There are several ethical dilemmas present in the movie I Am Sam. Consider one: determining the qualities of a person fit for parenting. The lawyer, Rita, assists on Sam's parental custody case. The movie follows her as she works to prove whether or not the label of intellectual disability placed on Sam interferes with his ability to safely raise his daughter, Lucy. There are numerous incidents faulting him as unfit, such as his childlike public outbursts, his inattention to Lucy's need for adequate rest, or even understanding her embarrassment when he interacts with students and parents when visiting at her school.
With Sam in question, though, one might also consider Rita's contradicting parental role. Rita is a hardworking lawyer, and her availability and attentiveness to her son's needs are not a top priority. While working with Sam, her perspective and definition of a true parent begins to change; Sam shows up for Lucy in many ways in which Rita strongly fails. So, which adult can we consider the best parent?