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Couple Receives $2.9 Million For Wrongful Birth; Say They Would Have Aborted Baby Had They Known

By Danielle Sullivan |

down syndrome, couple gets 2.9 million in wrongful birth suit, wrongful birth lawsuits, pregnancy malpractice, mom health,

Many babies born with Down Syndrome go on to lead very full and productive lives, like this handsome lil guy.

We take a lot of tests during pregnancy to ensure that our babies are healthy. Sometimes, a positive outcome on certain tests, like the one for Down Syndrome, might cause some couples to abort the baby rather than face a life of disability. An Oregon couple said they would have done just that had they’d known that their daughter would be born with Down Syndrome. But after being assured by their doctor that the baby was free of the genetic disease, they went on with the pregnancy, and their daughter was born with Down Syndrome 4 years ago. After suing Legacy Health System, Ariel and Deborah Levy were recently awarded $2.9 million in a “wrongful birth” suit.

The couple says they clearly would never have had this child if they knew, and now they will use the money to help care for their daughter’s special needs. This type of case going to trial is rare, partly because of the repercussions of parents testifying that they would have aborted their child if they had known (and you can just imagine the long-term mental damage that testimony might do to a child as he/she grows up). Here is how The Oregonian sums it up:

Experts say so few parents choose to file wrongful birth suits because it forces them to take an awkward position: They must be willing to say on the record that they would have aborted the pregnancy, and that they feel a burden – albeit financial – of raising the child.

But where does that leave the countless other parents who are (many happily) raising their special needs child? Should every parent who has a child with Down Syndrome be entitled to a few million because doctors should have caught the disease during pregnancy?

There is still speculation on both sides as to why this error occurred. The couple says that maternal tissue was sampled instead of fetal tissue producing a false negative result in the chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Legacy’s attorney, Robert Keating, maintains that the CVS was properly done, and that “the results showed the girl has a normal genetic profile because she has mosiac Down syndrome, meaning a significant number of her cells don’t contain an extra 21st chromosome.”

I’m a big believer in giving people the benefit of the doubt because you can’t know for sure what anyone is thinking or know exactly what you’d do if you were in their circumstance. I also know how quickly stories get spun to generate media ratings, so I don’t think any of us can say for sure what actually happened. And we shouldn’t judge.

However, I honestly do feel that by instantly equating a diagnosis of Down Syndrome with a need to abort a pregnancy is a terrible thing. There are countless babies, children and adults living full and productive lives with Down Syndrome. Of course, we wouldn’t wish a disease on anyone, especially our own children. I can’t say that it’s right to abort a baby just because he/she has a birth defect with a clear conscience. Statistics show that it has become common practice to abort Downs babies based on prenatal testing.

The decision to keep a pregnancy in the case of Down syndrome is a personal one. When it was offered to me, I declined it because I knew that no matter what, my baby was with me for the long haul. I told my midwife that the results wouldn’t matter because I was having my baby anyway. Had he been born with Down syndrome, I wouldn’t have regretted having him. I know kids and adults, beautiful human beings, who are living with Down syndrome and have very full, engaged lives. Strollerderby’s Julie Miner summed up what I was thinking when she wrote: “If Stephen Hawking’s mother lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, in 2012 and had a bunch of prenatal testing – perhaps there would have been no Stephen Hawking. People’s abilities are so subjective but the contributions they make to humanity, their community, their family? Limitless. As if ANY prenatal test could possibly measure that.” Well said.

While Hawking’s health issues were not a result of a birth defect, who is really to say what someone can accomplish despite differing health circumstances? Actor Chris Burke, who played Corky on the series Life Goes On is perhaps the most well known face of Down Syndrome; yet for every Chris Burke, there are countless others with Downs who also lead very engaging lives, hold a job and get married.

There are many myths regarding the disease that perpetuate the dilemma, like people with downs have a short life expectancy, are unemployable, will never marry, etc… These myths, and more are all disputed by the National Down Syndrome Society.

I don’t begrudge the couple receiving the money to help care for their daughter; I just wish every family that had a special needs child could receive the same. Or better yet design a healthcare system in which every child (including special needs children) is entitled to every therapy and service he/she needs. Of course, that won’t happen any time soon, and there are countless families struggling just to hold on to their jobs needed to support their families and care for their special child at the same time.

What do you think? Should this couple have received the money? Should babies with Down Syndrome be aborted as a common practice? Are we playing judge, jury and executioner by deciding who has the right to live or not?

Image: National Down Syndrome Society

Read what our bloggers had to say in our latest Strollerderby Salon: Is Abortion the New Normal For Down Syndrome Babies?

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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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145 thoughts on “Couple Receives $2.9 Million For Wrongful Birth; Say They Would Have Aborted Baby Had They Known

  1. Diera says:

    Stephen Hawking’s condition is not a birth defect. He has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He didn’t develop problems until graduate school. This is neither here nor there for your greater point, but he’s not a particularly good example.

  2. Beth says:

    This is a little to the side of this article, but I don’t understand the philosophy of “I didn’t have prenatal testing because I would have had the baby regardless of the test.” I had prenatal testing for Down’s even though I would not have aborted had the test been positive (it wasn’t). I just wanted as much information as possible before my son was born. If he did have Down’s, I wanted to be prepared – do research, make sure I and my family had all the information necessary, support structure in place, knowing what services are available in my community, talking with other Down’s moms, etc. I just hope people realize that abortion isn’t the only reason to have a prenatal screening.

  3. Danielle Sullivan says:

    @Beth Good point, parents can certainly learn more from prenatal testing and prepare for the birth should any defect become known. Of course some come with certain risks. I honestly guess I didn’t consider the preparation aspect when I said no to the test.

  4. Jody says:

    Beth, people say that because there is a risk to doing CVS and tests like that. When you don’t want to take the chance of m/c and you know you wouldn’t abort anyway, it makes sense to skip the test. You can read a bit about Downs while pregnant to prepare ‘just in case’ … you don’t NEED to put your baby’s life at risk. Maybe the risk is small, but for some people like myself who tried for many years to get pregnant and that pregnancy is possibly the only chance, you don’t risk it.

    As for this couple – disgusting! I’m just disgusted! 2.9 million …. I’d like to see every cent going toward the baby, at least. But we can be sure it won’t. New cars (to keep her safer … sure!) and a new home (for her comfort) and vacations … etc. They are using their daughter’s condition to make a cash grab. If they didn’t want her, they could have put her up for adoption. Nobody wishes downs for their baby, but children with Downs are sweet and loving. How would this couple like to have had one of their sons have autism, a disorder that can feel like a prison wall between you and your child. That would be much harder than Downs, IMO. No prenatal test for that.

    Tests aren’t 100% – you’re not entitled to a PERFECT child. What an idiotic verdict/award!

  5. goddess says:

    I had amniocentesis during my last pregnancy, and we had planned to abort for fetal anomaly. Our first child had disabilities of a different sort- vaccine damage and not genetic. However, due to our experience with that we both decided we would not willingly choose to raise another child with disabilities, we would not accept thee sacrifices needed on behalf of our other children, or our parents and siblings either.

  6. Kat says:

    When I heard a few years ago that 75% of downs babies are abortd, my stomach turned. I know many families tha thave a child with an extra chromosome, they are happy, work jobs, enjoy life, etc. It is more work but so rewarding. Unless their baby has a lot of health issues that need lots of money, this family is greedy.

  7. goddess says:

    To answer your question about the lawsuit: I’m not particularly impressed by them pressing the suit after choosing to raise her. It seems it would have been more moral to let a family who would have rejoiced in her abilities raise her than to risk her knowing and understanding this someday- which, with it being mosaic, it’s likely to be less than severe than a straight-up type of trisomy 21.
    I can understand their fear and wanting to see their child cared for, but the stance they must take, and keep and defend is one that we rejected in a sense, when we chose not to sue for malpractice when our son was brain damaged from his vaccines. There was a degree of anger necessary to keep stoked in order to have that aggression, and we needed for his sake as well as our won, to accept, to heal and to move on in order to be the best possible parents to him. I don’t regret that decision at all.

  8. goddess says:

    “In Canada the abortion rate for Down Syndrome after prenatal testing is 88%.”

    “Virtually all couples who find that the fetus suffers from Down’s Syndrome, or a similar defect, elect to have an abortion.”

    “…the October 1998 American Journal of Genetic Counseling announced that the abortion rate of babies with Down syndrome dropped from 90 percent in 1992 to 70 percent in 1996.”

    “Though the trend for parents to electively abort babies with Down syndrome is slowing down across the nation,” she said, “there was still a 93% elective abortion rate in 1998 for pregnancies with a positive amniocentesis test.”

    “The rate of deciding to terminate a pregnancy is also high when the specific disability of the fetus is known. For example, Glover and Glover (1996) concluded that over 88% of women who have a confirmed prenatal diagnosis that they are carrying a fetus with Down syndrome choose to abort the pregnancy. Williamson, Harris, Church, Fiddler, and Rhind (1996) similarly found that 88% of their sample of 302 women pregnant with a fetus with Down syndrome chose to terminate their pregnancy.”

  9. Coco says:

    Love the picture of the handsome little guy above, what a cutie! Shocked at the verdict!

  10. Kristina Wright says:

    You write, “And we shouldn’t judge.” about this couple and then you do, writing, “However, I honestly do feel that by instantly equating a diagnosis of Down Syndrome with a need to abort a pregnancy is a terrible thing.” I don’t think any mother “instantly” decides to terminate any pregnancy and what’s “terrible” is the idea that any woman should feel judged for making a decision to terminate.

    I went through extensive prenatal testing for both of my pregnancies, including two invasive CVS procedures. That was my choice. What I decided to do with the test results was also my choice.

    If you don’t want to terminate a pregnancy based on prenatal testing, then don’t. Not judging means accepting the choices that others make, even if they aren’t the choices you would make.

  11. Alison says:

    I think the award is fair in this case (the article in the link provided is a good read). This was based on the estimate of the cost for care of the child and the jury voted 12-0 very quickly in their favor. Since they know more about the case than I do, I will trust their judgment. I found Danielle’s summary here of the case to be a bit misleading.

    According to the article in the Oregonian, this particular child in this particular case is not expected to ever be able to live independently so that will be extremely expensive for this family. This family paid for the test after receiving a worrying result in her first-trimester screening, and relied on the test to give them accurate information, but it seems that the doctor flubbed the test and didn’t take a large enough sample of her womb, and the employees didn’t communicate. Also, the ultrasounds worried the couple but the doctor repeatedly brushed aside their concerns and assured them that everything was OK instead of referring them for an amnio. Maybe this reward will make doctors more careful in performing tests that will affect decades of a family’s life in the future.

    Even if some children with Downs lead productive, happy lives it should be up to the pregnant woman to decide whether she wants to continue a pregnancy and be as informed as she is willing and able to be. Doctors should be held accountable for their professional actions and should not be able to lie about test results.

