Is It A New World For Down's Babies?

....a survey timed to coincide with the release of figures from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register finds parents more accepting of the possibility that their child might have Down's. The Down's Syndrome Association, in conjunction with the BBC, questioned 1,000 of its members to find out why parents where increasingly likely to push on with a pregnancy where the child had Down's syndrome.

Previous consensus had attributed the rise to the fact that women are increasingly having babies at a later age, which increases the risk of Down's, but the latest survey suggests there are other reasons at play.

The results of the survey showed that, although a third of respondents said religious or pro-life leanings meant they were against the idea of abortion, many parents also felt that Britain had become a much better place to bring up a child with Down's syndrome.

A quarter of the parents said that they already knew people with Down's syndrome or other disabilities and that had influenced their decision to continue with the pregnancy. Thirty-five per cent said they felt that life and society had improved for people with Down's syndrome, while almost half had not believed they would eventually have a child with Down's syndrome, and so had continued with the pregnancy.

"We are all very surprised by this," said Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association. "When I and others had our babies it was a very different world – those with Down's syndrome were treated very differently. Now there is much greater inclusion and acceptance, with mainstream education having a huge role. We think this plays a part in the decisions parents make – there's even been a baby with Down's syndrome on EastEnders.".....

If nothing else good comes of the November election in the US, we can all pray that Sarah Palin's candidacy at least showed the country a 'can do' attitude towards accepting and loving our own families!

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