There are three main ethical theories of family. Natural Law says that our human nature is to unite in marriage with a person of the opposite sex for the purpose of having and rearing children. Rights-based theories say that individuals may form any association they wish as long as it is based on consent. Utilitarian theories allow expanded definitions of the family as long as this will produce the greatest good for the greatest number.
This volume also considers critiques of the family by Plato, Mo Tzu, Marx and Engels, and feminists. Also discussed are changes in divorce law, along with the social, personal, and moral issues related to broken families. Three models of parenting are discussed, describing parents as either child producers, guardians, or providers of life prospects. Also discussed are issues related to childbirth and care for the elderly.