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Because of the continued dominance of consequentialist views, the deontological paradigm that emerges in the form of a human rights approach to adoption faces two major and partially connected obstacles. First, and despite the fact that the human rights approach has found compelling advocates, its jurisprudential basis has yet to be fully articulated. And in part because of insufficient theorization, the emerging deontological adoption is constantly at risk of being rhetorically and practically subsumed or engulfed by the resilient consequentialist-cum-charity paradigm. This article addresses these two obstacles, laying out the foundations of a deontological theory of adoption.

After the Introduction, Part II analyzes the consequentialist-cum-charity understanding of adoption. Part III expounds on what I call the value theory of rights. Part IV articulates the jurisprudential foundations of deontological adoption and the human right to be adopted. The reader will probably find that this article operates at a high level of theorization. This is by design, for high theory is needed in order to dispel the confusion and contradictions that plague first order analyses and opinions on the matter. And while the decision to take the theoretical path indicates my ambitions in relation to this article, it also demarcates the limited attention the article is able to give to important details. Hopefully, others will rectify, supplement, and detail the foundations laid out in this work.


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7 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Comparative and Foreign Law

    • Constitutional Law

    • Domestic Law

    • Human Rights Law

    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • New York Law School Law Review

  • Volume
    • 55

  • Pagination
    • 701-731

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022