Parents, Sex & Relationships, Siblings

Can People with Down Syndrome have Children?

This is a question many of us caregivers ponder. Can people with Down Syndrome have children? The answer to this question will bring joy to some and to others, a whole new dimension of fretting in an already topsy-turvy world. This would be a good time to insert a deep inhalation followed by a long slow exhale.

Can people with Down Syndrome have babies

YES, people with Down Syndrome can and do have babies.

Women with Down Syndrome CAN get pregnant

While not all women with Down Syndrome (DS) will be able to have kids, some are indeed fertile. Presently there are at least 30 documented pregnancies involving women who have DS. So guys, you know what this means? Contraceptive is a must. I know contraceptive is not the easiest topic to bring up or talk about. “How was your day? Let’s talk about condoms.” God knows that must be THE WORST segue in life. I know it’s not easy, but we the caregivers must find a way to speak with our loved ones about sex and even more importantly, safe sex. People with DS are just like everybody else with feelings just like everybody else. We are all more alike than different.

Men with Down Syndrome CAN father children

Yes, you read right. There are at least 3 instances where paternity tests proved that the father was indeed a man with Down Syndrome. I know some of us thought having boys with DS would spare us the whole contraceptive discussion. Think again.

Can people with Down Syndrome have babies

To Have a Baby or not…That’s the Question

Now that we know it is physically possible, do you think your loved one should bring a life into this world? Honestly, just as with everybody else, it depends on the individual’s circumstances. What do you think?

If your loved one is physically healthy, in a committed relationship (marriage or otherwise) and financial stability is present in the form of them having a job or family providing such assistance, should they go ahead and create life? Why? Or, Why not? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

You may also like...

17 Comments

  1. Chanan says:

    this was an interesting one.
    I always thought that down syndrome are not supposed to have kids even if they are healthy but now after i read your article I changed my mind, If they can have the support and help, so why not???
    I hope more people will start thinking like me.

    1. Alicia says:

      Hi Chanan, so happy you took the time to visit HappyDowns. Thank you for being willing to look at things from a different perspective. Cheers.

  2. Joana Marie says:

    This topic is so interesting… And you are right with or without DS we are all the same and created by our Creator God. And because of that, it is possible to get pregnant and have a child be a mother or father because that one of our blessing from above.
    I am happy to share this topic to some of my friends that have DS that wanting to have a baby someday.

    With a warm smile,
    Joana Marie

    1. Alicia says:

      Hi Joana Marie,

      Thanks for stopping by HappyDowns with your warm smile 🙂 . An interesting topic indeed. Please let me know what your friends have to say about this topic. Looking forward to hearing back from you!

      Take care!

  3. Jim says:

    I do not see anything wrong with a Down Syndrome couple getting married and spending their lives together. That being said, as a parent of one, I would be concerned that they would not be able to handle parental responsibilities and I would do my best to discourage them from having children.

    Difficulties abound not only in day to day activities like having jobs and driving a car but…how about helping with their kids’ homework or handling the ever-changing complex issues that their children would experience as they grow up.

    I know that it is harder for them to conceive but, as you say, it is entirely possible and, actually, highly likely that they can conceive.

    The good news is that the gene, trisomy 21, which causes Down Syndrome, is not hereditary.

    Jim

    1. Alicia says:

      Hi Jim,

      I like the points you made…important things to ponder.

      In the case of this couple having a “normal” child:

      1) What if the couple was in a financial standing to hire a nanny similarly to how some wealthy families do and it’s the nanny that raises the child and not really the parents?

      2) Or, suppose this couple had the support of their siblings and other family members who would provide the guidance the parents could not? I know some persons whose parents didn’t make it as far as high school and therefore their ability to help with homework was limited. Thus, another family member had to step in to ensure the child got proper education.

      Would scenario 1 or 2 above change your mind about discouraging the couple to have kids?

      Jim, please indulge me. I love a good discussion and your points were solid. Let me know what you think.

      1. I really do not think having a nanny or support of normal siblings would change my mind. The reason? In the final analysis, they are STILL the parents and the children will look to them for final guidance and direction.

        1. Hi Jim,

          I hear you…there will be limitations as to the guidance that parents with DS can provide.

          On the other hand, I am used to seeing “abled/normal” persons having kids but it’s really another family member that raises them (for various reasons)…not saying this way is right or wrong…just saying I have seen where the child is still provided for…but the relationship between the child and the parent is at times negatively affected, e.g. the child sees the other family member as their actual parent and not the birth parents, which can cause some amount of tension.

          The point is, the latter can work…but ideally, it’s not what I would want for myself and I am not sure my sister would want that for herself either.

          Each individual/family has to make their own choice.

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jim.

          Take care.

  4. Liz says:

    Great post and very interesting question to address! For me, I would say that as long as both partied understand their circumstances, money right and the risk of their child getting DS too, than it is their right to have children. I would personally never tell someone with DS that they shouldn’t have children because of their condition. God made them fertile for a reason: to get out there and multiply responsibility.