    One of my former co-workers had a child with Downs that needs far more money than that to provide care for. There are major differences in ability within the diagnosis of Downs syndrome and he was on the worse-off end. Basically, my co-worker had to quit working once his son aged out of public “school”. His son couldn’t say more than a couple of words, couldn’t walk, couldn’t take care of himself in any way. These parents basically lived a life revolving around his care and seemed awfully depressed. It was really sad to see.

    I’m very glad that those who would like to raise a child with Downs are able to and I am willing to pay higher taxes for their support, but I am grateful that that choice is one I can make for myself.

  12. Joanna says:

    It’s easy to be horrified by these parents. Who can imagine standing up in front of the world and saying you’d rather have aborted your precious child? I personally cannot. But of course, few of us are in their shoes, either. Down Syndrome has a range of outcomes, from relatively mild to very severe. The article states that this child is on the more severe end, in that she will “most likely never be able to live independently.”

    If you are making the decision to forego medical testing or knowingly have a child with Down Syndrome, then it’s important to have all the facts. Yes, many people with Down Syndrome are delightful and independent. They can have jobs, get married, and enjoy a good life. But even these folks are likely to have increased hospitalizations and medical problems. Thirty percent of people with Down Syndrome have dementia in their 50s, and the number goes up from there. Many need heart surgery as infants. If the parents don’t have high incomes or good health insurance, where will the money come from to care for these patients when they need it?

    Also, the “Myths and Truths” on Down Syndrome give only partial truths. It remains a fact that Down Syndrome does shorten lifespan, although the gap has narrowed a lot (life expectancy is now 50s- early 60s, but with high dementia rates). Around 7% of babies born with Down Syndrome die in infancy. Throughout their lives, people with Down’s face higher rates of infection, endocrine problems, orthopedic problems, etc, that send them to the hospital at a much higher rate than those without the disorder. Again, if you are a family with limited resources, how will you pay for this care? The parents in this article found a very difficult answer to this question of finances.

    I am not arguing in favor of abortion, but for a FULLY informed choice. People faced with the decision to continue or with a pregnancy or not should talk to multiple families to get a sense of what the outcomes can be — both the happy endings and the not-so happy ones.

  13. sara says:

    There is a very high rate of fetal demise due to chromosomal abnormalities, not to mention the risk of infant death. I can understand that there would be situations where families would choose to abort because they simply couldn’t handle the heightened risk of those outcomes.

  14. goddess says:

    I totally agree Joanna and Alison about women being able to choose for fetal health reasons, and I, myself, would have aborted for genetic anomalies, including but not limited to trisomy 21. However, if I had a child with disabilities and decided to parent it, I would not have taken a stance that would have made public to that child that he or she would have been aborted. I would have placed the child for adoption, or sucked it up.

  15. goddess says:

    However, something else just occurred to me.
    I’ve been hearing that some doctors, who are morally opposed to abortions, are choosing to NOT divulge possible problems with both the pregnancies and the embryo/fetus, for fear the woman may choose to abort.
    Maybe lawsuits like this one will keep doctors honest, who might be tempted to withhold vital information.

  16. goddess says:

    Oopsie daisy- Arizona Senate just passed a bill protecting and permitting doctors to do that. Find the link as moderators seem to not want links in my posts.

  17. bunnytwenty says:

    It’s incredibly expensive to raise a child with special needs – especially if they can’t care for themselves independently as an adult. And what happens to them after Mom and Dad die? Until our society is willing to use its resources to provide a good life for people with disabilities instead of leaving it all up to the parents, then sadly, it’s completely reasonable for parents to abort rather than to take this challenge on, and it’s unfair to judge. It’s not a pleasant choice, and one that I hope I’ll never have to make, but this society doesn’t value children and it values children with disabilities even less, and individual parents can’t and shouldn’t be blamed for that.

  18. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    This is such a sad story. I’m struck by the fact that this couple chose to have CVS done in the first place. That alone tells me that they *really* wanted to know if the child was healthy. It sounds as though there is a possibility that the doctor made an error in taking material for the test and that he also brushed off ultrasound concerns. Having been through the death of a newborn who had a birth defect incompatible with life, I have to say that I would not put myself or my family through that again. True, it’s not Downs, but I we all draw the line somewhere and I’m not going to pretend my line is better than anyone else’s line.

  19. Shandeigh says:

    The test is not 100%… they tell you when they administer it that it has an error rate. I personally know of two little boys by different mothers whose Downs test was positive… neither little boy has Downs. If their mothers had been as heartless as these people they would’ve been murdered for no good reason.

  20. goddess says:

    This- by Linda: “but I we all draw the line somewhere and I’m not going to pretend my line is better than anyone else’s line.”

    Shandeigh- not everyone is equipped to do this or be a martyr to that cause. And like I told others once:

    “I would, to those people, assert the challenge to agree to support these children with disabilities and their families *in* their family unit until they [the person with the disability] die: assure that their physical needs are being met when Mom & Dad cannot, assume total financial responsibility for their medical needs & costs, including insuring them. And provide that 24/7 hands-on care when , for any reason, their parents find themselves unable to do so.”

    Until then, take care of your own choices and leave others to theirs.

  21. Blue says:

    Completely agree with Alison, Joanna, and Goddess. (You can find out about the Arizona legislation that Goddess mentioned on Slate, which is a story that Babble should definitely be covering as well.) People see the high-functioning Down’s kids and think all is rosy, but there is a lot of variability that is underreported–I have known a case like the one Alison mentioned too.

  22. Diana says:

    amniocentesis is about 99.4% accuracy just like contraceptives are not 100 percent effective, (five children later, all conceived while on the depo shot, maderma, and the use of condoms and spermicide, i didn’t sue because all contraceptives state about a 99.9 effective rate) if they feel so burdened by this child they need to give her up for adoption, they already said they would have aborted, they don’t want her, but they are going to try to get every nickel and dime they can? what pieces of sh*t. children know, even those with down syndrome when they are unwanted, I pray every nickel, every dime is tracked and ensured to pay for her medical needs, not the house bills, not the gas in the car or a trip to hawii but for the child’s needs alone. I pray they don’t kill her and try to make off with the money. i could never stand up and say i would have murdered any of my children if they were born with two heads , whatever just because a human being does not fit into your ideal of “normal” or “perfect” does not mean they can not contribute or live …..this story makes me want to scream especially with millions of people out there yearning to raise a child even if they are born differently then them.. I am truly surprised though that they won the case with the tests not being 100 percent accurate ….mind boggling.

  23. Diera says:

    I agree 100% with Linda, T.O.O. I might or might not abort a fetus with Down syndrome, but I sure as hell would for some other disorders, which just makes my line different. I also will say I don’t think one can conclude from this story that the actual child they have is not loved. I think there are a lot of babies out there that came from pregnancies that REALLY were not wanted, and yet the parents loved the babies anyway when they showed up.

  24. Holly says:

    I think it’s funny how so many people want to judge these poor parents. They have a severely disabled child and I feel for them. If they did the calculations and decided that the best way for them to guarantee the health and safety and happiness of their child was to sue to get additional financial resources…who are we to judge? We are all worried about the message it sends to the child. I posit that the child will never know. Perhaps he/shew will just know that they have the wheelchair, the ramps, the nursing aides, etc. And, perhaps, something the bank to cover her for after her parents pass away, should she live that long. Maybe the child will know, and maybe the parents will explain to the child why they did it. It’s so easy to say “oh they are greedy and just want a new car!” Sure. What they want is a healthy child. They cannot have that so really, everyone should just say to themselves, “there but for the grace of god go I” because you really do not know what it is to live in their shoes. Leave them alone. It’s all just conjecture and hurtful at that.

  25. Brooklyn Mom says:

    The facts surrounding this case seem pretty straight forward, but sadly the author didn’t portray them as such. It doesn’t seem like the parents were looking for a free ride here. They had a valid basis for their lawsuit. The doctor didn’t perform the test properly. Whether or not they would have kept the baby is not, and should not be, the question here. They were not just awarded this money because they had a child with Down Syndrome. It’s not an apples to apple comparison, as the author is trying to make the case. The award was a result of a test being incorrectly performed, which resulted in them not being able to make the most informed decision for themselves. Frankly, Ms. Sullivan should be ashamed at herself for such loose journalism ethics in this “story”.

  26. Jodymo says:

    For a blogger who has described herself as prochoice this post is very hypocritical. You judged this people for wanted to have made a choice that was different from one you would have made. It was their choice and an error was made and they lost the chance to have made the choice. now thy are living with a child with special needs. I truly doubt they are using his money for anything other takig care of the child that they now have.

  27. Heidi says:

    It’s easy for us to sit in judgment without all of the facts or circumstances. Sure, these parents might be hideous money grubbing a-holes, but they just as easily might be people at the end of their rope without any other way to provide for their child. Maybe they love her, maybe they don’t. Fact is, we don’t know and thus shouldn’t judge.

    I don’t think I would have made the choices these parents have — perhaps in part because while I am pro-choice I do not think I would abort a fetus that I found out had Down syndrome — but I also don’t have all the information they had and I don’t know what I would do in that situation (though obviously I have thought about it). We had all the less invasive testing available when I was pregnant, and when those tests indicated no risk factors, we decided against any invasive/risky tests. So I don’t know what I would have done.

    At any rate, it’s easy to get outraged about this without knowing the whole story, harder to really imagine what we would do.

  28. Diana says:

    There are plenty of people with down syndrome who work in high stressful jobs, live independently and have family’s of their own either with people not like themselves or like themselves, the type of down syndrome this little girl has is called “mosaic” down syndrome, people with mosaic down syndrome are high functioning, some of her cells have an extra chromo, while others don’t…yes i am going to judge this family because when this girl finds out her parents stood up in court and to the world and said they would have aborted had they known the hell is she going to feel about that? .you can give her all the love in the world…still wont erase the hurt that those words will cause . and and having down syndrome does not mean you must depend on others for the rest of your life, nor does it always mean you will need extra help, especially the type this little angelic gift has…i can not stand hitler like ideals, the ideal perfect human….i can also post many blogs written by independent functioning people with down syndrome, retardation, etc, who have contributed rather then be a leech to society, then i can show blogs of high functioning people who would appear to be a pitfall of society yet they were born “normal” i have yet to see someone on who had down syndrome, maybe we should start aborting the “normal” “healthy” babies?

  29. goddess says:

    So if I did do the time in the disabled-child-due-to-medical-incompetence-department I have earned the right to weigh in right Holly? Thanks.

  30. CW says:

    A doctor who is pro-Life should be upfront with his/her patients about that fact and have a waiver for the patient to sign informing what the physician will not do. So if the physician will not prescribe contraception or give abortion referrals or do prenatal testing or whatever, the patients should be made aware of that so they can seek treatment elsewhere if they disagree. There are plenty of women who would actually *PREFER* a pro-Life physician (I sure wish I could find one in my neck of the woods).

