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Australian Story

Taylor and Michael have Down syndrome. They plan to marry and have children, but their parents don't believe they have the skills to raise a family. Can their parents stop them or will their right to reproduce prevail?

What is your opinion ?

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Answers (17)

I haven't seen the story. My opinion would be based on the severity of their disability. But if mum and dad don't think they could do it... Well, I'm inclined to go with them as they will be the ones to look after bub if they struggle. I don't really think it fair on bub either. Reminds me of the movie I am Sam...

 I agree assuming the couple are unable to care for the baby on their own the parents should be able to say no, as they are the ones who will be raising the child. If the couple was placed in care rather than living with their parents would they be allowed to have a baby?
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Both need to be sterilised as soon as possible. The parents will have to look after the grandchildren and they don't want to have to do it.

 Forced sterilization?
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 yep, agree
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What are the chances of Downs Syndrome being passed to the baby? It is disturbing to think of two special needs people being in charge of a special needs child.
I think it is very beautiful that they are in love and plan to get married, but they should focus on being their own little family, maybe get a cat.

 35-50 percent chance
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I think it's great and really sweet they want that...but don't believe they should be allowed to as their own parents would probably wind up being the ones looking after the baby

Don't adult people with down syndrome need a Guardian? So yes I think the parents should be able to have a say. It's probably the equivalent of saying yes to your 10 year old having a baby.

 some dont
most do

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 Most need carers but not guardians.
The diffrence is a carer helps with personal care. A gaurdain takes full legal,medical and personal responsibility for the disabled person. A carer can advise the disabled person but the disabled person still has their own rights and makes the final decision.

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 Didn't a 12 year old have a baby not long ago
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Depending on the severity of their disability, I think two down syndrome parents in a committed and caring relationship with a low level of support from their parents could do a pretty good job of raising a child. Thousands of kids are born every year into abusive, addicted, broken, homeless, or highly dysfunctional families and nobody questions their right to reproduce.

I work as an advocate for people with Disabilities and their families. Ive seen this kind of situation before. Unfortunately unless you get a judge to agree that they are not capable of making their own choice (which is hard as alot people with down syndrome can look after themself with a little bit of assistance) then legally you need their consent to be put on birth control or for sterilization. Ive read the story both are world champion swimmers, one is a trained lifegaurd, both currently live with their parents but want to and can move out alone, so it is very unlikely that a judge would decide that they cant make their own choices. Since both are swimmers the girl is already on contraception and they aren't planning a wedding or baby for another 5 years so i guess only time will tell.

The guy seemed quite high functioning, but the girl did not. She seemed to have the mental age of a 12 year old. I think the parents would have the best understanding of their capabilities and they all said they didn't think they should have a baby.

 Agreed. And 2 parents with downs syndrome have a high risk of producing a child with severe health issues. Also the life expectancy of people with downs syndrome is only about 40 or something.
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 And they get old age dementia at an early age, 40 years approximately.
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There was an episode on this topic on Greys Anatomy, can't really remember what happened but it is definitely an interesting topic.

Sorry, no they should not, even if they could. They would unfairly burden their parents who are already supporting them since they have no jobs, can't drive and can't understand basic math. And what if they can't have a child and decide to adopt? No Adoption Agency would allow this given the barriers that exist.

 Err adoption was a terrible example. You know how hard it is for functioning, middle class, able people to be able to adopt anyway?
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What about the poor baby? Is it fair to let a child come into the world that will more than likely be raised by the grand parents or be put into foster care?

  Fair no, but whats fair isnt always considered when it comes to legal rights. hypothetical baby or un-born baby doesnt have rights, other wise abortion would be illegal. The parents have a right to have a baby even if its unfair on the baby and grandparents.
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 It's not fair for a baby to be born to two hopeless druggies either but that happens all the time and nobody's out there trying to get them sterilized.
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I guess the parents have the right to say you want to do that then you must go into care.

I can see their point but you cant override somebodys basic right ( the right they have to make their own decision with their body and life) based on you opionon. Even know the parents probably know them best but you never know how someone will be as a parent until they become one, you can make an informed guess but you could be completely wrong. Unless they have complete control over their kids legal and personal affairs they dont really get a say.
I mean what can they do make one or both get surgery to not allow them to have children or force an abortion or adoption of they do get pregnant?

 What about the rights of a baby, brought into the world and then accidentally harmed because of an accident/bad decision by parents who can only just care for themselves, let alone an entire life.
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 Legally speaking a hypothetical baby has no rights so legally they cant stop them, only help them once the baby is here. If we could look at unborn or hypothetical babies rights before the parents then we would probably make abortion illegal, sterilize drug addicts, child abusers and people who have had children removed from their custody but the law states we cant do that and its the same principle, you cant force someone to something or bot do something with their own body.

That doesnt mean i think they should have a baby, for me im unsure, but legally you cant stop them.

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Personally, I think they should be on long term contraception so that they don't fall pregnant. I don't think it fair on their parents as they will be the ones raising the child, and I don't think it fair on the child either. I just don't see how they would properly care for a child up until it is an adult when they themselves don't grow up, if you know what I mean. Also, if the couple's parents are legal guardians, wouldn't that give them ability to put something in place so that a baby doesn't happen? The whole situation is sad.

 The parents are careers not guardians . they are adults with their own legal rights thats why the case is so hard because they have the same rights as every other adult.
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