Against parents' wishes, young couple with Down syndrome want to get married, have children
Most parents want their kids to grow up, get married, and have babies. But what if your children have Down syndrome?
Like most couples their age, Michael Cox and Taylor Anderton would love to start a family together someday. However, as they both have Down syndrome, their case is pretty complicated, MamaMia reports.
“I know that me and Taylor have the skills to be married and start our own family,” Michael told Australian Story.
The couple has been together for almost two years, and engaged for one. Their parents have been supportive of their relationship, but when it comes to having children, that’s another story.
"I don't see parenthood being something that they're going to achieve, or really they probably should achieve"
"Taylor and Michael want to get married and have children and that makes me feel very worried, apprehensive and concerned," Taylor's mother, Catherine Musk said.
Both sets of parents have raised their children to reach for their dreams. But now, they all worry that they have given them unrealistic and impractical hope.
"I don't see parenthood being something that they're going to achieve, or really they probably should achieve," Michael's father Simon Cox said. "It would be very difficult being a child whose parents both had Down syndrome and couldn't have a job and couldn't drive a car and couldn't understand maths homework and those sorts of things.”
Michael and Taylor understand their parents’ concern. But they are also determined to go on with their plans of living together and having children. “I know that their heart’s in the right place,” said Michael. “But being overprotective is strictly not on with your child, even if they have a disability or not.”
"They have the same rights as everybody else"
Disability advocates said that Michael and Taylor’s wishes should be respected. Michelle O’Flynn, Queensland Advocacy Incorporated director, said:
"Michael and Taylor’s parents have done an absolutely fantastic job in raising their children and making them have faith in themselves and belief that they can do whatever they want to do. People with disability, like Michael and Taylor, are certainly entitled to bodily integrity and the freedom to do with their bodies as they wish. They have the same rights as everybody else. The fact that they have a disability doesn’t diminish that."
The position that Michael and Taylor's parents find themselves in is unique and difficult. Their misgivings are understandable, yet at the end of the day, Michael and Taylor's wishes should be respected.