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Topic 17 The mentally handicapped should not be allowed to have children

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Whether mentally handicapped people should, or should not be allowed to have children is a discussion that has been going on for several years now. After giving the situation a lot of thought, I have decided that I agree with this claim. I will now explain why.

First of all, the parents to be will put a lot of pressure on their direct environment. Considering the fact that they are psychically not able to take proper care of their babies and children, they will need a certain amount of help from, say, the neighbours or their families.

Not only will their direct environment be affected, also the social environment in a bigger perspective will be affected. Professional caretakers will also be needed to raise the children, and to help the parents function better. In a lot of case the state pays for these employees. And where does the state get their money from? Indeed, from tax-payers like you and me.

Furthermore, there has always been a taboo on the mentally disabled. These people are still, mostly, not considered as a direct part of society. The discussion if this is righteous or not is yet another one. These children will be socially disadvantaged when they enter, say, grade school or even high school. They will, unfortunately, always be known as the “children of that mentally disabled.”

Then again, one could consider the following question: who are we to decide who can have children or not? Would this not be unfair to the community? Can we indeed decide about the lives, literally, of others? There are also enough examples to name perfectly healthy parents who have neglected their children. In my opinion, I think that the chances of a child not being taken care of by mentally disabled are bigger than a child not being take care of by ‘normal’ people. For example, a situation that took place in Holland in 2008, when a mentally disabled woman, who could function well enough to run her own household, got asked to take care of her brother’s baby, she immediately agreed. She always wanted to have her own children, and this would be the perfect chance to see if she was indeed able to. Her closest relatives trusted her.

When the baby at 1 am cried very loudly, she refused to get out of bed, saying she “was too tired, the baby could wait until tomorrow.” When her brother heard of this he got angry and started thinking about his sister’s wish to have children. How would the child function in school if the mother could not help her or him doing his homework? How would the mother bring her children to school if she doesn’t know the traffic rules?

My conclusion in short: how are mentally disabled supposed to take care of their children, if they can’t even take care of themselves? To me, the case is clear: mentally disabled people should not be allowed to have children.

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