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How Hereditary Conditions Affect Plans to Have Baby

Should Hereditary Conditions Affect Baby-Making Decision?

A woman's love may be unconditional, but do hereditary conditions make or break baby plans with her partner? From baldness to color blindness and sickle cell anemia to heart disease, should a person weigh her co-parent-to-be's genetic disorders before creating a family?

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Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 6 years
I'm with everyone who said 'other.'
lawchick lawchick 6 years
lickety, not sure if that was directed at me but I should have qualified my statement --- IF we had thought to have the testing done on my husband before getting pregnant, and it had shown he was a carrier of something very serious, we almost definitely wouldn't have had a biological child (at least with his sperm). I know from his family's experience with his brother (who is now 28 years old) that it is extremely expensive, emotionally draining and can be so heart-breaking to take care of an ely mentally disabled child. It's not something I would take lightly if I knew the risks ahead of time. I can't explain why we didn't have the testing - it just didn't cross either of our minds until it was "too late."
stephley stephley 6 years
I have a mild form of muscular dystrophy, as does one of my several siblings – for us the condition is basically a matter of chronic pain: I don’t think the pain is outrageous, would liken it to advanced arthritis. Our cousin was affected much more seriously by the condition, suffers the pain and is in a wheel chair. I’ve chosen not have a birth child. I wouldn’t gamble with my potential child’s future, or the quality of its life. I’d have no idea how capable I would be to care for whatever level condition the child would have, and as Lickety says, there’d be no way to guarantee the child’s care if anything happened to me. While no one knows for certain that their children will be born and remain healthy, I can’t imagine ever co-parenting with a person who is willing to knowingly gamble on their child’s health & future.
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
im not trying to be mean, or provoke anyone, but....its not just a matter of loving a child no matter what "condition" they have. who will care for the child after you are gone? financially how will you make those arrangements? I have a severely disabled daughter who has been in a care facility since just after she turned 9. she suffered for months with pain that they could not address because she lacked the communication skills to communicate. watching her tear herself apart, scratching and clawing at her face and legs until they were bloody, pulling out chunks of her hair, throwing herself against the wall and on to the floor. it was horrible. as a parent, when you realize that you can't even protect your child from themself; that is a dark day. and when you are gone, will anyone still care?
Studio16 Studio16 6 years
It depends. Color blindness? Eh, your kid's not really going to suffer. Down Syndrome or dwarfism? Yeah, I would adopt...
lawchick lawchick 6 years
My husband's brother is severely mentally handicapped (requires 24-hour in-home caregivers), with unknown cause. They tested him when he was young and didn't find any genetic defects. My suspicion is that if they tested him now, with modern genetic testing capability, they'd find he has Fragile X. Of course this is hardly something I am in a position to suggest! I'm pregnant now and worried about the possibility of genetic defects in the baby. We chose NOT to have genetic testing or even the quad screen. My husband strongly felt that if we had an amnio done, and ended up losing a baby that turned out to be prefectly healthy, we'd never forgive ourselves. The chance of an amnio going horribly wrong is around 1%, but that was more of a risk than he was willing to take. If we'd had the amnio and found serious defects, I don't know if we would have aborted or not. Probably not, due to the hurdles we had to jump just to get pregnant. I do wish we'd had some genetic testing done on my husband prior to getting pregnant to try and determine if he is a carrier of Fragile X and certain other markers - but there's no point in doing it now. we're hoping for the best and hoping we can handle whatever happens :)
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
agree with above. my cousins lost their baby to a rare genetic disorder when she was one. this was devastating to the entire family. there was a huge possibility that if they had another girl she would have the same disorder so they chose not to take that chance. if it is something that serious i understand.
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
i have friends that each carry a rare genetic trait for a condition that results in severe disability /shortened life span, its very sad. they had a genetic abortion and then had an in utero test to determine the health of the second pregnancy. it was fine and that child is typically developing. fast forward 4 years. 2 more pregnancies, both ended in genetic abortions. its straining the friendship. i feel like they ARE parents to one beautiful, healthy child, and that should be enough. the chance of them having another pregnancy with this same genetic condition is 1 in 4. they aren't ruling out another try. i think this is selfish.
WarEagleNurse WarEagleNurse 6 years
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