This study explores the ways in which living with hepatitis C impacts upon childbearing decisions and experiences of motherhood. A partial grounded theory approach was taken, within which 34 women living with hepatitis C took part in semi-structured interviews. Three key areas are explored: women’s social experience of hepatitis C; hepatitis C and childbearing decisions; and the meaning of motherhood for women with hepatitis C. The experiences reported are discussed in the context of prevailing theories of deviance, stigma and the social construction of motherhood. The interview data, considered in light of such theories reveal that possibly the greatest impact that hepatitis C can have upon women is to prevent them from achieving a legitimate adult female status through childbearing and becoming a ‘good mother’. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of public health and social policy.