Sexual reproduction happens like this.[note 1] The male and the female join as one biologically complete whole, and this whole produces the offspring. (Note: The two moments—the joining and the reproduction—should not be seen as separate, since the joining occurs in and through the striving for reproduction.)
This has an interesting consequence. While we think of someone's parents as two individuals, Bob and Jane, there is a real sense in which the origin of the child lies not so much in Bob and in Jane, as in the united Bob and Jane.
Suppose that Bob and Jane are no longer "together", whether through divorce, or because their sexual union was completely a one-night stand. Then there is a sense in which the child is an orphan—the united whole from which the child originated no longer exists.[note 2]
And if the child originated not from a biologically united whole but from in vitro fertilization (IVF), then the child never had an originating biological whole. Interestingly, a child produced through cloning has more of a biologically united whole at the origin—for the parent from whom it is cloned is such a whole—than a child produced by IVF.
The above is merely descriptive. Can any normative consequences be drawn just from these considerations? Is there perhaps an argument against reproduction except through sexual union in the context of a 'til-death-do-us-part marriage in these considerations? Perhaps it is impermissible to make a child without a commitment to at least strive to keep the child from being an orphan, by striving to maintain the relationship and preserve the lives of the individual parents?
In general, we can ask whether a child can have a right to have a particular kind of origin? I actually think the answer is positive. For instance, a child has a right to not to be procreated with the sole motive being the production of organs, a right that goes beyond the right not to be afterwards used as a mere source of organs. A child has a right not to be procreated in a way that treats the child as artifact. If these thoughts are right, then one may have a right to a particular kind of origin, even though, of course, one wouldn't exist without that kind of origin.