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"Women with mental illness should not have children, nor do they have the right to have children"

I read this in one of my groups, and I was very offended. I have bi-polar disorder and depression, and both of my illnesses are being treated with medication and therapy. I don't feel like my one year old is suffering under my care due to my mental illness.

I'm tired of people thinking that just because women like Andrea Yates (who was clearly psychotic) murdered HER children, that ALL women who have a mental illness should give up their rights not only to bear children, but to raise them.

Anyone wanna chime in?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:52 PM on Jul. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • That statement is totally wrong. But most people don't really know anything about mental illnesses aside from the stereotypes. My sister is bi-polar and a single mom and I have no idea how she does it all, I really admire her. She has a happy healthy 4 year old daughter who is not suffering at all. But the real problem is ignorance and those who are content to wallow in their ignorance. If people became educated about mental illness not only would the world be more accepting of it and the stigma attached to it would go away, but people would be better able to recognise the signals when someone like Andrea Yates needs help. The tragedies of her children's deaths would not have happened, nor would similar tragedies.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 4:01 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I think that people need to mind their own business

    Answer by suzyb1980 at 3:58 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I think there's a fine line. What if you stop taking your medication or your body adjusts to the medicines and you need different types or doses but don't realize it? You could put your child is danger. What if your child has the same illness? Would that be a problem? (I don't know, I haven't had to deal with it so I don't know how tramatic that alone could be on a child). Some mental illnesses really do prevent the person from taking good care of their child. So were do we draw the line? Should we? Just becuase you have an illness does not mean your child will. And it does not mean you cannot care for your child. It's a tough one and I do not have a general answer. I think it's a case by case senario. That being said, I think the same is true of "healthy" parents. They do not all deserve to have babies.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:10 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • There is mental illness and then there is a danger to herself and others. I also think there are more men with serious mental problems than there are women.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I think the problem is that so many women don't seek help. They think they should be able to do it on their own and see their need for help as yet another failure. I applaud you in your bravery and wish that all women suffering from mental illness were strong enough to pursue assistance toward a more healthy life.

    I also saw a post earlier today on this subject that sickened me. A woman was deemed by the family court to be unfit to care for her children. The post was written by the woman's husband's exwife who had a serious question about how this would effect her child (who was the ill woman's step daughter). I was completely disgusted by the way that other posters referred to this woman as a "nut job" and a "wacko" and so on. The woman had diagnosed mental illnesses!

    Anyway, thank you for posting this. I agree 100% that if a woman is currently pursuing treatment people should be more supportive and less cruel.

    Answer by beckcorc at 5:21 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I think there is still too much of a stigma about mental illness, which causes people that need treatment to not get treatnment. Just because someone has a mental illness doesn't mean they are a threat to themselves or others. As long as treatment is helping, there is no reason that a person with mental illness can't have children. There are plenty of "sane" people that shouldn't be allowed to have kids, yet they are procreating and not taking care of their kids.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 5:22 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • there are tons of women with bi-polar disorder that have kids. somebody who stated that is just being ignorant. I think Unkind women should not have kids.

    Answer by mommylovesu28 at 5:53 PM on Jul. 29, 2009