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Disabled people "are not allowed to breed"

93 replies

QueenEagle · 30/07/2005 22:56

Is a phrase I heard this evening in the pub.

Is it true that disabled adults ie those with learning difficulties (such as Downs I assume) are not allowed to have a sexual relationship or have children?

Is this really true or have I been subjected to an individual's bigoted views?? And if it is true, says who?? And how on earth can anything like this be enforced??

OP posts:
coppertop · 30/07/2005 22:58

No. It's not true. It's just someone talking out of their @rse.

misdee · 30/07/2005 22:59


hunkermunker · 30/07/2005 22:59
sallystrawberry · 30/07/2005 23:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QueenEagle · 30/07/2005 23:01

I challenged this assertion and met with the response - "yes but they get put on the pill or something so they can't have kids as a consequence".

OP posts:
colditz · 30/07/2005 23:01

No, it's not true. I know a man with Downs, and he has had several girlfriends. If it's a consensual relationship on both sides, then it's allowed. Full stop.

rickman · 30/07/2005 23:02

Message withdrawn

colditz · 30/07/2005 23:03

and i know a woman with learning difficulties who was trying to persuade her bf to try for a baby! So it must be crap!

coppertop · 30/07/2005 23:03

I think there have been a couple of cases where carers have argued that the person should be sterilised but tbh I can't remember the outcome. How disabled would you have to be to be unworthy of having children, for example? It's just a bigoted opinion IMHO.

misdee · 30/07/2005 23:05

i read take a break and thats life. a month or so ago, there was a story in there from a lady who had her baby taken into c care because she had a low IQ. she was a good mum to her baby, and her baby wasnt a risk. but because she wasnt 'bright' she had her baby taken. she is now pregnant and moved from the area, registered under a false name, as she is determined to keep her baby this time.

katymac · 30/07/2005 23:06

However in America, Germany (and I think Australia and maybe even the UK) in the early part of the 20th Centary - 'mental defectives' 'cripples' and 'criminals' and other undesirables were forceably sterilised often against their will. This was done in the best interests of society and is "never" discussed.............

btw I think it was criminal and disgusting but it is history (but I could be wrong about the countries)

I didn't think people thought it was acceptable nowadays

QueenEagle · 30/07/2005 23:07

Ok, all of the responses so far, I agree with. I disagreed most strongly with the actual phrase "should not be allowed to breed", like they are animals of some sort.

But, playing devil's advocate for a minute, would two people with learning difficulties be able to care adequately for a baby and meet all the needs of that baby? I have to say that most adults with LD's I have come across are living in supported accommodation, so how would it work if a baby was born of such a relationship? Would they have intervention/support from Social Services?

OP posts:
Blossomhill · 30/07/2005 23:57

QE - I remember a couple from when I had my Saturday job in safeways who both had quite significant needs have gone on to have children.

I don't believe it has been easy at all and they also have a child who has special needs too.

I think the whole phrase of choice that you heard this evening was disgusting. "Breed"???? We are not animals ffs

suzywong · 31/07/2005 00:06

the term for this is Eugenics, very popular with the Nazis

geekgrrl · 31/07/2005 07:20

aah QE that's such a difficult question. To be perfectly honest I do hope with all my heart that my dd with DS will not want a baby of her own. It'd push me into a horrible moral dilemma!

I read a very sympathetic article about a woman with a moderate learning disability bringing up a daughter - she had so much support which is nice for her, but it's just a strange situation for a child. the little girl in the article was 2.5 and already quite aware of the fact that her mother had difficulty doing all the stuff she was meant to be doing.

I guess children grow up in all sorts of weird situations.

Doesn't change anything about the fact that the man in the pub should have undergone a compulsory vasectomy for being such a t*sser!

Fio2 · 31/07/2005 09:56

there was a couple where I used to live that both had difficulkties of thre learning sort and had two children

Kidstrack2 · 31/07/2005 10:42

My neighbours are in their early 50's. The man is in a wheelchair and the woman walks with 2 walking sticks. They have 2 grown up daughters and 5 granchildren whom they have looked after 4 of them while thier daughters worked full time. After reading this thread I asked another of my neighbours what was actually thier disability. And to my astonishment they both have cerbal palsy (Sorry spelling). However In my eyes although they have a physical disability they have brought up a wonderful family.

Blossomhill · 31/07/2005 10:47

Why are people so quick to judge and group people. I know plenty of people without disabilities that in my eyes should never be allowed to have children.

Kidstrack2 · 31/07/2005 10:49

Yes I totally agree on that one!

dottee · 31/07/2005 11:21

I have thought about this before in connection with my dd. She has severe learning difficulties.

My conclusion (my opinion):

  • no-one has the right to sterilise her
  • she has the right to have sex and/or have a loving relationship
  • it would be hard on her to be pregnant because I don't think she would understand what was happening to her body
  • she is not capable (physically and cognitively) of looking after a baby so it would have to be looked after by someone else
  • therefore, as soon as she starts her periods and begins to become more independant, she will be on contraceptives via injection

    But that's my dd and each person, whether they have lds or not, is individual, and has to be considered individual. I am in no doubt that some people who are classed as having lds are able to become good parents. And I totally agree with Blossomhill!

    I will be happy if dd does find happiness in love, in whatever form it is, but I will look after her to make sure whatever happens is to her advantage, and those around her.
dottee · 31/07/2005 11:22

Oh and I would have had to say something to that person in the pub!

QueenEagle · 31/07/2005 11:49

Blossomhill, dottee and others, I totally agree about the phrasing used, as I said in my earlier post - I was disgusted at the choice of words used.

I agree that a loving, physical relationship should be everyone's by right providing it is a mutual one, whether the couple have LD's or not.

Dottee, you say no-one has the right to sterilise your dd, yet you go on to say that as soon as your dd's periods start you will put her on the pill by injection - is that in itself not a form of enforced prevention of a pregnancy?

I don't say that to provoke argument but it is an interesting question isn't it? What if an adult with DS, for instance wanted to have a baby - who would make the choice - the parent or the adult with the LD?

Although in not so strong a choice of words by the bloke in the pub, aren't some of you in essence agreeing with him?

OP posts:
happymerryberries · 31/07/2005 11:55

Dottee, I remember listening to Brian Rix talking about his daughter and he said exactly the same thing as you. He felt that his dd would be unable to cope with being PG and going through childbirth.

Jimjams · 31/07/2005 11:58

The only person who can choose to have a sterilisation (and contraception etc) is the adult themselves. It cannot be done without their informed consent. It's illegal!

I know a few disabled people who have had children. Some get help from SS - (I can think of an autistic couple- 3 children doing very well- they get help for day to day living in the form of direct payments from SS). I can think of another sad case where the mother had learning difficulties but was basically absued by her dh, and the baby was removed by SS (fairly in this case I think).

People with Down's are quite entitled to get married etc, but in reality it is hard for them to get pregnant, and usually they are sub-fertile at least. Other learning difficulties this is not usually an issue.

I think in reality the very severely disabled aren't interested in relationships (although they may be interested in sex!) so the people with learning difficulties who get married and want relationships and may want a child tend to be reasonably high functioning and may well be able to cope given enough help. Others with more severe difficulties may get pregnant, but I think it is fairly rare.

Jimjams · 31/07/2005 12:00

FWIW I think implants/injections etc are quite common- but they can't be demanded by anyone. And remember that if adults with learning difficulties aren't living at home then the parents have absolutely no say in anything,

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