Some parents are choosing to have children with disabilities

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A survey back in 2006 showed that 3% of fertility clinics in the USA were allowing couples to select FOR genetic conditions such as deafness and achondroplasia (dwarfism). Many countries have introduced regulation to limit embryonic screening to serious genetic conditions, but the practice of choosing to implant disability-carrying embryos is still legal in some parts of the world, including the USA.

The idea of intentionally burdening a child with a genetic condition seems horrible, sadistic even; but parents often have justification. Parents who themselves have a condition such as deafness or dwarfism want to have children who will relate to them and fit into the culture surrounding their condition.

peter dinklage
Actor Peter Dinklage is a famous person with dwarfism. He has two children but he has kept them hidden from the media, possibly to hide the fact that they are ‘test tube dwarfs’.

Deafness and dwarfism are the most common conditions selected for, and both conditions can negatively impact the quality of life of children. Whether it’s due to a lack of support or a difference in ability, deaf children perform worse than average in examinations and are less likely to attend university. In the case of dwarfism, the life expectancy of sufferers is 10 years lower than average and individuals with dwarfism are 10 times more likely to suffer from a heart condition.

Parents should make decisions that are in the best interests of their children. Choosing to hamper the future quality of life of your child so that they match your personal preferences is selfish and should not be legal.

 

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