no other way. However, to the extent that intention is sufficient to establish parenthood, adoption or surrogacy, which are existing alternatives to cloning, will serve equally well to allow couples to become parents.
Keywords genetic relatedness  children  cloning  parenthood  genes  ethics
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2006.00509.x
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References found in this work BETA
Avery Kolers (2003). Cloning and Genetic Parenthood. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 12 (4):401-410.
B. Rollin (1997). Send in the Clones ... Don't Bother, They 'Re Here'. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 10 (1):25-40.

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Citations of this work BETA
Robert Sparrow (2009). Therapeutic Cloning and Reproductive Liberty. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (2):1-17.

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