Morality of passing genetic conditions to offspring

A large portion of my family is diabetic, as in my mom and all aunts, uncle, and cousins over 30 (except 1) are diabetic. This is across 4 countries, various lifestyles and weights, and gender so it stands to reason a large part is genetic.

With decent health care and due diligence this condition is very manageable with minimal complications. But improperly managed it will destroy virtually all organs and degrade quality of life.

Is it immoral to father children that are likely to develop diabetes sometime in adulthood? Would your answer change for other genetic issues/diseases?

First, if you are going to get married, you must consumate the marriage and that means you must be open to children. All forms of contraception are disallowed, except abstinance for a time and for good reasons. It would not be reasonable to marry and practice abstinence perpetually, after the marriage has been consumated.

You must trust to God and accept what he gives you. However, if you are not married, it would be a good idea to look for a partner who did not have this genetic disposition. So the short answer is no, you need not feel guilty. On the other hand it is not wrong to remain single, but which choice you make should be made with the view to doing what God wants you to do. By the way, there is no guarantee that your children will be diabetic, disposition does not mean certainty. Trust in God.


If you are married, you cannot use contraception to prevent kids. Part of being married is to be open to have offspring given by God, however some people view it as Contraception is not going to stop God if he wants you to have kids… but what is being looked for is the Willingness to accept God’s will… being his “handmaid/handman” for lack of better words.
You could abstinence but that would be unwise in a marriage… as that would be forever. Abstinence is ok in a marriage for spiritual reasons or medical, but it is not for the whole length of the marriage but only a set time.
If you are married, I would pray to God about your concerns and let Him ultimately decide whether you should or should not have offspring. He listens and takes your concerns very seriously. And if you are wanting kids at the same time, talk to God about adoption. I am sure He will be open to that, There are many kids suffering who needs a loving family.
Ultimatly, you could talk to a priest since your reason does apply to medical reasons I believe. However God is still Ultimatly in control, and they very well may not have the health issues you are concerned with.
If you are unmarried, I would stay unmarried. If you are still wanting kids, I would see about adopting yourself.

I would agree with Deacon Jeff that this does not seem to fit the bill for ‘immoral behavior’.

Would your answer change for other genetic issues/diseases?

Let’s suppose that we’re talking about a genetic anomaly that has a high percentage chance of occurring in one’s children, and which has a high likelihood of causing death and/or suffering for one’s children.

In that case, it would seem that the issue has to do with the couple, and not just an individual. (Perhaps a disease that a person is afflicted with might be a better example for the question you’re attempting to pose, then. Nevertheless…)

As Linus points out, in Catholic moral teaching, marriage is ordered to the procreation of children. (It’s not the main reason to be married, but it is part of the package that a couple is signing up for when they marry – at the very least, for which they’re pledging to be open and accepting of, if it happens.) That being said, if a person feels that they are not called to having children, then it would seem to follow that they’re saying that they feel they’re not called to Christian marriage. Staying single isn’t a sin…

No and no.

Could they not have a “Josephite” marriage, as witnessed by several saintly monarchs (such as Henry II, Holy Roman Emporer)?

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