  31. K. Wanke says:

    This is a very sad commentary on the state of our nation. For this couple to devalue the life of their child in open court and for said court to award them millions of dollars for doing so is just an outright disgust!! My prayers will be with this sweet child. I pray she grows up surrounded by other people who will love and value her for who she is and who she is yet to be!

  32. Karen says:

    Yes, I can in fact say that I know what I would do in this situation. I would have had the child and not terminated. Termination is not an option. I didn’t have the tests with my pregnancy because I did not want to know. I wanted to love the child just the same. Life is in God’s hands, not ours.

  33. MH says:

    This is just sick. What a sorry world we live in.

  34. Ashley Logsdon says:

    Wow – this is exactly what Jodi Picoult writes about in her novel, “Handle with Care” ( – she does a great job of playing the devil’s advocate, showing both the mother, the OB, and the child’s side of things – her writing is eloquent and really helps you look at it from every perspective.

  35. Sarah says:

    That’s SO wrong! Are you going to aboard the baby if they have a learning disability too, or get sick? People don’t understand life is full of trials and you’re going to win some and lose some. But, murder, to solve a disability is NO SANE way to go. You disgust me!

  36. Sharon says:

    What I think is sickening is all of you people so ready to crucify this couple without knowing them or even all the facts. Fact #1 This couple LOVES their children with all their hearts and would do anything for them ESPECIALLY this little girl. Fact #2, they would die themselves before “killing” her. Are you really suggesting that this couple would kill their 4 year old daughter? Who are you to judge before walking in their shoes or even knowing all of the facts in this case? This is a couple that puts the needs of their children before ANYTHING else, and if you spent 2 minutes with them you would see that they are doing this FOR her. To secure a future FOR her. Please stop spreading hate!

  37. cynthia says:

    as a parent of children with special needs i cannot imagine not having them in my life. to me they are just as precious as any other child. God made them they are for a reason. i also have one healthy child and know both sides of this issue. it is a struggle to raise them, but i would not change it for anything. proud parent of special needs children

  38. KBeach says:

    I would abort. I won’t lie. Who are we to judge? It’s them who have to live with what they’re doing. At least, if they are struggling to care for their chid….. (And makes me wonder if that was an initial reason to not have it) now they will be able to with no issues…..

  39. Reagan and Trevor's Mommy says:

    What a tough story to digest. My first reaction was a little bit of horror but then I started to think more about it. I don’t doubt at all that these parents love their child and they likely have self-prosecuted enough for having to testify that they would have aborted the baby had they known. I imagine it is quite difficult to admit to yourself let alone publicly that the outcome would have been different with different knowledge. It must have been awful the first few moments and weeks when the dreams they once had for their child were wiped away with her diagnosis and they had to then reconcile their love for her along with feeling they would have aborted. It is just so sad all the way around. Publicly stating their intentions for the testing does not change what their intentions were and I really feel for them for having to put themselves out there in order to get the verdict they needed. They don’t need to be publicly vilified on top of everything else.

  40. heather says:

    EVERY child is a gift from God

  41. A. Berg says:

    This shows a very sad trend in society, one I had the misfortune of discovering 12 years ago. I became pregnant and due to my own congenital issues (shout out to my parents to choose life and fight for mine) was high risk. The first OBGYN I went to looked at me and told me to have an abortion because the problems my child would be born with would be to great to be worth it. Well I choose not to abort and guess what I gave birth to a healthy baby girl 12 years ago. Doctors are not 100%-they go by statistics and by what test show but there are errors in these tests. People do not realize that pregnancy and birth is still a mystery to physicians because by all rights none of should have survived. Do I think they should have sue-no because if you feel your child is such a burden give them to someone that doesn’t. Before I became pregnant my husband and I talked about adoption our choice would have been to adopt a special needs child because even though its hard to care for them the rewards are so great. By the way this is my opinion I respect others for there’s and I will agree to disagree

  42. Lisa says:

    I was faced with a very tough choice when I was pregnant with my twins. At 18 weeks, discovered through ultrasound, my little girl was shown to have Spina Bifida ( i know Downs is the topic…but just trying to show disabilities off all kinds can be difficult) her twin brother was healthy with no sign of the birth defect. I was given an amnio and it was 100% positive that she did indeed have Spina Bifida…my choices were given to me…but being pregnant with twins made it more complicated….i could terminate my pregnancy of both fetuses or just one ( will not get into the details surrounding this aspect)…it was the hardest thing i think i have ever had to do…but in the end they were and are my children no matter what( they are now 9)..both healthy and happy…even my daughter who does have daily struggles… but i wouldn’t change her for the world…I can feel for the parents in this case because if my tests had came back with no problems I would not have been prepared for what lay ahead…i think the award for financial reasons were justified as the tests were not performed correctly and that was the health practitioners job to do that families can be prepared and make informed decisions….

  43. Evette Kaplan says:

    This is the worst thing , the should be ashamed of them self’s and all money should go in a trust or dedicated account for the baby. God gives us this gift of special children , and that is is the key word gift a24/7 gift. The system is wrong and they do not deserve to have their baby, There is a adoption list so long and a special list for downs babies. I speak from experience My angel has downs and she is a gift .

  44. malley says:

    Goddess , I am sorry to hear about ur son, but the THEORY of vaccinations causing mental retardation and and the Dr. have been discredited. There is no scientific proof to date that vaccinations are cause. Do not scare other parents into thinking that it is not safe to get your children vaccinated. The benefits by far outweigh the risks.

  45. goddess says:

    Whose god?

  46. goddess says:

    To MH, Sarah and Heather:
    “I would, assert the challenge to agree to support these children with disabilities and their families *in* their family unit until they [the person with the disability] die: assure that their physical needs are being met when Mom & Dad cannot, assume total financial responsibility for their medical needs & costs, including insuring them. And provide that 24/7 hands-on care when , for any reason, their parents find themselves unable to do so.”

    Until then, take care of your own choices and leave others to theirs.

  47. Evette Kaplan says:

    People are evil. How will you ever explain that to your baby ? You are horrible people I know so many people that would love to have a baby with or without downs, myself included ,I would do it again if I could

  48. malley says:

    You people to say you would abort are sick. That is selfish, be thankful your mothers didn’t abort you!!!! And if you are a mother already, take a look in your childs eyes and then go abort your baby. WOW!! Glad I have God, heart and strength. I pray for you all.

  49. Melissa says:

    You’re right!! We don’t have the right nor should we judge! I do believe that every child is a gift from God..Also maybe there is a BIGGER reason on why these parents didn’t want to have this child,had they known..We just don’t know it all.

  50. Laura says:

    My husband and I had our first child last June I was offered testing to see what the chance of having a special needs baby was. I declined having tests done because to me it didn’t matter if I had a special needs child it was my baby and my husband and I would love it no matter what. However that being said I do not believe it’s my place to judge someone because they would make a different choice. I wouldn’t have an abortion but I don’t think it’s my place to tell another person they can’t have one. I imagine it would be a hard enough decision to make without having to worry about how people would view that choice. For that reason I don’t think it’s my place to tell someone they can’t seek legal action for something they were assured was one way and turned out another. Although I wonder what kind of an error margin tests like these can have.

  51. Alicia says:

    What right do any of you judgemental people have to say these parents are “so horrible” when all you have to go off of is a blog entry that is written to turn your opinions a certain way?! You don’t live in these parents’ shoes, you have no idea what their life is like, so just shut up! At least these people have the integrity to speak their truth, even if it’s something that others may find distasteful or wrong. Only this couple knows the full circumstances of their lives and what they know they can handle, and isn’t it better to have people who admit they’re not able to care for a disabled child than have a disabled child end up with parents who mistreat the child? (Though I’m not saying that this particular couple mistreat their daughter or anything.) And I know there are people who would say that the child should just put the child up for adoption then, but the reality is that the majority of disabled children in the system *stay* in the system their whole lives because there are very few people who put in the time and money to adopt a disabled child, let alone simply foster one. I know parents who ended a pregnancy over a poor prenatal diagnosis, and I know parents who gave birth to their child knowing there was a disability, and neither one is better or worse than the other. The decision to give birth to a child you know has a disability that leads to some fair amount of suffering in terms of health issues and the like is NOT an easy one. I know that I may have a hard time personally giving birth to a child with a disability given my own circumstances in life that includes a bipolar diagnosis, because if I’m trying to take care of my issues, can I be good enough at taking care of the demands of a disabled child? And if that question happens to be no, and my husband agree, then the pregnancy would be ended because if I can’t be the best mother I can to the child, how fair would it be to give birth to that child? This doesn’t make me a bad person, this questioning of my own abilities. It’s simple honesty. And sometimes the truth really hurts.

  52. Erin says:

    Until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes… absolutely no one has the right to judge. I have three children, one with very severe, non-verbal autism – there is absolutely no possible way to describe how hard life can be and how emotionally and financially draining it can be, no matter how much I love my son with all of my heart. You think you can imagine, but fact: you can’t. If I were to get pregnant again and if I were to find out that the baby has autism, I would abort. Because I have the rest of my family to think about, balance their very real and important needs, along with my son’s ever-growing and beyond imaginable needs, along with my own mental health. If you scan over all of the comments above, you will notice that all of the ones who are judging are coming from those who do not have a special needs child (including the author of the original piece).

    And one more thing, a note to the original author: You are judgmental in this editorial and I find it highly offensive. Not to mention an extremely important note that I want to point out: Down Syndrome is not a “disease” as you keep calling it. It is a chromosomal condition that is associated with intellectual disability.

  53. margo says:

    What a greedy couple, I am digusted! Jody – well said!

  54. Becky says:

    Not having the test is just plain irresponsible. Just because you choose to have it does NOT mean that you would have an abortion if it came back positive. Many children with Down Syndrome have treatable heart defects. If that was the case, wouldn’t you want to know so that you could have a pediatric cardiologist in the delivery room or on call? If you are so pro-life, why would you want to take the chance of your child dying during birth from a heart condition?

    Additionally, wouldn’t you want to have time to do adequate research so that you could be fully prepared and equipped to help your child? Wouldn’t you want to reach out to other families who have children with Downs or join a support group? Wouldn’t you want to take the time to explain the condition to your other children?

    I think that everyone has the right to do what they want and that it is nobody’s business to judge. I am just sick of hearing people say that they didn’t have the test because it wouldn’t have mattered. No matter the results, the test DOES matter because it allows you to be adequately prepared, which is what is best for the child.

    Also, Stephen Hawking is not a great example, as he has a form of ALS, which is not diagnosed prenatally. He was diagnosed in his early 20s.

  55. Debbie Myers says:

    My son and daughter-in-law were privileged to have had a daughter with Downs Syndrome, unfortunately she did not survive after 6 1/2 month after having 3 open heart surgeries to repair her heart defect….They would never have been BLESSED with that little angel, Kaitlyn if they had aborted her when they received the diagnosis. Please give Down Syndrome Babies the same chance other children are given!!!!! We love you Kaitlyn!!!!

