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Down Syndrome. What would you do?

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Old 05-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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Default Down Syndrome. What would you do?

I am infertile, have PCOS, have done every treatment in the book to have a child and it hasnīt work. My husband and I are desperate, but because of our situation (army) we are currently not in the position for a typical adoption.

My SIL (Husbands brother and wife) are expecting their second baby. She is 41 years old and 4 months along with a boy. They did an amnio and found that the baby has down syndrome. They are doing one more test and then aborting the pregnancy as 90% of people with Downīs babies do. I have a mentally ******ed sister and am VERY against aborting a baby because it is not perfect.

I sent my brother in law a very nice e-mail with my sympathy and hoping the test was wrong and so on, advising how rewarding a persons with disibilities life can still be, and that if they felt they were unable to take on the respincibility of a special needs child that his brother and I would like to adopt the baby.

I canīt stop thinking about this! I have been crying and it is effecting me so much, that they want to just throw him away because heīs not perfect. I also, understand it is a huge life-long deal and not all people can cope with that commitment. But, My hubby and I can.

Was it wrong to e-mail asking for them to consider letting us have the baby and not to terminate? Should I stay out of it, or push further? I would love to have him.

What would you do?
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:41 AM   #2
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Stay out of it. They are going through a gut-wrenching time. You have made your offer and now all you can do it pray/meditate and offer love without judgment, advice or pressure.

It's ok to be sad, mad, frustrated, angry etc. about this. But that doesn't mean you need to make them aware of what you are feeling. You can feel these things without needing to act on them.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Personally I don't think it was wrong for you to e-mail them.
Like you said, it's a life-long thing to care for a special needs child and not everyone could do it. I know I couldn't.
At least you gave them an option other than abortion. So they know there is something else out there. I wouldn't want my child, special needs or not to be sitting around, growing up in a childrens home until adopted.
The only reason I'm able to give up my little girl is because she is going to family. Family I trust and love who I know will give her the life I cannot. Adoption, like abortion, is a very personal choice. Either way they go, the road will be emotionally painful, and just respect whatever choice they make and support them.
Hopefully your Brother-in-law will contact you back with something of an answer sooner rather than later so you don't have to sit around wondering what they are going to do and that could cause you to push for an answer.

hopefully the test is wrong. I know my DF's little brother tested positive for all those Down syndrom tests and he was born 100% normal...if a bit hyper.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
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I can't imagine how hard that must be for you to read. Likewise, it is truly a horrific decision for them to make, much moreso than one can imagine.

This was a beautiful blog I read once upon a time, perhaps you could share it. Dr. Sears also has a child with down syndrome and has excellent material about what life is like with their wonderful boy.

http://www.kellehampton.com/2010/01/...rth-story.html
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:11 AM   #5
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I say if they have not contacted you in a couple of days contact them again. We are talking about a human life here. How anyone could kill their own child is beyond me! The little boy of theirs has a right to live as much as you or I.
I know a lot of people think it is okay to abort a baby, I am NOT one of those people. Fight for him!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
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I think you are right. They don't want the child, you want a child and could provide loving care for it, then i think its okay for you to approach them.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:19 AM   #7
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Well, I have never been in that situation so I can't say for sure but it must be so hard. It was incredibly kind and considerate for you to offer and I hope that adoption will be the option they choose for all of you. These tests aren't always correct and almost everyone knows someone who was told their child would be terribly disabled to find they had an average person without Downs.

If the child is born and they change their minds and decide to raise it instead of adopting him out to you, what will that do to your family relationships?

I think you have to try to separate the 2 issues in your mind. You want any child you can hold and love, she can't handle having a special needs child. It seems like the perfect solution but this must be so devastatingly hard for her to consider any of that, what seems like a perfect solution might not appear so to her. Either way, she mourns what might have been. Adoption is wonderful and I hope it works out that way but please consider, no matter what, she's on the losing end and please afford her the compassion a woman would need at this time. I know she's your sister and we tend to be harder on our own family, but this is the precise time that she will need your understanding.

Best of luck to you all! Maybe this will all have a happy ending.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
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One thing to keep in mind though is that having a child with down's does not necessarily equate to a healthy but different child. Congenital heart defects are around 50%, and while the vast majority of down's pregnancies are terminated, it isn't necessarily because they don't want a disabled child but wish to do what they feel is ethical to the fetus, with a severe genetic anomaly.

