Would you have children if.....

If you had some medical condition that you knew was very likely (say 60% or better chance) you would pass on to your children, would you have children?

I’m sure a lot of the responses are going to be “it depends”. If that’s the case, please elaborate.

Can it be diagnosed in utero, allowing for abortion if positive?

I don’t want to have children to begin with. This premise only sours the deal even more.

The answer has to be either yes of course or it depends. All of us have medical conditions that can be passed on. Some of these medical conditions are good ones like better immune systems against certain diseases. Some of these medical conditions like lactose intolerance or minor allergies are minor annoyances. Some are debilitating.

As most people have children and all have medical conditions, some people clearly are answering this question yes. I know people who choose not to have children because of certain genetic diseases, but who would have had children otherwise.

Some friends of mine are carriers and have chosen to not have children.

My cousin married a man with Marfan Syndrome (who then died of it in his 30s); each child thus had a 50% chance of having the syndrome. Child #1 is fine; child #2 has the syndrome.

Not a choice I would have made.

What are we talking about? Allergies? Or something like Huntington’s Chorea?

If it’s the latter, that would be another boost to our decision to adopt.

No, but we would have adopted a kid or two.

I’m thinking more of a significant impact rather than a minor annoyance. Something that would reduce life expectancy. Something that would require life long, probably unpleasant medical intervention (treatments, surgeries). Not something simple like having to avoid a food or take regular antihistamines.

My husband has X-Linked hypophosphotemia, which results in rickets. He’s very short, very bow-legged, had several surgeries as a child, and often has severe pain: his bones and teeth are soft.

We chose to use donor sperm. Much cheaper and frankly much less invasive than adoption.

At 50%, I might say no, but at 60%, absolutely I would. The only way to have a 60% vhance of passing on a condition is if it’s so common that it can’t possibly be a major issue.

Well genetic baldness is no fun (but not end of the world either) and I partly picked my wife based on the fact that hair comes from the mothers side and her side has better hair.

That’s not at all true. Spontaneous mutations happen, and often at the same places–so genetic diseases can crop up anew in a family, then burn themselves out in a few generations.

Now, 60% is a weird number because of how genes work, but the idea that likely = common just doesn’t hold.

Seriously medical condition? I would not have had kids. I might have adopted instead. I don’t know.

In the middle of a panic episode years ago, I decided I couldn’t have kids and pass it on to them. As a Catholic person that’s difficult because one should be open to children within marriage. Of course being a wife and mother is too much of a risk on many levels, not to mention the lack of any offers. :slight_smile:

A very good chance of a life shortening condition? Absolutely not. No genetic children for me then. Luckily there is not history in my family or my ex-wife.

My decision to not have kids came from a fear that I would be a toxic father like my evil dad was. I figured, when the chips were down, you’d treat your children as your parents treated you. I did not want to pass on that “curse” to any more generations. If you’d known Dad, you’d know what I’m talking about. Friends who knew me as a boy tell me, “Man, your dad was scary.

Rather than laying that on everyone who asks, I blame it on plastic bags. The dry-cleaner’s garment bags warned, “To avoid danger of suffocation, keep away from babies and small children.” So I did.

Something that could be easily and cheaply treated, like allergies? Sure.

Something that would burden them with stigma, disability, and pain. No.

Breast cancer runs rampant in my family. As in, maternal Grandmother, Mother and all aunt’s have died if it. My sister died last year of it. I now have 2 cousins battling it. My sisters daughters went in for genetic testing. One has the gene, she hurriedly had her children and had a hysterectomy and total prophylactic masectomy. My brother has the gene. He has one son (untested). I don’t have the gene, so my children are untested. I would probably have chosen not to have kids if I had known and had the gene. Sometimes ignorance is bliss ( or just dumb )!

I had an aunt who had one son with muscular dystrophy. Her husband was killed in WW II and she remarried. She said she assumed the disease was from his family which she knew little about and there was no instance of it in our family. Any geneticist–or informed layman like me–could have told her she was wrong. She remarried and had two children, one a boy who also had the disease and the other a girl. I hope someone explained to her that she had a 50-50 chance of being a carrier. In her circumstance, I would choose not to have children. Or be prepared to abort if the fetus had it. But I have lost track of them so I don’t know what happened. Since there was indeed no other instance in our fairly large family (my father was one of seven, including four boys) no one of whom had it, I assume it was just a random mutation.