  56. Malley says:

    Goddess I am sorry to hear about your child, but I would like to clarify that the THEORY and Dr. stating links to vaccinations and mental retardation has been discredited due to no scientific or clinical proof. It is not fair to scare other parents to think they are doing harm to their child by getting them vaccinated. The benefits by far outweigh the risks. The fact of the matter is you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t with any decision you make as a parent. It is a lifelong learning process and we as parents make the best decisions we can for our children, what we feel is right in our hearts.

    I feel it is wrong to say straight up, that someone would abort their child if they found out there was a disability. I speak out of experience and not out of my A$$. My mother became pregnant with my little sister over the age of 35 so the “chances of down syndrome” were higher… Well my mother got the tests performed and they came back positive for down syndrome. Being that my mother was a paraprofessional for 25 years to severely handicapped children, she was sad of course, but it was something that she grew to accept and knew she would love her child regardless. My sister was then born, a perfect, healthy baby girl with no disabilities what so ever. That is not the first time I have heard of a false positive with a pre-natal diagnostic test either. The tests have a history of being false at times and yes, your life will be very different either way you choose. But my point is, what if the test was wrong and you aborted a healthy child (like my mother)? I know personally I would feel better having my handicapped child under my care and in my life, rather than the guilt of knowing what I did or did not do for the REST OF MY LIFE. It is so easy to say what one would do when you are at home sitting on your couch or reading an article sharing your opinions, compared to actually being in the situation. Also, the argument of others stating they would abort because of the financial hardship, or emotional aspect, not being able to work etc. Hey, life changes when you have a child period. It doesn’t matter what state they are in healthy or disability. Your child may not be born with a disability but it may develop over time, or a severe accident could happen to where your child becomes a “financial burden”….would you decided to just throw in the towel because its “too much for you”? When you take the responsibility of becoming pregnant those are the things that you have to take into consideration and accept. Life is not about throwing in the towel because its going to make YOUR life harder. If that is how someone chooses to live their life, when you ask yourself whats wrong with this world, look in the mirror.

    I am really not TRYING to be mean or hurtful just shed some light on the situation. This article really kills me because I was told that I was never going to have children and ended up having my son a year ago. I declined the pre-natal tests for disabilities for THAT simple reason. I did not want to stress myself out my whole pregnancy or come face with having to think about a decision. I wanted my son, and now I look in his eyes….how could I EVER say that I would abort him if something was wrong, or another child….NEVER! THAT is emotionally too much for ME to handle. Adoption is always an option rather than abortion. There are people that have a true heart for the handicapped children and LIVE for them. And it DOES happen….a single female family friend adopted a black crack addicted baby that is severely handicapped and everything turned out okay. Just remember, there are always other options. And while you may have to hit the bottom before the top, when you are at the bottom, there is no way else to go but back up. :)

  57. Angela says:

    I was only 20 years old when my first son was born. He was born with Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and I had absolutely no idea! A week after he was born I was told he had the disorder. The doctor gave me a book and told me ” Your son has Down syndrome” and that is all I remember. I suppose I blanked out from the shock of it. My husband left me a little while after that and raising him on my own was no easy task. When he turned 5 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and endured 3 years of chemotherapy. He is a fighter! He is 12 years old now and I would not have changed one instance(well maybe the cancer part!) I love him with all my heart. I became pregnant again and lost that baby. After that I was checked to see if I was a carrier of Down syndrome because I was afraid that was why I lost that baby. Thank goodness I am not. When I became pregnant again I made sure to get whatever tests I could ( with the exception of the amnio) and they all came back normal. He is a healthy 2 year old! I am not a supporter of abortion for myself but I have supported friends who have chosen to do so. The only way I would ever have an abortion is if the pregnancy would cause harm to me (death) that would cause me not to be able to take care of my children. I do think this couple did what they felt they needed to to take care of their child. I would not have done this but to each their own. And I do not look down on them for taking this route.

  58. Amanda says:

    Having a baby is a miracle of God. My 2 boys (one being special needs) never got tested because the rest for miscarriage would have been higher. People send YEARS trying to have a baby and never end up with anything at all – parent-less or adopting. A lot of people would take a baby regardless of disabilities or not just to be a Mommy or a Daddy. With my special needs son, I wouldn’t change anything in the world about him. We work around his special needs and do the best that we can for him and love him more and more everyday without having $2.9 million dollars. Bottom line is: Because being a parent is such a miracle and because there’s so many people out there that cannot be a parent, whatever you receive from God you should count your blessings – disabled or not! I believe in the right to have an abortion if someone is rapped or having health problems themselves but because a baby will be born with special needs – that’s BS – especially being born with downs – they are some of the most special, sweet, kindest, most generous creations ever to be born! I am planning on having more kids. And I will “Opt” out of the test as well – why? because God gave me a body to be able to be a mommy and when I was 15 yrs old and the doctors said I never would be a momma – My whole world came crashing down so anything I get I will love and cherish. I look at it like this: We make mistakes – but God doesn’t. He won’t give you anything you cannot handle and he knows what he’s doing. I really hope that they use that money to help there baby and not use it to put her in a DS Group Home while they enjoy their new found money!

  59. Siobhan says:

    I feel sorry for their daughter!!! She probably wouldnt want to have parents like them either! I pray she never sees this story and that her parents give her love and treat her with all of the respect she deserves!!!!

  60. Crystal says:

    Im with BETH I had testing because I wanted to know before hand if I was going to need to need more help than the “norm”… as for couple getting money for what they claim to be wrongful birth… sounds to me like they are just some the the sue happy Americans looking to get money where they can… I would be wrong, but we will never know..

  61. Crystal says:

    ugh so many type-o’s in my last post.. I give up Im tired..

  62. Samira says:

    I believe in a choice for the parents I personally would never have an abortion even if it meant my life I would have my child. I do however believe that if the child is born with a special need such as down syndrome or missing limb or other defect I hate using that term because it to mean says that there is something wrong with the child no child has something wrong with it its just different then they should be entitled to some form of help be it monetary aid or free health coverage or just someone to care for the house, home, and child or children including siblings so the parents can work if needed. I know how hard it is to care for a child full time as a single mother and work to be able to afford the things it takes to care for that child and she has no special needs I can only imagine if she did have special needs how much harder it would be that is why I say they should be entitled to help they should have a choice but it should not be mandatory and the tests are not the most accurate as we have seen granted false positives are less likely than false negatives it is still possible to have a result of yes and have a normal child as well as have a false no and have a child with down syndrome as in this case every parent especially the parents who choose to have the child regardless should be entitled to some kind of help unless of course the idea of getting the help is the only reason they chose to have the child. I know that will never happen because there is no way to tell who just had the child to get the help and who really just wanted to have a baby and raise it to be a happy healthy cog in the inner workings of society’s clock.

  63. Karen Adamd says:

    These people make me sick!!! They do not deserve to get paid to raise their own child, god gave them that child and it is their responsibility to raise it. I have a son with Down’s Syndrome and I didnt know until I gave birth to him and he is the most loving special person I have ever had the Privilege to know, and YES I said Privilege, because that is what it is to have this beautiful soul in my life. You people make me sick, in my opinion, you really dont deserve to have something that special in your life.

  64. Elveera says:

    Good for them! Too many people acknowledge their ignorance but refusing to make an informed decision. People should have a say when science permits them to do so, not some ancient myths and fairytales or emotional/irrational nonsense. They deserved the money for the balls to face the idiocracy and then some …

  65. Stephanie says:

    There is a kid in my college Biology class. His dad sits by his side every day (3 days a week) and helps his son study. This bright young man is doing better in this class than 90% of the other students, and he’s the only one with Downs! I’ve known a few adults with Downs and they’re wonderful people.
    This family shouldn’t have gotten a dime. In fact, they should be greatful for the miracle they were given. It’s a shame that these poor excuses for parents didn’t love their child unconditionally. What’s next? Post birth abortions??

  66. jackie says:

    I think every couple having kids should have the right to choose. I would rather know a pregnancy was aborted because of the parents knowing the baby would have a disability than hear about a baby out child with disabilities being abused, beaten, or killed because the parents couldn’t handle it.

  67. Shannon says:

    This makes me sick. I have a 12 year old daughter who has sever ADHD amoung a few things and we are in the process of testing for autism. Yes life can be very chanelleging and god knows there are days when I ask why my child couldn’t have been born normal and I don’t know any parent with a special needs child that hasn’t thought the same thing but NO ONE deserves to have their life literally cut short because they are different. Since having my daughter I have lost a child at 26weeks pregnant and had afirst trimester miscarriage. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what those children would be like. It wouldn’t have made a difference what was wrong with the child. I would have just felt blessed to have them in my life. Now with that said it angers me and deeply, hurts me that anyone would terminate a child life just because they are different. I can no longer have children but people like this can! Something is talky wrong with this world!

  68. Alicia says:

    I posted earlier (I wrote about my bipolar affecting my parenting), and wanted to add two things: 1) as a woman who is affected by secondary infertility, I can say that I am so sick and tired of people telling others to “be grateful they have a kid/kids because so many people can’t have kids”. Just stop saying that. No one is under any obligation to feel anything simply because *I* can’t have another child. And when it comes to topics such as this, it’s even more ridiculous. Stop putting words into the mouths of infertile couples. 2) Based on the numbers of disabled children who are never adopted, adoption is not a truly viable option for a disabled child. Sure, there are a very small numbers of families who happily adopt disabled kids, and people who adopt at least one, but sadly the vast majority of disabled children will never find families. Is their lives lived inside the system really that much better, especially when it’s a system that sometimes can barely afford their most basic needs? And if you’re going to drone on and on about adoption over abortion, what are *you* doing to help children put up for adoption? Are you adopting these children? And what about the children already needing homes? If there are so many people willing to adopt unwanted children, why are there so many children without families? Your whole argument is moot.

  69. Candy says:

    I agree with you Malley. If they didn’t want to “deal with” the child’s disabilities they could have given her up for adoption to a loving family that was willing to handle a child with special needs, instead of suing.

  70. cindy lewis says:

    i work w special needs children , there is no test in the world that can determine the level of disability a child w downs will have . i work w some very high functioning children that will be able to hold a job and possibly live on thier own , and i also work with some on the other end of the spectrum , but these children , for the most part , are the most honest , kind , and loving children around . i dont agree with anyone that believes abortion is better than giving thesr kids a chance . i also work w alot of foster/ adopive parents that have a whole lot of love to give these kids !

