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In today’s society, the rights of the child are codified in many laws and regulations.  You may have noticed, however, that in the Master Contract there are no such provisions. This may seem unusual, but it is so because it is not necessary. All you need to know can be deduced.

To make matters simpler, we will divide the explanation in cases. Let’s begin.

Case #1:

A couple, man and woman decide to have a child.

They make this determination on their own. They could have a contract specifying what their rights and obligations to each other and the child are. Or they may not have such a contract and decide to have the child anyways. It is to be noted, however, that the existence of such contract has no impact and cannot have any impact whatsoever on the child’s rights (we will see the reasons as we develop the topic). Such a contract can only determine terms and conditions between parents (who will do what, when, how, etc.).

So, what happens next? The child is conceived. From this moment on, and assuming there is no contract, the child is part of the woman’s body. As such, it is her property, and because it is part of her body she has absolute rights over it. This means, that lacking any previous agreement with her partner, she has absolute discretion to bring this child to term or have an abortion. This is only true for as long as the child is part of her body. She is fully responsible for it. So that if she wants to do drugs or be malnourished or any other thing, that’s her choice. We will see latter on that this right comes with a large price. But for now, let’s be clear that it is her right to make any decision she wants to make.

On the other hand, if there is a contract between partners, then its terms and conditions will determine the rights and obligations of each partner as to the unborn child. For example, the contract may specify that the mother must maintain a suitable physical condition; or that any decision regarding abortion must be taken by mutual agreement. Remember that in an Absolute Austro-Libertarian system your freedom to contract is unlimited, which means that such a contract is perfectly valid.

Assuming that there is no spontaneous loss because of a medical condition, the child is born. The moment the child is born things change dramatically. For as long as the child was inside the mother’s womb, the child was part of the mother and therefore the child had no rights.

However, the moment the child is born, we have a new life. The first property that any human has is his / her body. The mother does not own that property any longer, the property, the child’s body, now belongs to the child.

At this point it would seem that the child is free to do as he/she pleases and there are no other responsibilities or obligations from the parents. After all, it’s his/her body.

However, this is not the case at all. The point is that the child’s body was created without a previous voluntary agreement from the child. That’s because the child didn’t exist when the decision to create that body was made. Therefore, whoever made this decision, interacted with somebody’s property without a previous voluntary agreement. Therefore, they are responsible for anything and everything that may happen to that child’s body. It’s that simple. The fact that the child can’t make any decision is irrelevant. It just adds to the burden that they acquired when they decided to have a child. And so, any harm that may come to the child is their responsibility and they are fully liable under the Master Contract. This includes lack of education or malnourishment or anything else that may be detrimental to the child’s property and its potential to generate economic income and create wealth and to care for him or herself.

Hence, the parents are responsible to make sure that the child has the best they can possibly provide. It’s that simple. There are no other rights for the child simply because the parents assumed all the responsibilities when they chose to create a child, and all their responsibilities stem from that point on.

Take, for example, the child’s right not to be mistreated. It’s pointless to make it explicit by codifying it because any mistreatment will automatically create damage to the child’s body. Will see later on what happens when this occurs.

So, as long as a child is a child, the partners are fully responsible to take care of his/her body and mind.

 Case#2

Artificial Insemination.

There are two points of view. The first one is for the partner’s or parent’s or the single mother’s or mother’s point of view. The moment the decision to have a child is made, the exact same responsibilities described in the Case #1 apply. The fact that the child was created through artificial insemination as opposed to natural means is irrelevant from the child’s point of view.

The second point of view is the point of view of the sperm donor. Let’s assume that there was no contract between the donor and recipient at the time of the donation or sale of the sperm. He knew exactly for what purposes it would be used. If the donor has no contract, then this donor took the conscious decision to create a body without a previous voluntary contract. Therefore, he is fully responsible for the well being of the child.

Therefore, any donor that wishes to donate or sell sperm must make sure that he has a contact with the organization or company harvesting his sperm. This contract should specify that no mother can be inseminated with his sperm unless the mother signs a waiver, which is a contract specifying that the mother takes over all the responsibilities of the child and leaves the donor free from any liability.

Under those circumstances, then yes, the donor is completely free and has no responsibilities to the child at all.

Case #3

Adoption.

The child is born and it is given in adoption to a couple or a single father or mother or lesbian or homosexual couple.  This is the same case as Case #1. The person(s) currently in charge of the child must make sure that the new foster guardians sign a waiver saying that they take full responsibility for the child. If they don’t sign this document then the person(s) currently in charge remain fully responsible for anything that may happen to the child even though this child is not in their care any longer.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Continue to The Rights of the Child - Part 2

 

 

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