Dilemma With a court order, an infant was taken from her biological parents. The parents were drug addicts and were unable to care for their baby; she was placed with foster parents. Both biological parents are now rehabilitated and went to court to gain custody of their little girl; the court decided in their favor. It is important to keep in mind that this little girl is nine years old who loves and views her foster parents as her real parents. This was a very difficult decision and obviously people were going to be hurt no matter who the judge sided with. After careful contemplation I decided that in this case that the decision of the judge and therefore the law was not ethical. It is not morally right to take a child from the only parents that she had ever known; or a daughter from parents that raised and love her. It is not okay for a child to suffer due to her biological parents faults. The biological parents should be solely responsible to carry the burden of the consequences of their actions, not the child and foster parents. There are two Primary Schools of Ethics that will be discussed that agree and solve this dilemma; the two are Consequentialist Ethics and Virtue Ethics, the paper will elaborate on how these approaches best suit the dilemma.
Ends Based: Consequentialist Ethics
Consequentialist Ethics is the view normal standards depends only on consequences, is the consequences of the act moral (Armstrong, 2003). By the judge favoring on the drug addicts parents side, this tells society that no matter what selfish or bad choices you make, for example choosing drugs over your child, you can continue to live your life however you want, for apparently as long as you like, without having any consequences. This judgment turns foster parents into foster victims and sends a message that the state has no regard for the rights of foster parents and is likely to have a negative influence on people’s decision to become foster parents.
The child will have emotional problems, which can lead to a troubled future. The child is nine years old, she knows her foster parents as her parents; she does not know her biological parents at all. She is taken away from everything and everyone that she knows; this is definitely going to have a lot of emotional scarring and will affect her for the rest of her life.
Also, who knows how long her biological parents have been sober for or even if they will continue to remain sober. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is a 60% chance of an addict relapsing. This could lead back to their self-destructive behavior into drugs and lead to the child getting taken away again or worse.
Care based: Virtue Ethics
Virtue Ethics focuses on someone’s character and what they deem moral, then applies the moral character as a foundation for one’s choices and actions (Gowdy, 2013). By looking at the biological parent’s actions, they do not speak highly on their moral character. First off, their child got taken away because they were addicted to drugs, then it took them approximately nine years to clean their act up and regain custody of their child; they do not sound like virtuous people. However, the foster parent’s character is completely opposite. They took in, raised, and accepted the little girl; they gave the little girl a better life and loved her as if she was their own child. This speaks highly of their character and shows that they are compassionate, loving, and kind people. As for the little girl, the dilemma states that she is being placed with her biological parents against her will. This shows that the little girl is scared, confused, upset, and does not want to go. What does it say about the biological parent’s character for putting their little girl through this?
Similarities and Differences of the Two Solutions
One of the