  71. goddess says:

    Malley- if I were aborted it would have been by the consent of my own soul before slipping into the woman’s womb. When I meant to incarnate and be born, a soul chooses the absolutely correct one. Oh and BTW- just looked into my daughter’s eyes before sending her off to school, and just now my son as he came in- and will be waking the youngest in an hour. And yes, if my tubal failed I would have aborted. Had my amnio shown fetal defect I would have aborted. I HAD a child with disabilities, been there , done that and I will NOT willingly make that sacrifice again, nor make on behalf of my family. My husband has always been in total agreement. So until you can take up MY challenge (below) quite frankly, you can bite me.

    “I would, assert the challenge to agree to support these children with disabilities and their families *in* their family unit until they [the person with the disability] die: assure that their physical needs are being met when Mom & Dad cannot, assume total financial responsibility for their medical needs & costs, including insuring them. And provide that 24/7 hands-on care when , for any reason, their parents find themselves unable to do so.”

    ALSO Malley- my son was brain damaged by his whole cell DTP vaccines in 1987-8, and it was certainly a documented adverse reaction. It was not autism,. in was an encephalitic type of reaction that led to cortical atrophy, spastic quadreparesis type of cerebral palsy Do NOT lecture me on my sons’ case, of which you know nothing and I will certainly tell my story- and in the same breath tell you how I had to choose to use the same vaccine with my next child and watch for reactions..

    You are also wrong when you tell me what I would or would not do- I know my heart, mind and soul and I was already committed to aborting for fetal defect. OF course you can never what life holds for you in the way of accidents, injuries, etc- look what happened to our older son due to vaccine reaction. But the goddess and god give you knowledge and the options and means to make the best choices possible. And I would not WILLINGLY bring forth a child with known genetic anomalies or grievous brain damage.
    With regard to the fiancees- that challenge is to those who would DENY choice to a woman when faced with a decision to make concerning those disabilities. If you want to force her to continue gestating, then step up to the plate and take those burdens off her shoulders. Otherwise, it’s a it down and STFU sort of situation, KWIM? I never asked for someone to assume those hardships on my behalf with my child, but had someone forced me to continue gestating a fetus with anomalies I certainly would expect them to step up to the plate.
    Regarding adoption- my womb is NT for rent or sale. I had 4 c sections, bled through each pregnancy, has pre-term contrax and PROM that put me in the hospital for a month with the last. That is a service I would not be willing to render unless I was planning to continue gestating and give birth- and raise the child myself. And, to be honest, I’ve never really been on board with adoption, for myself. I wouldn’t adopt a child not mine, nor place mine for adoption. Personal choice.

    Bottom line, I choose the short and long term risks inherent in either continued gestation and childbirth or abortion that I am willing to accept and to be honest, would brook no interference from anyone on that issue.

  72. goddess says:

    Amanda- many people, myself included are not willing to rent out their uterus. There’s no way in heck I’d undergo a pregnancy and all that it entailed me 6 times (2 miscarriages, 4 c sections) were I not planning to raise the child that was born from it. Infertility is a tough rough and crying shame, but to be blunt, I ‘m not the cure for it and would not feel a moment’s guilt over that., Pregnancy is waaaay too serious to one’;s health to feel you must do it when every finer says NO! Or rather shouts it, LOL!

  73. goddess says:

    Shannon- I’m sorry for your losses, but I miscarried my 1st and 4th pregnancies. My second was a son that was later severely affected by his vaccines with brain damage and died when he was 6. I have 3 children now,. But if I would have aborted for fetal defect last time around had the amnio shown one.
    Different strokes. Your opinion is valid for YOU, not me. Just as mine is valid for me, and obviously not you.
    We are all different- and I NEVER wonder about the 2 I miscarried at 10 and 11 wks. Why would I? They were potential and lost dreams and hopes. But if they were meant to be, they would have been. In my case, had I not lost my first pregnancy, Id’ not have had my oldest son. Had I not lost my 4th,. my daughter would not be here. Due to the timings. And who’s to say their souls were not the ones I miscarried?
    I’m not saying you have to think that way. I respect that you do not, for YOU. I don’t seek to make anyone outside of me think, believe or choose the way I do or would. But I expect that same respect for my own thoughts, beliefs and choices.

  74. goddess says:

    But Cindy= what if I wouldn’t choose to risk my own health- and another c section- to continue a pregnancy with a fetus that has anomalies, just to place it for adoption? Personally, I think that would be totally wrong given that I have 3 children, a husband, and am the only child (or family member left) that cares for my elderly mother. And before ANYONE jumps on the birth control bandwagon- HAD tubal ligation- but they have a 6 in a thousand failure rate.
    Y’all can call me as selfish as you want, but I would not take the risks to bring forth a child with fetal anomalies and possibly leave my family behind.

  75. Courtney says:

    Just because these parents are saying they would have aborted does not mean that they do not love or want their daughter now. Whether or not to test for a disability or to continue a pregnancy knowing the child has a disability should only be the choice of the parents and no one should judge them. Maybe as stated above the parents knew that they didn’t have the ability to care for a child with a disability. Not every person is able to physically/mentally/emotionally care for someone with such needs, nevermind the financial burden. Parenting a healthy child is hard work and expensive. If parents don’t feel they can give the best life for the child than I completely agree with aborting.

  76. motherofacutiepie says:

    Shannon I’m sorry for your loss!!! I understand completly where you are coming from ! I too disagree that anyone should abort a child only because of their special needs or how their life is going to outcome in the long run. I carried twins up to 10 weeks gestation and lost one of them. It was a very difficult thing for myself and my husband, our first pregnancy and me a young woman and healthy, just kept thinking WHY !!! and then when my doctor lost my blood work and took so long to do all the testings that needed to be done for genetics it wasn’t until 26 weeks gestation that I found out my baby would be born with Downs, and yes I’m not going to lie I sat up nights and days crying, asking WHY ME? and what is the right thing to do? and being pressured by doctors to have an abortion at 26 weeks didn’t help either !! and I believe in God, and believe he has his reasons for everything, because nothing he does is a mistake. and had always since i was a little girl promised myself I would NEVER abort a baby unless I was raped and got pregnant, and so I kept my promise and even though at first everything was so new and hurtful today I wouldn’t trade my baby for anything in this world, yes at times I look at him and say WHY? WHY ME? WHY YOU? he is going to be 1 year old and he doesn’t stand up on his own, and yes I knew this would all be a part of the journey, but I also know that he is a very smart child, and will do great in life ! as long as he has me and his father and our support he will be a great child ! he is already ! !! Now I tried many MEDICAL MALPRACTICE lawyers, and told them my story and yet I wasn’t even eligible for a case let alone MONEY!! and to me it wouldn’t be for the money but I think my doctor should have done all the testing at the right time and not have lost many of my blood work !!! Now I can’t judge what happened with this family, but truthfully it doesn’t cost me much other than staying home and not being able to find a job that works with his therapy schedules and being that it’s only me and my husband we don’t have anyone to care for our little one while we ware both at work, would have to pay a daycare or babysitter, I started early intervention with his since he was 3 months old. It has help him come a long way !!! I guess what I am trying to say is that I can’t judge these people for having their opinion on not have wanted to care for a child with special needs but, they decided to care for her once she was born, even thoiugh they didn’t know before her being born. I can’t say she’s entitled to this money or not, I didn’t want to file a suit against my doctor for money but for my rights and everyone else’s rights… and so that my case wouldn’t happen to another family…. we are all entitled to our own opinion … and Just because my little one has special needs doesn’t make me think any different than i would if he didn’t … I want more kids down the road when he is a bit older and when its the right time :) :) ;)

  77. Andrea Stroud says:

    This is absolutely INSANE! I was 24 years old and I was tested and had the same results NEGATIVE…but my son was born with Down Syndrome and I can’t believe that someone actually gave these people millions of dollars because they would have murdered the child in the womb had they known! What they dont understand is all the blessings that come along with having a child with Down Syndrome! They love you unconditionally for the rest of your life. They are innocent and angels of God. They know no sin. You don’t have to worry about them doing drugs or stealing from the neighbors or starting fights in school or getting into trouble like most teenagers do! You don’t even have to worry about whether or not they are saved. They are already saved by Christ and have a special place in heaven. They are not mistakes or defects. They are blessings and they will teach YOU more than you can EVER fathom! Any parent that is given a child with Down Syndrome was chosen by God to be a special caretaker because HE knew you had what it took to be that parent. And all the money in the world will never amount to the blessings and the happiness and the pure joy that you will experience by having a child with Down Syndrome. THEY are YOUR REWARD! And to be rewarded for A MISTAKE???? SHAME ON YOU AND WHOEVER AWARDED THAT MONEY TO YOU!!!! You have no idea what you even possess! Your heart is in the WRONG place and forgive me, but LORD, I think you may have made a mistake here. Whatever Your Will is for this family, let them learn quickly, and bless that child and protect him!!! You will have to answer fot what you have done. I am so sorry for your child.

  78. goddess says:

    Again, whose god? Perhaps I believe my goddess and god gave me not only free will, but the tools to help me make those choices wisely.
    Tell me- I looked at reality and saw that one day I would not PHYSICALLY be able to lift my son, nor bathe him, get him to the doctors and therapy. Who of YOU would gladly face the prospect of needing to place them in a residential facility- also known as a hellhole? Or will you decide to place those responsibility and burdens on the shoulders of your other children? Society? Do you have an extra $50,000 to pay for residential care each year? Or will you expect the taxpayers to do it for you.
    Nothing’s black and white. You choose based on your circumstances and have the decency to permit others to do so as well. After all, you wouldn’t like anyone telling you that you ought to HAVE to abort, would you?

  79. Kimberly says:

    REALLY????? If they would have killed their baby before, why not just do it after….that child is gonna know she isn’t wanted….by her own parents…that is not a life a child should be subjected to. I was asked if I wanted to abort my second child, as he was found to have a cleft lip…I said “Hell no”….I couldn’t live with myself…wondering what my baby would have been. I don’t have to wonder. My child is now 5, he is happy, hugs and loves everyone. He had surgery to fix the lip, and had surgery on his heart this past May. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. God made him special. Down Syndrome children are special….This couple doesn’t deserve children…

  80. Tiffany says:

    I refused the Down Syndrome testing because whether or not my children were special needs – I didn’t care… Love is unconditional. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I loved each and every one of my children. What kind of parent would EVER say that they would’ve aborted the pregnancy had they known?! God only gives you what you can handle… maybe he was wrong with these people?

  81. Emily says:

    That couple is just SELFISH! There is no other way to put it. They would put their needs before their own childs… it’s disgusting.

  82. goddess says:

    Again- whose god? If you are referring to mine, they also gave me knowledge and tools with which to make the right decision for my family. I doubt we follow the same path or honor the same gods.

    I GAVE at the disability office this lifetime, and I wouldn’t willingly go back for a second round. You want to be a martyr, go for it. But I will defend the right of those who choose to NOT accept those sacrifices and burdens and on behalf of all of the immediate family as well.

