Q & A: Eugenics: Should we allow the mentally handicapped or those with high risk of having a baby with a genetic disorder breed?

Wow – interesting question! I’m really glad you asked this, because it gives me a good platform to get something off my chest.

When I was 31 I was diagnosed as Bipolar I / psychotic. As it turns out, I actually have Asperger’s Syndrome, but whatever you want to call it, it’s all kinds of bad and nothing I’d want a child to endure. Even if it’s not passed along genetically, what kind of mother would I have been? (Answer – HORRIBLE) I also have degenerative disc disease just like my father. It’s painful and it impacts nearly everything I do.

A few decades ago I made the deliberate decision that I would never have a child. I love my children so much that I will spare them from having to endure this. I love them so much I will deny myself the selfish pleasure of ever having them. It is a hard, HARD decision. I don’t regret making it, but I do regret never having a family, especially as I get older.

The reason why I like this question so much is because of the near constant social pressure the childless endure. Friends, family, doctors even strangers ask if I have children. If not why not? When I was younger it was natural to follow that up with “why not? Aren’t you planning a family?” Oh holy cow!! People with kids tend to group together. Likewise, all of my friends are childless. My family backed off when they saw the mental issues in full swing. But my friends still get it, especially from family members.

Instead of wondering if we should allow those with a genetic disorder to breed, perhaps we should ask why the hell the childless are under such enormous pressure to have kids. Common sense dictates that if a genetic disorder is present there’s no way anyone should continue that line. And yet, even knowing it’s possible, I’ve seen so many take the risk rather than face disappointing their family. They’re considered social failures if they have no children. We need new standards, and we need them now.

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