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“Will They Be Good Enough Parents?”: Choosing Patients 

“Will They Be Good Enough Parents?”: Choosing Patients
Chapter:
“Will They Be Good Enough Parents?”: Choosing Patients
Author(s):

Robert L. Klitzman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190054472.003.0012
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date: 13 June 2021

Physicians often wrestle with whether patients will be “good enough” parents and how much responsibility providers have toward the well-being of the future child—whether to treat all patients and, if not, whom to reject and how to decide. Providers see not only married heterosexual couples but “nontraditional” families, including single-parents-by-choice; lesbian, gay, transgender, or HIV-infected parents; and more “unconventional” types of reproductive arrangements, including gamete donations between sisters and brothers as well as mothers and daughters serving as surrogates for each other. Other couples may seem “highly neurotic” or emotionally unstable. Yet eventual child-raising abilities are tricky to predict. Over time, social attitudes toward certain types of nontraditional families have also been changing. Providers face questions about future blurry and confusing roles in families, children’s welfare, and competing medical, personal, moral, scientific, and social considerations.

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