This has been quite an interesting thread to read through. I think there are some underlying assumptions that need to be addressed though.
I think that the whole basis on which the argument is based is somewhat faulty.
A child should be considered to be created with a inherant 'Duty of Care' placed upon both of its parents for the period from conception through to the point where they are able to provide for themselves. This 'Duty of Care' involves both an emotional and a material component.
The act that invokes this 'Duty of Care' is called sex (for want of a better term. This act, in and of itself, signals an acceptance of the possible (both for protected and unprotected sex) arisance of a 'Duty of Care' to a created child.
In general this is understood, accepted and works. It is the basis for the foundational building block of society, the family.
To be effective, a system of law must do two things. It must firstly promote the proper procedures as the primary and preffered arrangement (in this instance, the conception of children within the bounds of a marriage until death). It must also be able to deal with exceptions to this case, and render them as closely as possible to the desired outcome.
To my mind there are three basic situations that act as exceptions to this basic situation:
- Sex outside of marriage
- One or both parents unable or unwilling to care for the child
- Sex without consent
These can be combined or separate, and cover most situations as far as I can see.
The first issue is the easiest to resolve. Any difficulties in resolving this usually have to do with one of the other two exceptions.
The third issue is probably the most difficult, and includes situations such as rape and 'sperm theft'. In all situations, the benefit of the child must be considered first. It is likely that in many of these cases adoption would be the best solution.
Adoption is the transferrance of 'Duty of Care' from one couple to another.
The second case I skipped because it has the most permutations.
The simplest case is where both parents are unable or unwilling to care for the child. Again, adoption provides a solution. In the case where this is because the parents are unable to provide, the state should cover the costs involved to the point where adoption takes place. In the case where the parents are unwilling to take care of the child, they should remain liable for the costs involved until the adoption takes place. Alternatively, if the inabilty is merely finanical, support can be provided from the state to enable a child to remain with parents otherwise unable to provide for their child (child support allowance).
The cases where one parent is unable or unwilling to provide can be treated in essentially the same way, but applying to each individually.
As a final point, I would suggest that the only situation in which this 'Duty of Care' to the child may be terminated at any point
by the premeditated causing of the death of the child is where the continued life of one of the parents will be extiguished by the continued existance of the child and there is no other avaiable option to save the parent.