I found this article (A couple with Down syndrome is fighting to have children) on Yahoo! today. Its a topic that I think every parent of a child with disabilities can relate to. On “Born This Way” we’ve watched Meg try to convince her mother that parenthood is in her near future. One day Juan and I will be discussing this with Jana. Should adults with Down Syndrome have children? Current statistics show that a couple who both have Down Syndrome will have a 50/50 chance of having a child with DS. That’s not taking in account the fact that only 15-30% of woman with DS are fertile.
So who makes the decision if they should conceive or not? The majority of adults with DS still need help to do day to day activities. Many parents continue to support and help their children way into adulthood. If there was a baby brought in, those parents will most likely raise the child. Even if the DS couple had full intentions to care and raise their child, it just might not be a possibility.
The article post:
“That makes me feel very worried, apprehensive, and concerned,” Anderton’s mom says, and Cox’s dad agrees: “I don’t see parenthood being something that they’re going to achieve, or really they probably should achieve.” He notes it would be “very difficult” for the couple to handle not only day-to-day activities such as having jobs and driving, but also parenting skills such as helping out with homework and dealing with adolescent issues.
What is the answer? Are parents of children with DS allowed to take extreme measures to sterilize their children? Do they support and raise the new baby in order for their children to experience everything in life? Do they try to educate and convince their children that parenthood is not an option? These are very difficult questions that unfortunately can only be answered by each individual family.
It’s incredibly heartbreaking to know I will have to have this conversation with Jana one day. I want her to experience everything possible in life just like the typical kids around her. But I just don’t know what I will tell her on that day when she asked me when she will have children.
Check out the full article and I would love to heart your thoughts!