Do Genetic Ties Matter?
Procreation has costs of a sort that are generally wrong to impose on others. These include costs to the environment and to those waiting to be adopted. Without justification, it appears that procreation is impermissible. A natural thought is that the costs can be justified by the value of the parent-child relationship. However, there are compelling arguments that genetic ties are morally irrelevant to the value of such a relationship, and so cannot justify procreating when adoption is an option. This chapter considers what circumstances would justify procreation. The most plausible justification would likely appeal to reproducing valuable genetically heritable traits of ancestors, partners, or gamete donors. This chapter considers the objections that this justification implies eugenicist rankings and that it rests on uncertain family resemblances.
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