A Message to Parents Who Have Received a Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome

We at MHDSA would like for you to know that you are not alone. Many of us are parents who also received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and we truly understand how difficult it is to hear that unexpected news. We are a safe place to turn to with your questions and you are invited to share your feelings with people here who understand. We pledge to you that we will reach out to you with compassion and great care. We will not judge.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a prenatal diagnosis. We all have our distinctive situations and come from unique life experiences. The thing that we all have in common, however, is that we all have hopes and dreams for our children. That extra 21st chromosome just usually isn’t part of the plan as we set out to start our families.

Some expectant parents react by experiencing intense emotions at first: shock, dismay, fear, anger, etc. Please know that such emotions are a perfectly normal response. Many expectant parents enter a time of decision-making. We offer to you the opportunity to speak with experienced parents who can answer your questions and provide a realistic picture of raising a child with Down syndrome. We will answer your questions honestly and do our best to describe the joys and challenges we have experienced in our own personal journeys.

Some expectant parents consider adoption as an option. Many are quite encouraged to learn that there is actually a national waiting list of families wishing to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. If you would like adoption resources, we can provide those to you.

Other expectant parents are surprised and sad at first, but they make plans to welcome the baby into their lives. They gather as much information as they can and become determined to make adjustments during the pregnancy so that the birth will be a joyous occasion. Some are able to let go of their initial dreams and create new dreams for their child before the child arrives.

We have excellent information kits available to you, and we could get one in the mail quickly. We are also available to visit on the phone, in person, or on email. Wherever you find yourself this moment, please know that we care and we will try to meet your needs for information and support at this time.