The ethical case for having a baby with Down Syndrome

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?