The news article focuses on the family, and how happy they are to be able to continue their bloodline. Thom Brooks seems to focus on the dead soldier, worried that all this is happening without his consent. But what about the child? What will life be like for him, knowing that he was fathered by a corpse? Might it be psychologically damaging -- could it, for example, destabilize his sense of identity?
David Velleman has forcefully argued [PDF] against anonymous sperm donation on the grounds that children have a vital interest in knowing their biological parents. This isn't quite the same, since the child can at least know who his father was, but the underlying concerns are at least similar. As Harry at CT summarized it:
Velleman’s deeper project is to criticise what he regards as an ideological view that simply wanting a child is sufficient grounds to be able to have one; the redefinition of the family to mean “whatever arrangement the adult seeking to procreate has created for the child”.
I think it has to be acknowledged that the child is morally relevant here, and it does seem unfortunate to be born without a father - let alone to have been conceived by a dead man! So there is at least something morally unfortunate about this story. Whether it's serious enough to make the family's actions wrong is, of course, a further question (especially since the child is not, strictly speaking, harmed by being brought into existence so).
It's also worth bearing in mind Majikthise's argument that "the world is manifestly better off when couples can become happy parents and wanted children are brought into the world... Valuing families should imply valuing the creation of families for people who want them." So perhaps the worst that can be said of this family's situation is simply that - like every other - it falls short of perfection.
What say you?