The Place of Parenting within a Liberal Theory of Justice: The Private Parenting Model, Parental Licenses, or Public Parenting Support?

Social Theory and Practice 36 (2):233-262 (2010)


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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The Right to Parent One's Biological Baby.Anca Gheaus - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (4):432-455.
Licensing Parents to Protect Our Children?Jurgen De Wispelaere & Daniel Weinstock - 2012 - Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2):195-205.
Does Reproductive Justice Demand Insurance Coverage for IVF? Reflections on the Work of Anne Donchin.Carolyn McLeod - 2017 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 10 (2):133-143.

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