Do people have something like a right to have children? What would be the basis or justification for such a right?

It might be argued that people who want to have children and cannot then fail to live the lives they choose for themselves, and since other things being equal children are generally taken to be a good thing, their efforts should be supported. After all, we are naturally designed to have children, as members of a species that reproduces, but not everyone can have children at all, or not without complicated procedures. Whether this should count as a right is an interesting question.

It is a bit like the right not to have children, where otherwise one would. It is often argued that if having a child is not something welcomed by someone who is pregnant then they have the right to discontinue the pregnancy by removing the fetus.

There are two interesting aspects of rights language here. If someone has a right to something, then someone else, like the state, has the duty to support them in exercising that right. The other pertinent remark is that rights language has tended to replace the idea that one should just put up with the way things are, whether an unwanted child is on the way or if one cannot get pregnant.

Read another response by Oliver Leaman
Read another response about Children, Ethics