06 October 2014

Dwarfism Awareness Month Fun Topic #6: Now that I’m in my 30s, people love to ask me about having children. The usual response to the statement that J and I do not plan on having children is the question: is it because you can’t have children? I find this an intensely personal question that people probably wouldn’t ask a simple acquaintance, but it is a common question, so here goes…

J and I don’t have children because it was a mutual decision. We like our lifestyle and prefer to have lots of furry children. I love children, especially other people’s children. I’m happy to babysit or have sleepovers, but it’s just not in our plans.

That said, yes, I can have children, but it would be difficult, to be sure. My small pelvis and orthopedic problems would make it difficult, especially during the 3rd trimester. A c-section would certainly be the childbirth option.

If J and I had decided to have children, we would have adopted, which brings me to another issue in the LP community: adoption, carrying, or surrogacy? There are many LPs who desire to adopt children because of potential health risks and because there are already so many dwarf children in need of families around the world. I am one of these people. I also happen to believe that, if I were to have a dwarf child, I would like to have one that is already in the world rather than passing on my painful condition.

This is a very personal decision for each LP, and each person has their own reasons for deciding what is best for them. Given the severity of my own experience in terms of pain and surgery, I would rather adopt an LP kid who isn’t getting medical care. However, there are also many people who prefer to have their own children, no matter what. Like I said, it’s a personal decision. It’s much like LGBTQ couples: some adopt, some use surrogacy, or donors.

Finally, the other consideration that most LPs consider is genetics. This is, of course, very complicated and depends on the type of dwarfism(s) involved. Since Jeevan is of average height and I have pseudoachondroplasia, which is autosomal dominant, we have a 50/50 chance of having a child with dwarfism. It would be a different story for other types of dwarfism, and especially if it is a couple with two LPs (with the same or different types of dwarfism). For some types of dwarfism, the homozygous combination (25% chance with two LPs) results in a dangerous, non-viable pregnancy. You can see there are a lot of decisions to be made, and genetic counseling highly recommended.

Ok, so this has been a really long post, and I have barely scratched the surface. To leave you with some information about LP adoption, look here: http://lpaadoption.blogspot.com/p/available-children.html

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