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Title: Becoming a father/refusing fatherhood : how paternal responsibilities and rights are generated
Author: Ives, Jonathan
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2007
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In this thesis I explore, both philosophically and empirically, the moral significance of genetic relatedness within the father/child relationship. In doing so I utilise a novel ‘empirical bioethics’ approach, in which I use specifically gathered qualitative data to inform the philosophical debate. I present qualitative data, gathered over 12 focus groups, which explores men’s normative constructions of fatherhood. The data suggests that fatherhood is essentially a social relationship, constructed within a narrative of responsibility, and that there is a distinction between being a ‘father’ and being a ‘progenitor, both of which give rise to different kinds of responsibilities and rights. I go on to construct a normative framework of paternal rights and responsibilities, which is informed by the qualitative data. I make a distinction between ‘material’ and ‘paternal’ responsibility, and in doing so I argue that a man can cause a child to exist, and be fiscally responsible for a child, without being a father. I argue that a man becomes a father (in a valuable sense), and earns paternal rights, when he accepts paternal responsibility and forms a paternal relationship with a child.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General) ; BJ Ethics