The contention of this article is that parents have an obligation to care for their children, but for reasons that are not typically offered. I argue that this obligation can be unfair to parents but not unjust. I do not provide an account of what our specific obligations are to our children. Rather, I focus on providing a justification for any obligation to care for them at all. My argument turns on providing an external description of the parent–child relationship in order to establish that parents are in a unique position among adults in their ability to help and harm their own children. Given that children are deserving of moral regard, I conclude that parents are obligated – in a way that is often unfair – to provide this care. I end by considering implications for social policy.
Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
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