  83. Becky says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. I’d abort if the testing came back positive for Downs or a number of other genetic abnormalities. I’d probably have a second test first, to confirm as much as possible. I don’t think I’m evil. I don’t particularly think every child comes from God (or god/goddess/whatever). I don’t particularly think a fetus is a child. I don’t thank my mom for not aborting me, as I was a 100% planned child with absolutely no abnormalities (I was even the sex my parents preferred) so its not like she would have had any reason to want to abort me. Many children know they were/are not wanted by their parents, perhaps because they were an “oops” or for some other reason. I don’t particularly feel that the little girl in this story will experience anything new or shocking. Plenty of children (normal and otherwise) are unloved or abused by their parents. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, but its something that I would have found to be greater concern. For all of those who have a child with disabilities, or who assert they would never abort a child, I salute you. You have more patience, gumption and, for many of you, faith, than I do. Be proud of your own decision, but I don’t see why mine has any effect on you. I choose not to be faced with the complications which necessarily attend a child with special needs, and my husband and I are comfortable with our decision. If that’s an affront to you or your deity of choice, you may take it up with him/her/it/they and perhaps I will be suitably punished for my decision. Or maybe not.

  84. very angry mom says:

    I think this is so wrong first off I wanna start off and say I have three children I had my first when I was 17 I am now 21 my my first child korey whom I had at 17 had a lot off issues with his kidneys (me my father and gram and son all have paulasistic kidneys) my doctor told me when I was preg with my son he already lost his right kidney (kidney failer) and that the chances of my son living were very slim because his other kidney was going bad also I still had my son and he is fully healthy and plays sports and everything I thank the great lord everyday I get to look in his eyes not only did I stay a strong mother for my kids I made sure to give them every chance they get in life I was a single mom and did this all by myself with out the need of suing anyone for money and I was 17 I really think these people are very wrong and don’t deserve to have any rights to this child I mean if u can’t look in your childs eyes and except them the way they are you should NOT be a parent !!!!!!

  85. very angry mom says:

    And also I think if your big enough to lay down and make a child you should be big enough to take on the responsibility of your child if your not then don’t have kids there are dozens of women in this world who can’t have children who would be happy with a child with any problems and that my friend is called LOVE !!

  86. goddess says:

    Well, I could always say that maybe one should be able to write a paragraph without a run-on sentence before one becomes a parent too. @@ We all judge. And I can certainly turn around and give a good dose of mine out if you want to get into the judging game.
    And, by the way, I don’t take advice on my sex life. I’ve been totally and 100% successful in conceiving and contracepting since I became sexually active. If my current form of birth control fails, I certainly would avail myself to termination . But the one option I will NOT engage is abstinence. Violate my personally held beliefs. So I will continue to engage in frequent and lusty sex with my husband-.
    The second thing that’s not an option angry mother, is adoption. Shudder. I am not an incubator. I’d never agree to continue a pregnancy and assume all of the risks and sacrifices it entails, to give birth to a child I do not plan to raise. My womb is NOT for rent, nor votes.

  87. uncoditional-love says:

    I can’t stomach people that even consider aborting their child just because of something that baby can’t help. I understand it’s taboo to some people but honestly, if you can’t love your child unconditionally, you should NOT be having children! Abortion, period, is sickening to me. If you don’t want a child, then don’t spread your legs! I’d rather see someone give their child up for adoption “Goddess” rather then see them not love their own child. It’s also disgusting to see someone go after the hospital for money, these people apparently don’t love their child because if they really did, it wouldn’t matter to them how their child came out and they wouldn’t care that the hospital made a mistake, we’re all human. I could see sewing the hospital for missing a tumor or a life threatening disease but not just because their a little different.

  88. Elveera says:

    All this fairy tale talk …. This is factual and related to science. This is non-fiction and not fiction, so referring to fiction in the discussion is childish. Children aren’t blessings the same way kittens and puppies aren’t – they are all a result of two cells meeting (the rest can be researched for anyone needing more info). And as for those calling them selfish – what is selfish is bringing up persons who will have far from normal lives for the selfish reason of feeling as if it makes you better in some way. It’s a matter of empathy – many out there, if they were born with Down Syndrome even to a wealthy and caring family – would rather not And anyone resenting they got nothing in the same situation, sue too – envy because they happened to think of it and went through the efforts is just … envious.

  89. Joulia says:

    Parents are not wrong to say they would have aborted. It is their and only their choice Judge is wrong to find in their favor. Where does it say that those tests are 100%? The pamphlets in Canada, even for amnio, give a statistical chance for error. I highly doubt it is not so in US I hope there is more to the story and that it is a case of gross negligence by the clinic otherwise the flood gates will open. Lastly, this verdict should negate any govt support couple could claim on the disability.

  90. Mamats says:

    These genetic tests concern me. I did the testing and my results showed my babies did not have any genetic disorders, and they were fortunately born without any disorders. But I had a friend who had a positive result, and she went ahead with the pregnancy and gave birth to a very healthy boy without any genetic problems. I have another friend who was also told her child had down syndrome after genetic testing, and she gave birth to a daughter who ended up not having down syndrome but another genetic disorder with much milder disabilities. Although she had had several health issues, she has overcome many and is a beautiful and smart little girl who was is now walking after being diagnosed as a baby that she will never walk. Just think if these two women had aborted their babies? I am sure this happens quite often, women aborting perfectly healthy babies or babies with milder or no disabilities whatsoever.

  91. goddess says:

    Unconstitutional Love- have you had a child with disabilities? have you held them]m after surgery when they were taken off meds due to ileus? Have you watched them scream form an IV insertion while dehydrated? Have you held them as they died and dressed them for their burial?
    Have you went form a healthy 120lbs to 91 lbs due to not sleeping and the stress form their brain damage? Have you faced not being able to care for them someday and need to place them in a nursing home? Have you faced divorce because of the stress?
    Have you pondered suicide after burying your child because your marriage is ready to break apart and you don’t know how to get up one more day?
    Have you looked at your other children who were sick and told them you couldn’t take them to the doctor til the next day when you had someone to watch other one with disabilities and the typical one can’t understand why Mommy wont make their ear infection pain stop?
    I did all of that and more and I did it well. Don’t you dare tell me how to live my life and make my choices. I’d like to see you walk one week in the shoes I walked with my son, doing it the way I did without breaking.
    I’d NOT do that ever gain willingly when I could make a choice to save the pain for the child, me and my family, and I would never expect another person to do it if they felt they couldn’t either. I defy you to take the challenge too.

    I would, assert the challenge to agree to support these children with disabilities and their families *in* their family unit until they [the person with the disability] die: assure that their physical needs are being met when Mom & Dad cannot, assume total financial responsibility for their medical needs & costs, including insuring them. And provide that 24/7 hands-on care when , for any reason, their parents find themselves unable to do so.”

    So -going to step up to the plate for YOUR ideals? The ones you’d like to shove down every other woman’s throat? No?
    Until then, take care of your own choices and leave others to theirs.

  92. Laura says:

    thank you, thank you for standing up.

  93. bunnytwenty says:

    Yeah, what Laura said.
    Also: when people say things like “If you don’t want a child, then don’t spread your legs!” it makes it very obvious that their distaste for abortion has nothing whatsoever to do with concern for children and everything to do with hatred for women.

  94. goddess says:

    Yup Bunny, it surely does.

  95. Linda, T.O.O. says:

    “Also: when people say things like “If you don’t want a child, then don’t spread your legs!” it makes it very obvious that their distaste for abortion has nothing whatsoever to do with concern for children and everything to do with hatred for women.” Worth repeating!

  96. puasamanda says:

    Goddess – I second Laura in saying “Thank you for standing up.” Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  97. Laura is Undeterrable says:

    This story makes me sad for the child. I hope that she will not understand what took place here. I also hope that she can get all the help she needs.

    However, none of us have all the facts. We don’t know what was coached by lawyers. We don’t know what has been twisted by the media. We just don’t know. Without all the facts, we cannot judge the situation. In fact, leave the judging up to your God, as is his/her right.

    In light of the bill in Arizona, I think that this ruling could help keep doctors honest, but I’m sad that a family had to be sacrificed for it to happen.

    For the record, I have not been in this situation, but I do believe that I would keep the child if I found that he/she would be born with defects. However, I agree with testing because I would want to have as much information as possible. I would want to try to be “ready.”

  98. K Lawrence says:

    Here is why we will never get Health Care cost undercontrol & in favor of the consumer——–you wrote: “I don’t begrudge the couple receiving the money to help care for their daughter; I just wish every family that had a special needs child could receive the same. Or better yet design a healthcare system in which every child (including special needs children) is entitled to every therapy and service he/she needs. Of course, that won’t happen any time soon, and there are countless families struggling just to hold on to their jobs needed to support their families and care for their special child at the same time.

    What do you think? Should this couple have received the money? Should babies with Down Syndrome be aborted as a common practice? Are we playing judge, jury and executioner by deciding who has the right to live or not?”
    ——–it is called Malpractivce Insurance, a money stream for redistributing wealth. Overused by “free money” thinkers, that is a cost that will be redistributed across the health care system raising the overall cost of health care for us all. Be real, pregnancy has inherit risk, we can not on one hand claim “It’s my body” & on the other hand hold the Doctor responsible for our “Choice” – negligent Doctors should be held accountable, however we all need to remember it is called practicing medicine. I believe we need some good Tort Reform in order to even begin to solve the health care needs of the masses.
    Every single special needs child, teen or adult that I have crossed paths with in life has blessed me in some way……Grace be with you all.

    No, they should not get a dime.

  99. motherofacutiepie says:

    some of these comments deff disgust me ! ! ! its not about the money that will take to care for a special child! i’m not wealthy and i care for my child just great ! he gets all his services that is needed , so should i also file to get MILLIONS just because my child has a disability?NO i don’t think i would ! If I was granted MILLIONS it wouldn’t be because if i had know before hand i would’ve aborted, it would be for the emotional distress that I went through being that my doctor was a very cold hearted person and pressured me into aborting at 26 weeks !! and if I got rewarded that money it would all go towards my son’s bank account, and buy a home to live in so we wouldnt have to rent anymore !!!! these comments are insane and it makes me sick! … and i know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but wow !!! …

  100. goddess says:

    Usually the awards from these sorts of lawsuits ARE [placed in trusts FOR the child. An independent guardian outside of the family and appointed by the court oversees dispersal and they must be documented and approved as being used FOR the child. It’s not like they are rolling in bank accounts with which they can jet around the world. @@

    Have you thought about what happens when you can no longer care for your son? Should YOU become disabled, or die young? I did. And don’t tell me you expect one of the child’s siblings to sacrifice their life in service.

  101. Marie says:

    at least some can take comfort in knowin that all the millions of babies in the word noone wanted due to not being perfect or many other reasons, are with their Creator, who wants them however they are. There is nothing more precious than the purity of the heart of a Down’s Syndrome child. We all have struggles in this world, some more visible than others. Parenting IS sacrifice, will rewards beyond measure

  102. kg says:

    how dare you judge these parents – they have every right to make that decision, just as much a right as you do to make the opposite decision – and i’ve got news, it doesn’t make you any more holier than thou. all you parents who say “i would never take/ you don’t need that money to raise my special needs child” blah blah are not being honest with yourself and everyone here – what about assuring that this girl is taken well care of after the death of her parents – sadly 2.9 million is nowhere near enough – and not just living her last years watching tv in a home. good for them for taking the stand thousands of parents wished they had – give me a break you mom’s out there with healthy children have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA the stress involved with taking care of a down’s syndrome child and its incredibly easy to judge from your comfort knowing you can work the rest of your life and no one has to be home all the time, that your children will one day move out or go to the bathroom on their own, etc. stop judging these people! isnt there some religious proverb about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes (not picturing what it must be like to walk a mile in their shoes)

  103. Mrs. Campbell says:

    It all sounds pretty selfish to me. Its all about what I can handle what is best for me. That’s not why we have kids is it? If it was about a cozy and cushy life we wouldn’t have kids, Why? because parenting isn’t easy. Sleepless nights, poopy diapers, sickness and teething. Listen to yourselves. I bet 99% of every one who talked about aborting a Down’s baby has no knowledge and is totally ignorant of what takes place in an abortion. Especially a late term abortion. Does anyone know what a D& E abortion is? Do any of you know medically and scientifically how developed a baby is at say 10 weeks? let alone 20 weeks? Ignorance can be cured, its called educate yourselves. Has anyone seen the 180 movie on youtube?
    Do you realize how many times the Amnio testing is inaccurate? Does anyone know that many genetic test are not even close to being 100% accurate. I have known many people who had the pants scared off them by testing, but refused abortions. And guess what? All their babies where totally and completley fine. How about the Abortion and Breast cancer link? I dare you, watch an abortion video. Listen to the women who are on meds because they have post abortive depression. Listen to the joy people have with their children. Its heart condition, where is your heart at? is it soft and full of love? Or is it screaming life’s not fair blame anyone because its not what I wanted it to be. Its verbal and public abuse of a child to have parents get up in public and say,” I would have killed you because it would have been easier on me. You are not a wanted child I am sorry I had you.” These people should be investigated. Not all medical test are accurate, this baby is the one that you where given, and blaming the doctors b/c you are selfish and hateful is not okay.

  104. adri ramirez says:

    how unfortunate for the little one to have to read the legal paperwork one day and find out what her parents felt. . .

  105. goddess says:

    Mrs. Campbell- I ASSURE you that when I talked about planning to choose abortion were there a case of fetal anomaly during my last pregnancy or were I to become pregnant in the future and had found fetal anomaly)ies), I did not do so from a place of ignorance, LOL. I did so after 6 pregnancies , 2 miscarriages, pre-term contrax and bleeding throughout all 6 pregnancies, PROM at 32 wks during the last, one child with severe cognitive, motor and mental disabilities who died at age 6. I did so after holding him during more than a couple surgeries, an ileus and stomach pumping when he was taken off of morphine following a bony surgery and could not have any more pain meds. During well 0over a few hundred nearly sleepless nights, and then as he died.

    • You ask about D&E- yup- I know. I was going to have one if my amnio returned anomalies. It’s a Dilation and Evacuation. They dilate the cervix and remove the fetus in pieces. Unfortunately the Intact D & E cannot be performed due to the insertion of some peoples’ religious beliefs into women’s healthcare, though safer for the woman herself.

    • Fetal development- yup, had that covered during my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage in the late first trimester. Had any book I could find, including the Miracle of Life with in utero photos from conception throughout the pregnancy. Cool stuff. But how’s that relevant?

    Now to debunk the common myths in your post:
    • Screening with the current blood tests may not be accurate. Results are reported as “screen negative” or “screen positive” and only give an estimate of your chance to have a fetus with a chromosome condition. Serum screening tests cannot diagnose Down syndrome and other chromosome abnormalities. However, DNA assay sampling is pretty high up there at 98-99% for detecting chromosome abnormalities, neural tube defects and genetic disorders.

    • There is no link between abortion and breast cancer. That is a myth that’s been debunked time and time again. But even GOP candidates seem to have a hard time playing with facts. It was debunked by the National Cancer Institute in 2003. There is no link between abortions and breast cancer, according to the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and other major health organizations.

    • A study purporting to find a link between abortions and mental illness does not hold up to scrutiny, according to a new report in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. “This is not a scholarly difference of opinion; their facts were flatly wrong. This was an abuse of the scientific process to reach conclusions that are not supported by the data,” study researcher Julia Steinberg, an assistant professor in the University of California, San Francisco’s department of psychiatry, said in a statement. “The shifting explanations and misleading statements that they offered over the past two years served to mask their serious methodological errors.”

  106. Mem says:

    This makes me sick seeing stuff like this and even some responses! Since there is ALWAYS a chance something can be wrong with your children and you TAKE THAT RISK WHEN YOU CONCEIVE if you do want that risk, don’t get pregnant! Adopt a baby whose medical history is already known. It may take longer, but at least you won’t be killing another child.

  107. Breanne says:

    Every human being deserves the right to be loved unconditionally. I hope these “parents” realize swiftly the repercussions of their actions on their childs entirety.

  108. Jackie says:

    I think everyone should leave God’s will in his OWN hands, and let God be God, OUR CREATOR AND OUR DESTINY!!!! Enough said:) -AMEN-

  109. Nicki says:

    I’m Catholic, and even with religion there are conditions that make children unfit to be conceived. I have Bipolar I, ADHD, Asperger’s, moderate epilepsy (which is not being treated), schizophrenia, major depressive episodes, and many other things my doctors are trying to figure out. And unfortunately, I will be on medicines for the rest of my life that have abortifacient side effects. That is, the pills themselves would create a spontaneous abortion, *or* the deformities they would cause my child would kill it hours after it was born. Therefore, I will simply never give myself the opportunity to be pregnant; I’m having either a tubal ligation or a hysterectomy. Possibly both, if the condition of my reproductive system encourages it. There are two sides to every story, my religious and/or pro-life friends, and even the strictest of religions have conditions where abortion or sterilization is appropriate. Remove the beam from your eye before you move to pluck the mote from your neighbor’s.

  110. Ontario Girl says:

    Hmmm…abortion if the child isn’t perfect. All I can say is….if the test was ‘wrong’ in this particular case and the parents are upset b/c they got a ‘defective’ child….I wonder how many other tests were ‘wrong’ and a ‘perfect’ child was aborted?

    I agree with the poster here who said they had prenatal testing just so they could be better prepared. I would have done the same, for the same reason, had the option of testing been offered to me (only parents over a certain age/with family history of certain issues in my province are offered prenatal testing). But to use it as a method of opting out? No. Certainly not.

  111. Tara says:

    These tests are not 100%. I chose not to even have that test done. The result would not have changed my mind, he was, as the author of this story said, “with me for the long haul”. My son has special needs, ADHD, and Asperger’s. He’s a smart, happy little boy, he turned 6 yesterday.
    That being said, I am pro-choice and would never look down on someone else for making that decision. I don’t judge these parents, not everybody is willing to care for a child with special needs. It’s not for me to understand or say it’s wrong. I’ve never walked in their shoes.

  112. debi9kids says:

    This absolutely sickens me.
    As an adoptive Nd biological mother of special needs children, the idea of EVER saying “I wouldn’t want my child because _____.” its just unfathomable.
    What kind of parent says something like that???
    While I admit that not every person has it in them to raise a special child, the idea that these people not only admitted it, but are also still raising her leaves my jaw hanging.
    Are we to assume that money is suddenly making it all better now? Something tells me that their little girl deserves better than what she is getting.

  113. Tehani says:

    Kristina Wright is just that – absolutely right. The decision to keep or abort a baby is solely up to the couple. We do not know what is going on in their lives, and should therefore not judge.

    My question to this couple, however, is how are you going to explain to your daughter that Mom & Dad would have aborted you if we knew prior to your birth you had DS? People with DS are not “retarded”, they are actually very smart & aware. If I were that girl, I’d be pissed.

  114. Randall says:

    OMG these people are so selfish and self centered. I can not believe these people I certainly hope they have surgery to prevent either of these people from ever reproducing again. I have known many people with DS and they generally are very happy very caring people. I am sickened by the thought that these people are still capable of reproducing and I pray for their daughter. I hope social services keeps a close eye on this couple to make sure they are treating thier daughter the way they should.

  115. Judith says:

    This couple deserved to have the correct facts. I’m more concerned for keeping a family together. There is a high rate of divorce in our country. It is even higher when couples have a handicapped child, due to the emotional and financial stresses that occur. It also can create problems for the sibling(s). The amount of time that a special needs child requires can cut substantially into the time spent with the other children in the family, causing anger and resentment.

    If the special needs child reaches adulthood, there are more difficulties if they cannot live on their own. I have personally seen the problems that occur when the parents die and the siblings end up with the responsibilities. They are never free of the burden and it can effect their lives financially and emotionally, as well. It’s a no win…

    No one has the right to judge what others should do in this instance.

  116. Yo-yo says:

    Aren’t we all judging when we respond to a post? We’re judging for the couple or against the couple. It’s still judging. We just may not like what the other person is saying or we feel so strongly that they are being misrepresented: that we must stand up for them. Judging is a hard fact of life, it’s one I struggle with.
    I’m envious of my family and friends who have the “perfect” child. So I judge. But I also think of my son, who is 13 years old, with a chromosome disorder as my “perfect” child. Just that he can’t talk, stumbles along while walking (which he was never suppose to do), will never be potty trained (I do hate changing his diaper), will have the mental capabilities of a 5 year old (we’ll see), and gives hugs like no other. He is my roller coaster. I love him, hate what I have to endure, love the gentleness he draws from me, hate that my husband & I can not go on proper dates. I’m grateful to my husband for sticking with me through it all. His choice, my choice. I love that my boy cares greatly for his baby sisters, am disgruntled that my girls can’t go on vacations because of his needs. It is a love hate relationship. But would I give it up. No! In my thoughts I question if I’m a good parent, but I’ve seen worse parents. Heard stories, had first hand experience, you name it, we’ve all heard them. But I choose not to turn violent, I choose to turn and count to 10, breath slowly, walk away, or just laugh. Have I blown up, yes, sometimes, I’m not perfect. Are you? Oh and about my family and friends-I love them too. I just secretly want their lives. But I want mine too.
    We all have our stories. You’ve all stated that…”I won’t ever abort”, “I won’t ever have a special needs child again”, “don’t judge unless you walk in their shoes”, “I, I, me, me” These are all our opinions. One person stated before, we do not know these people, we do not know if the lawyers interfered with the testimonies.
    What I do believe is this child will feel sadness if she finds out that the parents took money in order to keep her. And that she would have been discarded had they know she was not their type of “perfect” before she was born.
    Anyone seen the movie “Attica”? A boy was born with a slight heart condition and was thought of as a burden to his family. In this story you had to be genetically engineered to be part of the “right” society. There were no Downs Syndrome, chromosome disorders or mentally challenged children in this story, they were discarded, unwanted, not valued. How can we learn compassion and understanding, if everyone is the same? Just thought the show worth mentioning.
    Wow!! I rambled quite a bit. Will anyone read it? Will it strike a cord with someone? Will I be hated, comforted, disliked, shown empathy, be seen as weak, be reproached or will people just skim and take what they want from it?
    Anyway we look at it, we see what we want to see. Good or Bad. What I’ve read in these blogs: They brought “her” into this world, They killed a baby, They didn’t give the baby a chance, Why’d they bring the baby into the world and then had to watch him/her die, You don’t know how it is, You think it’s so easy, You couldn’t last a day in my life. My own sinful statement-They took money to make like easier. The things we say on the internet; would we really say them to people in person? Would we put on a show like the Reality Series on T.T.? Would we be respectful like “Leave it to Beaver”? Someone else stated it well-Look in the mirror, start with ourselves. How we want the world to run begins at home.

