In Leslie Francis (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 407-427 (2017)

Adam Cureton
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Having and raising children is widely regarded as one of the most valuable projects a person can choose to undertake. Yet many disabled people find it difficult to share in this value because of obstacles that arise from widespread social attitudes about disability. A common assumption is that having a disability tends to make someone unfit to parent. This assumption may seem especially relevant as a factor in decisions about whether to allow, encourage and assist disabled people to reproduce and raise children. Yet there are reasons to doubt whether there is such a close connection between having a disability and lacking the ability to raise a child well. The aims of this paper are, first, to identify and clarify some values that are relevant to questions about allowing, encouraging and assisting disabled people to procreate and raise children, second, to give an overview of how these values can help us to address certain legal questions that arise for disabled people who aim to procreate and parent, third, to raise concerns about how to properly assess the parenting capacities of people with disabilities, and fourth, to suggest some ways in which having a disability can actually make someone a better parent.
Keywords disability  parents with disabilities  Rawls  justice
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 57,109
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting'.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):1-23.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Some Advantages to Having a Parent with a Disability.Adam Cureton - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):31-34.
Disability, Identity and the "Expressivist Objection".S. D. Edwards - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):418-420.
Some Virtues of Disability.Adam Cureton - 2015 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (1):19-35.
When Choosing the Traits of Children is Hurtful to Others.Timothy Murphy - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (2):105-108.
Assisted Dying & Disability.Christopher A. Riddle - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (6):484-489.
How Not to Argue for Selective Reproductive Procedures.Eva Feder Kittay - 2017 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (2):185-215.
Respecting Embedded Disability.Sahar Akhtar - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (4):363-378.


Added to PP index

Total views
13 ( #717,006 of 2,411,479 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #538,999 of 2,411,479 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes