Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:34 am Posts: 214 Location: Northamptonshire
I am firmly CF, and one of the early issues pushing me in that direction (I was probably about 7 years old) was the knowledge that I would not be willing to parent a disabled child. Birth defects and disabilities are surprisingly common. I have had friends and acquaintances have children with all sorts of issues, including Down's, one child born with no bladder, etc., not to mention the number with autistic kids.
If you are on the fence, do you ever consider how having a disabled kid would affect your life and plans? All the things on the pros lists obviously assume that they will have a healthy child. What would you do if the Kodak-moments aspect was off the cards from day one?
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 2:16 pm Posts: 684 Location: New Jersey, USA
Though I have a lot of sympathy for disabled children, I know I would not be able to handle the difficulty of raising one. This is one of my bigger reasons for being CF. I just couldn't handle that responsibility.
_________________ I will follow the path I want, not the path everyone else wants.
It's a big reason for me. My husband and I work in fields where we have seen the strain that having a disabled child puts on families. Yes, their parents love them but it makes parenting (an already difficult proposition) much more difficult. I have a real fear of having a child with a significant disability-some of it is because it's something I've seen quite a bit through my employment and some of it is because I'm an anxious sort of person to begin with. I'm always amazed when people tell me that it wasn't something they thought of or worried about when they were pregnant-they just assumed that their child would be healthy. I don't have that mindset and would be worried throughout the pregnancy-the anxiety would drive me crazy.
This was definitely something I thought of in the years of ambivalence that preceded my choice to be childfree. I have family members with Down's and other serious disabilities and have also worked with children with severe issues and knew that was not the life for me or that I wanted for a child of mine. While I was (am) someone who believed in abortion if there was a serious in utero diagnosis, I also reconized not every severe issue can be so diagnosed in utero and there are many issues that can arise due to birth complications or later on from genetics, illness or injury.
So, it was not my primary reason for being childfree as I thought this even when I thought I would eventually have children, but it was certainly a consideration.
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 8:46 am Posts: 572 Location: New York State
I love you for posting this.
By definition, I would be considered disabled even though I live a so called normal life. I was born with both visual and aural disabilities and I feel so bad for the money that my parents had to put out for my medical costs.
Let's start with hearing aids which are not covered by insurance. I have had to get new hearing aids as a kid every 4 years. Hearing aids then were about 2 grand. Now that there is digital technology, they are at least 3 grand for a pair.
Then let's get to equipment. Granted, we had financial assistance with the MY State Commission, my folks still had to pay for other things out of pocket like a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Then there were the expenses of all my eye operations which included two corneal transplants. Then there was the added burden of them having driving me around because I couldn't and still am not able to drive.
I would never want to have a child like me. Even though I am awesome LOL, I would not be able to afford the stuff that I had to get to help me hear and see better.
Also, I work in a medical facility with kids that are severely disabled. Most have very limited mobility (can't walk) and can't talk. Most have the mentality of like a 1 year old. Though they are inspiring, it is very sad that most of them don't see their families very often.
While I am grateful that my parents did put me up for adoption or didn't have me euthanized, I could never had ever done what they have done. It is hard enough raising a child, but raising one with suitabilities is even more challenging.
_________________ Bye for now from Jennifer and the girls!
Jennifer - Sunny and Nikki's Mommy Sunny - Sun Conure born March 23, 2004 Nikki - Quaker Parrot born April 19, 2004
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