James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Caught in tangle of adoption laws, children suffer

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This editorial from USA Today via Yahoo proposes some smart solutions to adoption laws. Two that I like:

“Tight time limits. […] The uniform law requires informed consent by both birth parents, then gives them only eight days to revoke it.”

“Fathers’ registries. […] People seeking to adopt the child must check the registry and get his consent. If he doesn’t take the simple step of registering to assure his rights, he can’t come back later to claim custody.”

These issues are always complex for libertarians, as they involve the mixed quasi-property quasi-rights holder status of the child. The worst stories, however, always involve adults who change their minds about their decisions, and delays in the end-state custodial status of the child. That is why any effort to improve informed consent of the parents giving up their rights is always favorable, because we can thereby hold them accountable to their decisions if they have a “change of heart.”

That said, I would argue that the rights of a biological parent who donates his/her embryo, sperm or eggs are completely null. Embryos, sperm and eggs are clearly not rights holders, and so any property transfer, even an improper transfer to a bona fide purchaser, should result in the recipient having full rights. That is the way it would work with other property, and the way it should work with this type of property. Pregnancy, or at least sexual intercourse, should be preconditions to the biological parents obtaining initial parental rights.


Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 11:10 am

Posted in other

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