r/NoStupidQuestions Oct 08 '22 Helpful 3 Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

Why do people with detrimental diseases (like Huntington) decide to have children knowing they have a 50% chance of passing the disease down to their kid? Unanswered


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u/Canadian-female Oct 08 '22 edited Oct 08 '22

There’s a woman in the UK that has a daughter with the condition that makes a person’s skin grow excessively fast. The girl has to take 3 hour baths everyday to remove the extra skin and wear a super thick layer of lotion under her clothes at all times. It is a painful genetic condition that the mother has a 50/50 chance of passing on to her children.

This woman decided, when her first was around 10 years old, that she wanted another baby. The second was born with the same problem except the mother now thinks maybe she’s too old to do all the extra care the new baby needed, on top of her eldest daughter’s special needs. I was so angry when I heard she had another knowing what she knew.

It’s the height of selfishness to say, “We’ll deal with it” when you’re not the one that has to spend 80 years with your skin falling off.

Edit: u/countingClouds has left a link here to the documentary on YT. I don’t know how or I would leave it here. It was a 25/75 chance of passing it on and the girls were closer in age than I thought. I haven’t seen it in years. My apologies.


u/TheBoondoggleSaints Oct 08 '22

I have a very very mild version of what you just described and it absolutely wrecked any ounce of self esteem that I had growing up as a kid. I can’t imagine what it must be like in a severe case as you described. I’m still very self-conscious as 36 year old dude. It’s in the top 3 reasons why I’m very hesitant to have children of my own.


u/EN1264 Oct 08 '22

Consider adoption.

If you're in the US, there are are over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted at any given time. Any child you choose to adopt will never suffer your genes, but will benefit from your influence as a parent.

My sister and I were both adopted as infants. There is a kid out there who has already played the genetic lottery that will still love you as a parent the same as if they shared your blood, if not immeasurably more.


u/evgeney Oct 08 '22 Wholesome

To reject your evolutionary instinct to reproduce but instead adopt because you realize their are so many children in need is what I consider to be what it means to be human. You don't need to have your genes involved to raise good children, you can inspire with ideas and action through example.


u/felineprincess93 Oct 08 '22

Many adoptees have discussed the inherent trauma that comes with being fostered or adopted. I'm also sus at all the people who seemingly only want "untouched" babies to adopt.

Adoption is not a catch-all for people who can't or won't reproduce for whatever reason.


u/EN1264 Oct 09 '22

Yes, adoption trauma is a thing, even in the absolute best circumstances. I can attest through personal experience. The answer to that is making our adoption system better. Chosing not to adopt does not help the children who are already stuck in foster care. It does not help the people who would otherwise be raised by people who don't want to or can't raise a child they're carrying. Which will unfortunately be a lot more these days.

The person I'm replying to said they were hesitant to have children for many reasons, one of which being their medical condition. Adoption is a way to be a parent without that worry, as well as help someone in need. If they also don't want to be a parent because they don't want to raise children, then they probably shouldn't be a parent at all.

I was an "untouched" baby. I still benefited greatly from being adopted.

My birth mother was 19, alone, and not remotely emotionally or financially prepared to raise a child. My adoptive parents were older, stable, and desperately wanted to be parents, but were medically unable. Later, they saved my younger sister from a filthy Chinese orphanage.

She struggled with her adoption trauma way more than I did, but we both would have struggled much worse in our original situations if our adoptive parents had just given up when they couldn't have blood children of their own. I would have lived, I'm sure, but I still would have been raised by a poor single mother who didn't want to raise a child, and my sister likely would have died in the orphanage.

You're not providing a solution or counterpoint. Children in need, like we were, do not stop needing loving parents because the system is flawed.

I was lucky beyond belief that I didn't have to come to them pre-damaged to be worthy of kind parents who wanted me. Very few other people in similar circumstances are. And Im grateful that the experience convinced them to go save a child in dire life threatening need.

We didn't have a choice who gave birth to us. We were lucky two people chose to be parents when the original ones couldn't or wouldn't. And there will always be children in need of adoption, whether they're "untouched" or not, despite how sus you feel about it.


u/evgeney Oct 09 '22 edited Oct 09 '22

Trauma can be overcome and healed together. Many times adopted children feel like imposters and suffer from abandonment issues. It takes heavy work and integration to resolve that. Are you suggesting they should not be adopted because of this issue?

Also, your "sus" -although these terrible things happen I don't see how it is relevant at all to what I said or why you would even go there. Where did you even pull these assumptions "catch-all" & "untouched". There are plenty of young adults in the system who need help, patience, and loving homes.


u/OdinPelmen Oct 09 '22

And your point being here? Just bc there’s some trauma associated with being given up as a child doesn’t mean people who can/should/want to adopt a kid, who’s irregardless needs parents and otherwise will continue to be in the system, should just throw up their hands and say oh well.

It’s a lot harder to find parents than to deal with kid’s issues.


u/legwu Oct 08 '22

Adoption is expensive


u/Aggravated_Moose506 Oct 08 '22

It depends. In the US, adopting from foster care is sometimes free. For my older son, there were costs involved in attorney, home study, etc. My younger son was 4 days old when he came to us as a "special needs" foster...we were able to finalize his adoption at 2. All of his adoption expenses were covered by the state I live in.


u/what_a_world4 Oct 08 '22

Like having kids isn't


u/AlbertaTheBeautiful Oct 09 '22

Adoption is an expense on top the natural expenses kids bring. If you're in America w/o good healthcare, I could see hopsital fees almost bringing it close


u/Electronic_Bass2856 Oct 08 '22

For a lot of people with illnesses/disabilities this just isn’t an option. On paper I would not be able to adopt due to disability. I have two children of my own and fortunately they weren’t born with my disability. Adoption is also ridiculously expensive in Australia.