As I said, I would not do it myself I don't think (who can say if they have not been in that position?) but I think people who choose to do so, do have a very valid reason for their choice.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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I can understand completely where you are coming from, it is difficult to think of a termination because the baby isn't perfect but the health issues could go deeper than that. I also think that it's amazing and very admirable for you to make the offer in the first place and really want to adopt somebody elses baby under the circumstances. My main concern would be long term, what about their guilt over initially wanting to terminate the pregnancy and then watching the child grow up? What if they regret letting you adopt and want him back? Also when she gives birth she might change her mind last minute and decide she wants to keep him. Lots of hormones. It's a difficult situation for sure and I'm sorry you've been having trouble having a baby. I hope you can work something out.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
One thing to keep in mind though is that having a child with down's does not necessarily equate to a healthy but different child. Congenital heart defects are around 50%, and while the vast majority of down's pregnancies are terminated, it isn't necessarily because they don't want a disabled child but wish to do what they feel is ethical to the fetus, with a severe genetic anomaly.

As I said, I would not do it myself I don't think (who can say if they have not been in that position?) but I think people who choose to do so, do have a very valid reason for their choice.
I agree. My heart goes out to those women/couples. Life can be so very hard.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:50 PM   #11
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Personally, I am always 100% against abortion in any scenario. I think you've done the right thing, and if pushing or offending saves a human life then it's all worth it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:02 PM   #12
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I am not going to get into a discussion about abortion as people have VERY different opinions about it. But I will say it's their choice and I think you need to respect their choice.

I carry a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome which when passed on it can cause Mental ******ation. My son has it. I had him when I was 18 and I had no idea we carried it in our family. He wasn't diagnosed until he was 2.

I have chosen not to have another child because the chance of me having another Fragile X child is 50%, either as a carrier or having the disorder. I could not do it.

I think you should support them, whatever their decision. I am betting they are going though **** right now and need support, not judgement.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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I am trying hard not to judge them, not matter the outcome. They and I have VERY differing opinions on abortion. Itīs always been and will continue to be a hot topic. I personally am pro-choice. Abortion for me is wrong in every way, but I feel I could never make the choice for another woman. But, this is my family and I feel like he canīt just be discarded because he is not perfect. He is a life, and in my opinion every life has the right to enrichment. I could love him, and provide him with the life he deserves no matter the severity of the condition.

I also have thought about the impact on the family. What if she changes her mind? How will she deal with watching him grow up, and seeing him at family functions? Will she want him back? Honestly, I feel like if his life can be saved all of these questions are worth the risk, and it is one my husband and I would be willing to take.

From the bottom of my heart, I can say I feel my BIL, and SIL, would and will not continue the pregnancy and turn him over to us. It breaks my heart and I feel like it just wonīt happen. But, regardless of some of the advise you have given I am going to continue to push, and have my hubby and husbands parents talk to their son. I feel like I am the one person advocating for this little guys life, and I will do so until the end. He is my nephew and I love him even if he isnt born yet.

By the way- My husband said I should have waited to contact them until the next test results came back, but I think it is a good idea beforehand so they at least know another option is available. Iīll keep yīall posted, and thanks for the great feedback!
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrongirl View Post
I am not going to get into a discussion about abortion as people have VERY different opinions about it. But I will say it's their choice and I think you need to respect their choice.

I carry a genetic mutation called Fragile X Syndrome which when passed on it can cause Mental ******ation. My son has it. I had him when I was 18 and I had no idea we carried it in our family. He wasn't diagnosed until he was 2.

I have chosen not to have another child because the chance of me having another Fragile X child is 50%, either as a carrier or having the disorder. I could not do it.

I think you should support them, whatever their decision. I am betting they are going though **** right now and need support, not judgement.
I agree. Step back and let them handle this in whatever way they feel will help them heal. There is a very large chance, that even if they don't abort, the pregnancy will end itself. The miscarriage and stillbirth rates for Trisomy 21 are very high.

My heart goes out to her. What a difficult thing to have to go through .
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:23 PM   #15
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It never hurts to ask, but ultimately it is still your SIL's decision and I urge you not to get your hopes up or be too disappointed by whatever choice she makes. She is in a tough place and I hope she realizes that you are, too, and will consider not giving up on her fetus.
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