    1. Alicia says:

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for stopping by HappyDowns. You raised a good point…does one have the right to tell another whether or not to have kids (disability or no disability)… interesting topic indeed.

      Feel free to stop by HappyDowns again. Cheers.

  5. jeffrey16201 says:

    Very interesting article and topic, I know many people feel people with down syndrome should not have children, but these people have the same needs and wants as everyone else they just have disabilities and I really believe they should have the choice to bring children into the world or not too.

    1. Hi Jeffrey,

      That point of “choice” is where it gets complicated. We have a right to procreate…but isn’t that right in the context where we can adequately provide for the child? But then, what determines if a person can provide for their child? Because I see a lot of “abled/normal” persons who have children that many would argue should never have had any kids – for reasons such as lack of finances, lack of care for the child (so the child is financially provided for but that’s about it), etc.

      So many questions. The parents with DS and their families would have to seriously discuss this topic before making such a decision, as not all people with DS are the same. Some are more independent than others.

  6. Duane says:

    Hi Alicia. Your post is most intriguing and presented as a topical question certainly brings out a certain mindset. I am torn on how to answer this question in a way that would satisfy my own feelings on this. How would I approach this as a dad of a DS child (I am not….I’m just thinking out loud) feel about my child having babies? I think my first reaction would be that if there is a need for my child to want to get married I’m sure I would not be against this. Of course circumstances would play a role in this as I consider how vulnerable he or she would be and depending on the partner…..it’s a tough question.

    When DS children get a certain age and depending on their own physical disabilities they have desires and concerns. I do think of the fact that if they had a child and the child was not DS themselves what kind of a life would the child have growing up in a cruel society etc. That is somewhat of a concern. Man, this is a thought provoker for sure and surely a worthy topic.

    One thing I didn’t catch in your blog was whether “you” were for or against this. I think this is important for readers to know and forgive me if your thoughts on this are there and I missed it. Another point I could make perhaps is that I wished the blog was somewhat longer with more pics and information on DS people. Much is left unsaid in your blog and therefore leaves your commentators giving “emotional” answers which are not based on “the facts” of DS people and their sometimes far-ranging physical development. I do believe education on the subject would lead to better ideas and thoughts. Now, of course, your other blogs may identify this but if not why not here.

    You are someone who takes care of DS people and good for you (I cheer you on) therefore you would probably have some personal stories (without names of course) of discussions you have had with them or concerns they have or various points on the matter first hand which would be educational and interesting.

    I am all for procreation and I do believe the words “go ye forth and multiply”. We are not told exactly how or who or what conditions so in that sense I see no harm. The big decision to me is the “Common Sense” factor don’t you think? As I said earlier this is a thought provoking subject. Wish you could expound on it more and illustrate more via pics etc.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment….all the best to you going forward, Duane.

    1. Hi Duane,

      I am happy to see that this blog made you really think about this topic. I didn’t state a personal stance, as the aim of this article was to get people to stop and think about this and give their points of view…emotional or not.

      I can’t use a blanket statement and say they should or should not have children, as I have realized that persons with DS are not all the same…some are way more independent than others, so that coupled with the family support that they may have can open up a world of possibilities.

      I will definitely have to do future articles exploring the various abilities of persons with DS. Thank you Duane for your thoughts on this subject…really appreciate it. I would like to encourage you to use “people-first language”, you can read about it here – “Let’s Talk”.

      Thanks again. Feel free to stop by HappyDowns anytime and share your views. Take care!

  7. Lg1234 says:

    I dont feel like a person with downs has the ability to make the decision to have children. They dont have the necessary abilities to raise the children so it should really be up to the family or friends in their lives since they will truly be the ones raising the kids. Not that people with downs can’t lead full and happy lives, they just dont have the abilities to raise other lives since they have such difficulties in their own day to day lives. I wish it were different but it’s not. It absolutely needs to be an entire family discussion. On that same topic… we need licensences to adopt puppies and such, why not when having children? Some people are just not capable. Its clearly a moral issue but some people just shouldn’t be having kids, disability or not… am I wrong? It seems to me like the less capable they are, the more children they are raising. Which just drags the gene pools lower and lower. Not that lower class people shouldn’t have kids, but if you’re already on welfare and you’re having your 4th kid, why is this allowed? I’m clearly very opinionated on this subject. Sorry if I offended anyone. Wasnt my objective…

    1. Hi Lindsay,

      No offence taken at all. You have made some great points when it comes to having children in general… disability or not. I too have wondered about the licence thing…for everyone, not just persons with disabilities. I too have wondered why it is that persons who can barely take care of themselves financially have several kids. These are all valid questions. Thank you for taking the time to share them.

      Hopefully, one day the world can find a moral balance to answer all these questions.

      Cheers!

  8. You can have a child if you have down syndrome because alot of people with disabilities can raise children all the time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *