Family building in parents with Down's syndrome children.


Fertility and contraceptive practice were examined by interview with parents of 100 Down's syndrome patients. Before the birth of the affected child, fertility was low by comparison with that in married women in the general population, and to this the socioeconomic class bias in the sample is thought to be contributory. By comparison with the number of children intended had the Down's syndrome propositus been unaffected, the actual subsequent fertility was reduced. There seems to be an increased number of other types of defect in these sibships. As a contraceptive method, sterilisation was chosen by an elevated proportion of parents. Despite their acceptance of the child, the majority of mothers would wish to terminate any future pregnancy in which an abnormal fetus was diagnosed.

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