So why is there such reluctance to have children with Down syndrome? One explanation shows up repeatedly when parents recount the early days after receiving their child’s diagnosis. They feel a sense of loss because they no longer dream that their child will get married, go to college or start a family of their own one day — in other words, that they will not meet the conventional expectations for the perfect middle-class life. In fact, some people with Down syndrome do accomplish those things. Nonetheless, hopes and dreams of perfection might be a strong motive for parents to choose abortion.
After the initial phase of grief, however, parents of children with Down syndrome tend to leave behind concerns about perfection, and embrace a new outlook that values acceptance, empathy and unconditional love of their children. And researchers note that those parents feel pride in their children.
Perhaps the question to ask is: Why do we have children at all?