January 31st, 2003


Is Love Enough?

I caught part of a show on Discovery a few nights ago, called "Is Love Enough". The show explored whether love is enough of a qualification for parenthood, and whether there is an absolute right to bear and raise children.

I only caught a few minutes of this (it was bedtime and I fell asleep) but I think it's a very interesting, and very emotionally charged, issue.

From the filmmakers website: "Is Love Enough?" provides a remarkable window on this unexplored phenomenon in a balanced fashion. One intellectually disabled mother has her child removed at birth. She fought in court for the change to prove that she could be a good mother. Now she is allowed to visit her child and try her mothering skills. But she is under intense scrutiny and feels she is being judged differently than any other parent.

Another case involves a young woman entering college to pursue a music career. She has had to overcome a tremendous handicap; both of her parents are intellectually disabled and could not meet her emotional and intellectual needs. With striking candor, she talks about how she had to be rescued by her grandparents and her aunt. She voices strong feelings against people with intellectual disabilities having children.

I remember learning in history classes about the forced sterilization of DD folks (Lifetime did a movie about that about 10 yrs ago, about a DD woman named Carrie, who kept having children and the state decided she should undergo a hysterectomy, and a female lawyer took the case. Not sure how fictional this movie was, it was set in the 30s).

Any thoughts on this topic?

Is there an absolute right to bear and raise children?

(Note: I think this does, indirectly apply to this community, as there is a slippery slope here, when it comes to determining fitness for parenting. Too many queer folks have had their children removed from their homes, as their "lifestyle choice" was deemed to be unfit and incompatabile with raising a healthy child).