Down Syndrome: diagnosis and alternatives

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You have two healthy children from a previous marriage, but now you and your second husband would like to have a child together. You are 40 years old, and are concerned about the higher chance of having a child with Down syndrome. This condition is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21, which leads to intellectual disability and health problems in the affected individual. Amniocentesis is available for prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

Will you have your fetus tested for Down Syndrome? If yes, will you terminate the pregnancy if the fetus is found to have down Syndrome? When your child has down syndrome they suffer from intellectual disabilities and health problems that can be observed in their daily lives. The issue is that the parents are undecided on having the baby with a high chance of having down syndrome and a possibly terminate the pregnancy if the fetus is found with down syndrome.

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a physical and mental attribute that is considered an intellectual disability because of a chromosomal condition that occurred as an abnormal cell division within early embryo development (3). Normally, a person would be born with 46 chromosomes. A person with down syndrome would be born with 47 chromosomes, where there is an extra copy of the chromosome 21 within the nucleus of the body cell (2). The change in chromosome alternates how the brain and body develop. The condition characteristics are normally presented by facial appearance, and with hypotonia, have a small height, below average weight, a flat face, small ears, slanting eyes, and a small mouth with a tongue that may stick out, short neck and arms. Children also have a possibility of being born with a heart deficiency, and digestive malformations. Although people with down syndrome can experience different amounts of characteristics that the syndrome provokes in the individual.

The condition has not been given an exact cause for it. Although there are things that you can do to prevent having a baby with down syndrome. It is a proven fact that women having a baby at the ages of 35 and over will increase the possibilities of having a child with down syndrome. The malformation is more likely transmitted from the mother to the child rather than from the father.

Possible alternatives:

Some possible alternatives of the situation there would be two main options. One would have the fetus tested. If the test results positive with down syndrome, start preparing everything for the life of the baby. Children with the syndrome live different lives than other children. They must be treated differently for a good lifestyle. You as a parent need to do the best things possible for your child with the symptoms to be comfortable and stable in a loving home and have a happy life. The second main option that would likely happen if the fetus would not be tested would be hope for your child to not have the syndrome. If the parents don’t want the child if it results with down syndrome, they could find a family that would want the baby. There are many couples that cannot have a baby for different reasons. Find a family that would want a child that doesn’t care about the child having down syndrome and give it for adoption if you don’t think that you are mentally or physically prepared for the baby. Giving the baby away would be preferred, so the baby would grow up in a home where he/she is welcomed and loved by how they are.

Adopting a child that you know doesn’t have down syndrome would be a third possible alternative. You would get your child that you wanted at the age of 40 and be changing a life of a child that previously didn’t have any parents that looked after him/her. There are many children that would desire having a family and adoption would make you and the child happy and have a positive result. A last but not as common from the rest alternative would be not have the baby you really wanted. You already have two children. If you are completely worried about the situation that you could perhaps be in with the third child. Conform with the family that you have and make the best out of it. Some values that would guide my decision would be my age that is currently forty and the higher probability of my child having down syndrome. I would consider my husbands opinion about the situation because it would be a struggle for both of us. A child with down syndrome struggles thinking “out of the box” with topics of importance. If something would happen to his dad while on the job, it would be a complicated term to explain for a very long amount of time. For some positive values for my decision making would be my love for the baby whether it has the syndrome or not.

The decision I would take would be to take the risk of having a baby with down syndrome. The only factor is that the probability of having down syndrome would raise there would be little over 50% of my child having down syndrome (5). My two children I have had are very health and no one in my family has suffered from down syndrome. The percentage would increase if this weren’t the case. If my child results in having down syndrome I would be the one taking care of him/her because of three reasons. I am the baby’s mother, I made the choice of having the baby at the age of 40, and I would have been the one that probably gave the baby the extra chromosome from the proteins decaying the older a woman gets. My priority would be thriving even with the extra challenge that the symptom would provide, and raise a happy child.

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