Birth Defects

The Beloved Guardian has asked me to assure you and the parents of the dear baby of his prayers for his healing, both material and spiritual. It is difficult for us to understand these calamities when they come to us. Those who are firm in the Faith, know that the Hand of God protects them, and if something of this nature comes upon them, it is for some reason, which may have to do with the spiritual development of the one affected, or the spiritual development and welfare of the loved ones; or even for the melting of the hearts of non-Bahá’ís, who will be affected by the Divine Spirit, through the manner in which the Bahá’í meets such an ordeal.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 281

There is no explicit guidance in the Writings regarding birth defects and the Universal House of Justice has not ruled on the issue of an operation in the case of a life-threatening birth defect. It is therefore left to the judgment of the parents or guardians who must carefully and prayerfully weigh whatever medical advice they receive in light of the general guidance given in the Bahá’í teachings, balanced with the needs of all members of the family and how any decision would affect them. The Assembly should support whatever decision is made by the parents or guardians without trying to influence it, on the understanding that in such difficult situations there is neither a right nor a wrong answer and it is the parties themselves who must live with any decision made.

USA- NSA, Guidelines for Local Spiritual Assemblies, Chapter 14, p. 5