Journal Article

The Best Interest of The Child as an Argument in Assessments of Parent Potential in Sweden

Judith Lind

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 1-21
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebm014
The Best Interest of The Child as an Argument in Assessments of Parent Potential in Sweden

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This article examines the ways in which the best interest of the child has been used as an argument for state-authorized assessments of persons who are aspiring to parenthood, but who are not yet parents, i.e. of parent potential rather than parental performance. The policies included in the analysis concern three different areas in which assessment of parental potential is made: adoption, assisted reproduction and presumptive parents with intellectual disabilities. The status of the best interest of the child as an argument for state-authorized assessments of parent potential, I argue, varies with the amount of involvement from state authorities that is needed in the process of creating a family. The state claims the right to assess the parent potential of individuals only when it contributes to the creation of families in which there are no or only partial biogenetic links between parents and child. This does not mean that the state does not aim to encourage women who belong to what is perceived as a risk group to refrain from having children. The argument used in this effort, however, is not the best interest of the child, but the best interest of the woman herself.

Journal Article.  8703 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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