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Supporting future parents

Everyone has desires: good health, happiness, many friends, love, money, a job, a house, a family, a child... The same is true for people with an intellectual disability.

People have desires

Everyone has desires: good health, happiness, many friends, love, money, a job, a house, a family, a child... The same is true for people with an intellectual disability.However, when people with an intellectual disability say that they would like to have a child, all sorts of alarm bells go off. Either consciously or unconsciously, we send the message: 'Don’t do it!' This causes the potential future parents to turn away from professional support. Whereas, there is evidence that parents with an intellectual disability are often successful parents if they dare to request that support and receive the proper support on time.

Talking about a desire to have a child and parenthood

ASVZ wants people with intellectual disabilities to lead equitable, meaningful lives. Encouraging discussion about the desire to have a child and parenthood should accompany that. Even more so, it is our obligation to engage in discussion with clients and to counsel them as effectively as possible concerning their parenthood or their questions regarding that. Although, how do you do that in a respectful way? How do you ensure that clients know what this involves, about what is in store for them, and about all the additional things that they must do if they are going to raise a child or children? On this website you will find advice and a toolkit, free of charge, with tools that help people with an intellectual disability, their parents, and their care workers all engage in conversation about their desire to have a child and be parents.

What I wish card game

This game – similar to Go Fish or Happy Families – shows how the client perceives certain parts of his or her life and future. Additionally, subjects that are more sensitive such as sexuality, safe sex, and the desire to have a child are addressed. You also have the option of involving other family members in the card game, if it is appropriate.

Talking about your desire to have a child

What do you do when a client expresses a desire to have a child? Or what about when you suspect that your client wants to have a child? How do you start a discussion about that? What are the important issues it involves? What is your attitude about the topic and what skills do you need to have to effectively provide for your client’s needs? For more concrete guidelines over how you can start such a discussion, go to: Talking about your desire to have a child.

My child wants a child

How do you – as parents of a child with an intellectual disability – deal with your son or daughter’s life questions regarding sexuality or a desire to have a child? Of course, you want to advise, support, and inform your child as best as possible.You can read about how to deal with that in the information brochure My child wants a child. You clearly do not have to deal with this on your own. Contact the care workers who already support your child. You can indeed do more by doing it together!

Instruction wishes quartet

Evaluation questions

Toolkit: my child wants a child


If a client is already pregnant, you want to prepare the expecting mother or the expecting couple as best as possible.

Download: pregnancy book


We hope that this website and the material in The Digital Toolkit will be useful tools for you. Of course, reality is more capricious than we describe here. Each situation, each unique individual with an intellectual disability, each culture requires its own specific approach. This is why the tools you can download are made to be adapted and tailored to your own needs. Send an e-mail to for more information. Suggestions and recommendations would also be very much appreciated! In exchange for the material, we request that you keep us abreast of the effects you achieve with the material. This enables us to expand our knowledge and experience, and we all make advancements regarding this subject.