Gestationalism and the Rights of Adolescent Mothers

  • 1 Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 2 Interdisciplinary Research Lab for Bioethics, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
Teresa BaronORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9930-209X
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Interdisciplinary Research Lab for Bioethics, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • orcid.org/0000-0001-9930-209X
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Abstract

In this paper, I explore the ways in which consideration of adolescent parents forces us to confront and question common presuppositions about parental rights. In particular, I argue that recognising the right of adolescent mothers not to be forcibly separated from their newborn children justifies rejecting the notion that parental rights are (a) all acquired in the same manner and (b) acquired as a ‘bundle’ of concomitant moral rights. I conclude that children and adolescents who conceive and give birth have some parental rights concerning their newborn children – in particular, the right not to be forcibly separated from those children – even if they do not have the ‘full complement’ of parental rights as we generally characterise these.

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