View Full Version : Disabled babies

Jul 16th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Circumstances recently have had me thinking about severely disabled babies and how people make the decision on whether to dedicate their lives to raising them or have them looked after by a care system or adopted.

(Of course it's almost impossible to imagine how you might feel ... one can't know this sort of thing unless it happens .. . one could be horrified, or overwhealmed by feelings of love and protection).

Do you think that if you or your partner gave birth to an extremely disabled child (really severe ... I'm not taling about a limb missing or a sense missing ) that you would have the desire and strength to want to keep it and raise it yourself. Knowing full well that the rest of your life would be dedicated to it's basic care (in a much more full on way than it would be if the child were able bodies, or mildly disabled)?

When I was young I thought that if I had, for example, a Downs Syndrome baby that I would not have the desire or strength to want to raise it. (Not that I would today consider DS as severely disabled ... a DS person can have a wonderful, happy and productive life ... it is of couse a severe syndrome, but you know what I mean I hope)

As I've got older I've seen that DS children and adults can be incredibly loving and special and a way other children aren't. I can also imagine the rewards could be mighty. That said, it's still a difficult path to choose.

Please don't turn this thread into a soapbox ... I just want to hear your own feelings on whether YOU think you would choose to raise a very disabled child ... please don't give others a hard time for what they might feel ... if you don't feel you can do that I would ask you not to contribute to the thread.

I want to hear honest thoughts and experiences and they are less likely to be forthcoming if some posters are heavy-handed and over-bearing as in recent other threads.

Jul 16th, 2008, 08:49 AM
I know that my maternal instinct is very strong and so i would be unable to give the child up which would mean the rest of my life would be on hold looking after it - it is not a burden I like to contemplate very often.
My own personal view is, I chose to have that child, I can't pack it off into care because it isn't "perfect", it is my responsibility.

flying plum
Jul 16th, 2008, 09:42 AM
my own instinct is to say that i would try and look after the child. it is a difficult path to choose, you are right aradia, but i think i would be too attached to my child.

that said, i do appreicate why some people can't do it. not everyone has the mental fortitude even to deal with the demands of a fully abledbodied child - add into that a mental or physical disability, and i can see why they are unable to cope. in all honesty, in such a situation, i can't help but feel the child would perhaps be better off in the care of a family who could cope, rather than with their birth parents/mother.


Jul 16th, 2008, 10:58 AM
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing these days - I've read about people who have their child looked after by someone else a lot of the time but still maintain contact with him or her.


I can easily imagine not feeling able to care for a disabled (or other!) child full-time but that wouldn't mean that I would want to disown them.

Jul 16th, 2008, 12:34 PM
I read that Harpy, it was really amazing. It's incredible how the foster mother is so eager and capable and actually wants to look after someone elses disabled child, I couldn't do it, I wouldn't want to do it. My own flesh and blood is a different matter.

Jul 16th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Yes, that foster mum sounds lovely doesn't she?

Jul 16th, 2008, 01:38 PM
I'm not sure I would have the energy or enthusiasm to raise any type of child. I go through phases where I feel a bit more broody but they don't last. I worked in a special needs playgroup when I was a teenager and it is very physically demanding work to have to lift kids up and often carry them and keep an eye on them all the time, much more so I think than able bodied children. I used to be exhausted afterwards and this was when I was probably a much more healthy 14 or 15 year old.

I like to think though that if I ever was in a situation where I did want to have a child that any disability wouldn't affect how I felt about them and I hope I would give them as much love as an able bodied child. I would definitely consider adoption also, I have had discussions with people I know and I never understood why passing on your own genes is important, although I think I am in the minority.

(That story is amazing Harpy, some people are so full of integrity and love, it is very inspirational.)