I am a parent who chose to bring a child with Down syndrome into our family and into the world you and I share. I have read through your posts and comment threads and several like them and would like to respond to some of the ideas therein.
Technology and tests do not prevent Down syndrome. Ds happens at conception and at some point later, a test result shatters a woman’s heart. Why some women continue their pregnancies and carry their babies to term may be incomprehensible to you, but it isn’t to me.
I did not have my children in order to have my own intelligence and beauty reflected back at me. I do not plan to live vicariously through my children, nor do I need them to support me in my old age. I am not afraid of developmental delays, or of someone whose beauty is different than what our culture is programmed to desire. I don’t suffer from Münchausen syndrome, I don’t feel self-important, nor am I a religious masochist.
I chose to have children so that I could enjoy their company. All three of my children are a pleasure to be with, so they have all fulfilled my “parental needs.”
I am sorry if it bothers you that I didn’t see fit to kill my baby once I learned that the cells making up those little feet kicking at my insides all had an extra 21st chromosome.
I am also sorry if you are angry that some of your tax dollars are spent on giving my child with Ds the extra boost she needs to develop to her full potential (which is way higher than Rob seems to understand) There are lots of things I don’t like my tax dollars spent on either, but I accept that. I can give up a few Mocha Lattes to feed some 16 year old high-school drop-out’s perfectly developed welfare baby. Because, well you know, some unplanned pregnancies do result in live births.
My daughter with Down syndrome doesn’t suffer at all. And the only upcoming suffering she will probably face in her life is the ridicule and rejection of people like you. Might she get sick at some point? Yes, and you might too.
David, before you continue your campaign against parents letting their developmentally delayed children live, you should spend some time learning more about them. You seem to be convinced that only a specific set of “desirable” human traits can result in a “healthy, successful, productive” life. Having Down syndrome and being developmentally delayed doesn’t make you unhealthy, unsuccessful, or unproductive. Are some people with Ds unhealthy? Yes, they are. Are lots of people without Ds unhealthy, unsuccessful, and unproductive? Yes, they are.
Read this book, Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome, and see if knowledge about real people with Ds (lots of adults) doesn’t soften your stance just a bit.