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Keywords:

  • adoption;
  • reproduction;
  • partial compliance;
  • assisted reproductive technologies;
  • distributive justice

ABSTRACT

In a recent paper published in this journal, Thomas S. Petersen makes a qualified defense of what he calls ‘the Claim from Adoption’, according to which, ‘instead of expending resources on bringing new children [in developed countries] into the world using reproductive technology and caring for these children, we ought to devote these resources to the adoption and care of existing destitute children’. My purpose in this paper is not to discuss Petersen’s argument in favor of that claim. Rather, I want to show that, even if the Claim from Adoption might be, other things being equal, true, it is not true all things considered. What is, all things considered, true is a much more complex set of statements, including a general prima facie obligation to adopt, as well as an obligation by the state of developed countries to discourage procreation and promote adoption of destitute children.