There are many different arguments for and against this claim, from many different theorists in religion. One argument that supports this claim is that any adult should have the right to a child if they are financially, mentally and physically stable. Furthermore the natural law approach would support this statement under certain conditions, such as if the parents were married and in the case of IVF and embryo research, they would be against this as it involves the destruction of embryo’s, they see this as completely wrong. It also sees the involvement of a third party (such as the donation of an egg or sperm, to create a child) as an attack on marriage and the sanctity of this union. They would see this as going against one of the primary precept that states we should live in an ordered society. If people are going around with two fathers or mothers, the structure of society is threatened.
This is an issue which UK law has struggled with and traditionally a child had no right to find out the identity of a sperm-doner, although this has now changed. This may lead us to believe, that Natural Law would support the right to become a parent, but would reject the destruction of a ‘potential’ child. Additionally Natural Law thinkers would be against policies such as China and the One Child Policy, which they would say restricts parents from having children, this would lead us to believe that they are mainly for this statement, as the One Child policy takes away a parents ‘right’ to have a child. Also the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to marry and found a family “Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution”. Marriage according to Christian Ethics, is the setting for reproduction, this would create the argument, that everyone does have the right to be a parent.
However, many other theorists reject this claim, as they would say that some rights other than that of a parent should be considered, especially those of the child, if the adults in question was for example a Paedophile and had these tendencies, then many would reject their so called ‘right’ to a child. Furthermore, many would argue that whether a parent could look after a child, for example if a parent was disabled, would be a condition to take into account, as a child’s right to be looked after and supported would then be overlooked. From a Utilitarian perspective the happiness of a child should be taken into account, more than the parent’s right to that child and they would therefore reject this claim. They would further argue that the happiness of the current population should also be a factor in deciding to have a child, they would say the questions regarding the limited resources and overpopulation need to be considered and so because of this they would reject this claim.
Some adults, moreover, may have children for selfish reasons, such as for added state benefit. This would mean the child would be neglected as the child would be treated as a commodity rather than a being with intrinsic value, in reference to Kant’s Practical Imperative, which would reject this claim as he would argue that we should treat others with respect and dignity i.e. not treating them instrumentally “that which constitutes the condition under which alone anything can be an end in itself, this has not merely relative worth, that is, value, but an intrinsic worth, that is, dignity”. Furthermore the Christian perspective, that a child is a blessing and gift from God (rather than a right), would further reject this claim.
In conclusion, I believe the statement is wrong, as in my belief a child is a gift and not a right. If you bring a child into the world, you have a moral responsibility to care and look after the child and so to say a child is a right would take away this responsibility.