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Law & Ethics of Human Rights

Editor-in-Chief: Stopler, Gila

Editorial Board: Benvenisti, Eyal / Cohen-Eliya, Moshe / Macedo, Stephen / Rosenblum, Nancy

CiteScore 2018: 0.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.118
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.225

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Volume 8, Issue 1


Intergenerational Justice for Children: Restructuring Adoption, Reproduction and Child Welfare Policy

Elizabeth Bartholet
Published Online: 2014-05-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lehr-2014-0002


An intergenerational justice perspective requires that we look at the condition of the existing generation of children and those to be born in the future. Many millions of the existing generation of children are now in trouble and at high risk of never fulfilling their human potential. These children are in turn unlikely, if they live to produce children, to be capable of providing the nurturing parenting that the next generation will need.

The article’s starting premises are that we should count child interests as of equivalent value to adult interests and that we do owe justice not just to the existing generation of children but to the next generations as well. Justice to the next generations means encouraging the creation of children who will have a good chance to enjoy the pleasures of life, children who will be born healthy and will be brought up by nurturing parents. Given these premises, there is much wrong with current reality and related policy.

We now encourage the reproduction of more children than we can care for, provide limited child welfare enabling poor parents to better care for their children, and discourage adoption both domestic and international. We should reverse these policies. We should change the pronatalist and anti-contraception policies that encourage the reproduction of children who won’t likely be born healthy or receive nurturing care. We should provide child welfare so that poor parents who want to keep and raise their children can do so. We should encourage adoption, both domestic and international.

About the article

Published Online: 2014-05-28

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: The Law & Ethics of Human Rights, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 103–130, ISSN (Online) 1938-2545, ISSN (Print) 2194-6531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lehr-2014-0002.

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