Children's Rights in Reproductive Technologies

Project Details

Description

The research project is embedded in the wider research context of theological ethics and its discourse on reproductive technologies. In contrast to the dominant paradigm of reproductive autonomy it focuses on the question of children's well-being and children's rights in the specific context of the new phenomenon of Coparenting Websites. Co-Parenting Websites facilitate the contact between indiv iduals who want to meet people wishing to reproduce and found a family on the basis of non-romantic friendship. From an ethical perspective, Co-parenting Websites can be understood as an extension of reproductive autonomy of adult persons. However, there are already a few studies in Belgium and England which point to the vulnerability and fragility of bonding in such family constellations not to mention the severe juridical problems which occur when the situation changes and obligations cannot be met any longer. The research project aims to discuss the question whether and how society and state are obliged to secure and foster the well-being, the interests and the rights of children in such new forms of planned parenthood. Are Coparenting Websites a threshold to call for any form of state interference in private decision-making processes? The project develops a theory-informed research design, based on the "hermeneutical approach" of the deceased theological ethicist Bernhard Fraling: According to his approach, normative claims and judgements cannot be held without investigating and comprehending the personal value orientation and moral request of people affected. Thus, the research project develops a guided interv iew with users of the German Co-parenting Website, www.familyship.org (Berlin). It aims to investigate the personal motivations, expectations and fears, but also the value orientation and their ethical awareness, referring to the interests and the well-being of their prospective child. Linking the results of this empirical study with the theologicalethical discourse on new reproductive technologies the research project aims to contribute to an adequate normative evaluation of modern family forms with a focus on the needs of children. In v iew of a new legal framework concerning reproductive medicine in Germany and Austria, the research project is highly relevant for public discourse in society and political decision-making. Referring to theology and to the catholic church the research project can prov ide arguments to find a well-balanced moral judgment on modern forms of planned parenthood,. Www.familyhip.org has not been an object of scientific research so far neither has Co-parenting been compared to other forms of planned parenthood and evaluated within the discourse of theological ethics. The primary researcher involved is Univ . Prof. Angelika Walser (Moraltheologie und Spirituelle Theologie/Department "Praktische Theologie"/Salzburg University).
StatusActive
Effective start/end date3/02/20 → 31/01/23