Sunday, 19 August 2007

We DID NOT say that the mentally ill should have no children

We just received a harshly worded email from a schizophrenic man who was offended by our decision not to use a bipolar donor.

One paragraph of his message read:
"What you are effectively saying is that we [the mentally ill] should not have children. You feel that you have a right to have children even though you are lesbians yet you would dispute our right to have children."
He even went on to say, sarcastically,
"Why don't we just have routine sterilisation for schizophrenics?"
Neither Sarah nor I feel that mentally ill people should be prevented from having children and anyone who took that meaning from our decision not to use Bobby's sperm, has grossly misinterpreted what we were actually saying.

We have nothing against mentally ill people being parents, we just feel that given the choice, we'd rather that our child has no major health problems - who wouldn't want that for their children?

Neither are we saying that manic depressives and schizophrenics are any worse people than those with a clean bill of health - just that they suffer more and we don't want our child to suffer.

When you fall in love and want to start a family you first have to weigh up whether or not you're in a position to raise happy, healthy children and then if you are, you just have to go for it and make the best of what you have to work with. This is the same for everybody, gay, straight, mentally ill or healthy and it's exactly what Sarah and I are doing.

Candidate #8 - Bipolar Bobby (II)

We've decided for certain not to use bipolar donor, Bobby. Even if, as a few have suggested, there are upsides to the illness, statistics don't lie. We've read studies which show that the majority of manic depressives have attempted suicide and a worryingly high percentage have died as a consequence.

Knowingly increasing the risk that our child might suffer from such an illness would be as irresponsible as choosing a donor with a life-threatening physical, hereditary disease.

Bobby was disappointed but he understood.

Pros: attractive; smart; funny; creative; charismatic.
Cons: has bipolar disorder which can be inherited and is life-threatening.

Verdict: Unsuitable.