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date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

After arguing against Joseph Millum’s account, this article defends principles with the following implications. Assuming in each case that the person’s behavior is morally innocent, (l) women always acquire parental rights by becoming pregnant, regardless of whether that was their intention. (2) Men acquire parental rights when they and their partners intentionally conceive a child of their own free will, as the first step in a joint project of having “a child of their own.” (3) Men can also acquire parental rights when a pregnancy was unintended, but only if their partner had previously promised that they could be a father to the child if one were conceived, nourished reasonable expectations to that effect, or their history together made this a reasonable belief that she did not discourage. Otherwise, the man only acquires certain obligations. A closing section explains the applications to cases in which assisted reproductive technology is employed.

Keywords: parental rights, acquiring parental rights, unintended pregnancies, assisted reproductive technology, Joseph Millum, parental obligations

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