  117. Xotchil Danio says:

    Not sure if I missed it or read t wrong, why didn’t they put the baby up for adoption i they couln’t handle it?

  118. Heaven says:

    I think this is extremely selfish! Down syndrome or not your child is your child! If you can’t handle the chances that your child might have something wrong with it then I simply don’t think you are ready or even need to think about reproducing! Having a child with or without downs is very time consuming and can be frustrating, But if and when you’re ready. it will be one of the best things you’ve ever done!

  119. Ryan says:

    I am not usually on the no abortion train like my mom, but this is beyond sickening. Suing the Department of Health or whatever because they were wrong about the babies health? I hope the child reads this and sees what kind of failure his parents are. The kid deserves better then this. The doctor might have been wrong, but its still intimately wrong that they collected money from this.

  120. Amom says:

    Those of you who are calling these parents selfish for not putting their child up for adoption; or because they would have chosen abortion if the doctor hadn’t brushed aside their concerns, so that they would have had the information they needed to make that decision; or for responsibly going to court to get the money (which will hopefully last for her lifetime, especially if she outlives them) to take care of their child properly, there are issues you’re not even considering.

    Several people have commented on some adoption issues, and you appear to blithely ignore them. First of all, as has been pointed out, most children with severe health issues who are put up for adoption don’t get adopted. Secondly, even if they are adopted or fostered, how many times have you read in the news of children being abused by their adoptive or foster parents? Thirdly, as has also been mentioned, it’s a matter of empathy–it’s so easy to say (especially when you’re not the person who has to live with the consequences) that you’d never abort or that these parents don’t love their child. Quite possibly they loved their child enough that they would have made the hard choice to abort rather than see her live a life full of suffering. The fact that you personally have been “blessed” by your meetings with children with Down’s Syndrome does not give you the right to judge their parents for loving them enough to abort them. Going on about how “sweet” and “kind” these children are is condescending to both the children and their parents, as is stating that these parents would have aborted their child simply because she wasn’t “perfect.”

    If you believe she would have gone to your god, anyway, if she’d been aborted, then why do you think her parents would have been selfish to spare her suffering and send her straight to heaven? For people who boast about your love and compassion, you certainly don’t seem to show much of it. Since most of you seem to be Christians, perhaps you might go back to your scripture and carefully note the commandments to love your neighbor and to let your god do the judging, and as a previous commenter (who said she is Catholic) advised you, consider removing the log from your own eye before worrying about the mote in your neighbor’s.

  121. Angela says:

    This makes me ill. God’s blessings on that precious child…

  122. Dina says:

    I don’t think for one moment an expectant parent should be criticized for having an abortion if they find out something is wrong with their child. Many times a mother (who, face it, mothers/women are the ones who are primarily left with this decision) will yield to the pressures of people around her telling her she is a monster for even considering having an abortion after finding out something is wrong with her unborn child. Some cases, a woman keeps the child out of a guilt complex or to make herself seem like an unselfish martyr only to find when that child comes along it is a LOT harder than expected to take care of or handle a child with developmental disabilities. Honestly, I think it makes someone VERY selfish to bring a child into this world facing such challenges just so she can feel good about herself playing “Supermom” and all benevolent because she faced the challenge and took it head on. I’m so glad that people have such a skewed way of thinking and are more than happy to bring another child into this world to suffer…and believe me, these children SUFFER. They don’t only suffer the fact of being and knowing that they are different, their emotional pain (especially once they hit school age) is something that “typical” people cannot even begin to comprehend. This is petty in comparison though to the needles, diagnostic tests, medication gaffes, seizures, fear, overall discomfort and pain that they have to endure every day of their life. As a mother/expectant mother, the first and foremost thing you MUST have to even be capable of mothering in the first place is mercy, patience and compassion….It isn’t merciful in the least to subject another human being to a lifetime of pain and suffering…and face it, many of these kids wind up in foster homes because the parent(s) just simply could not handle the task of caring for a defective child…foster homes are another way these children are made to suffer…all because someone doesn’t have the strength, courage and love (yes, LOVE) in their hearts to show mercy and prevent a lifetime of travails by not allowing a profoundly disabled child to be brought into this world to start with….

  123. Crystal says:

    I’m wondering where the child is? Is he still with this couple? I hope not from their statement this child is obviousley not in a safe enviroment. I say this, because of the statement made about aborting the child. If they could say this then I wonder if they love this child? Due to that statement I’d say no. That becomes a saftey issue to me. RED flags all over that statement. All children no matter if they have special needs or not are expensive to raise. This makes me upset, to think that people would discard a child if they had know it was going to be a specail needs child, before it was born. As I said before RED flags and I wonder if this couple truely loves this child.

  124. Amanda says:

    I have said this on here before but I will say it again. I don’t really think it is right to abort for a condition that is compatitible with life, but some people do not have the resources to care for a disabled child,and many disabled children are left in foster care. I have had an abortion with my first daughter. She had full triploidy and would not have survived. I still think of her everyday and I have two awesome children now. Both were born small and premature, my son having to stay in the nicu for 2 weeks. Even with medicaid I have bills I will never be able to pay. Nobody knows their financial situation. I hope their child has a better life now.

  125. Amber M Frantz says:

    Okay I understand that raising a Special Needs Child would be rough. Financial, emotional. I get it. But going on record, and saying that your now **4 year old child** would have been aborted if they knew there was something wrong with it? Really? What’s wrong with you? That is YOUR child! What if your parents said that if they knew your eyes were going to be brown instead of blue, they would have aborted you? God bless the innocent souls of Special Children. There is so much to be learned from them, and you are GIFTED with the honor of raising such a wonderful, blessed, little soul. I would never go out in public, point fingers at my kid, and said “If you told me it would be this way, I would have killed it. I don’t want it.” And you know what else? Rather then insulting your child in public, maybe if it was SUCH a big issue, you should have put the child up for adoption, so that someone who would LOVE him/her for their challenge, would be there to love and support and PROTECT them from people like you. Wrongful Birth? I’m thinking more like “Crappy Parents”.

  126. SweetPeach says:

    I do not think the couple should have received any type of monetary gain from a test that produced a false negative. When that baby girl was born, they knew right then and there that she had Downs and they could’ve placed the little girl up for adoption where she would have had a good life with the type of care she needed and the couple could’ve tried again. I could see maybe them wanting to be reimbursed for any out of pocket expense had they chosen to give the girl up for adoption, but that’s it. There are plenty of childless parents out there that have the time, the money and the love to share with these special children, so why not give both a fighting chance. People are too sue happy no a days. My 9yr old son has ADHD, should I sue my OB because he didn’t bother to check my son’s chromosomes/genetic makeup since his father’s side has a history of ADHD, NO!!! People should be ashamed of themselves for wishing God’s precious gift away. Religious or not, all children are gifts. I am a firm believer in the fact that God (or whom ever you worship) will not give you anymore at one time than you can handle, he/she may test you, but in the end it will never exceed your limitations. They should be thankful that the child is healthy, alive, and there to bring joy to them and the people she meets, not sue some hospital for a faulty test. Maybe they should start making potential parents take a standardized test, that they must pass, plus parenting classes before they ever get pregnant. I know teens that have gotten pregnant and had babies with health impairments and do they give up, no, they push on and do what they can for the child that they brought into this world. Adults should really take a closer look at the younger generations, yeah there are some that are out of control and scary, but there are some that have a good head on their shoulders and end up pregnant and they do what is best for them and their child, They use their heart not their head to over think the situation. This whole story just disgusts me, Karma will come back in the end and bite them in the butt for exploiting their child like this and I pray that that poor little girl never has to know her own parents would have killed her if that had known she was going to be a Downs child. You can’t help but love them, they are some the best and brightest kids around. I pray this little girl makes it through and has a good life and gets everything she needs and wants!!!

  127. Fair says:

    Selfish? How can not wanting your child to live through a life of pain, discomfort and challenges be a selfish decision? It’s for your own conscience that you’d choose not to abort, not for your child.
    And what’s with the attitude in the US to sue each other?

  128. crazy cat says:

    This is a very hard topic to address.

    My thoughts on this are that if this couple had reasons to be strongly concerned about the health of their unborn child, and they voiced these concerns to their doctor? I can understand why they sued.

    That does not mean that I think babies with Down’s Syndrome should be aborted. Far from it! Children with Down’s Syndrome grow up to lead happy and productive lives. On the other hand, some children are profoundly retarded and need constant care. I actually know some single mothers struggling and fighting to get help for their special needs children. They live in poverty and their children aren’t getting the care and education they need to function as an adult.

    I can hope that I would never have aborted a child with Down’s Syndrome, but I can’t be sure. This couple knew from the start that they did not want a special needs child. That was their choice. Was the doctor at fault? I don’t know. Was the lab at fault? Again, I don’t know. I can only say that if this couple made it very clear to their doctor that this was of great concern to them? I CAN understand why they sued, whether I like what they think or not.

  129. Kelli Hale says:

    This story saddens me to no end. Mostly because even after meeting their precious little one, they still felt the need to seek “compensation” for being “forced” to raise her. No one MADE them raise her. If they truly didn’t want a child with a special need, they always had the option of putting her up for adoption. To sue, and then use her condition for their own personal martyrdom is incredibly selfish. I only hope this little girl doesn’t inadvertently stumble across this information somewhere. How hurtful, and embarrassing for her.

  130. DJS says:

    RE: “I’d like to see you walk one week in the shoes I walked … doing it the way I did without breaking.”
    Just b/c you’re still typing doesn’t mean you aren’t broken. In my opinion, your ideals are self-centered and world-justified. A bully pulpit doesn’t make your opinion more right than any other; in fact, your anecdotal approach to debate only lowers your credibility.

    JUST me: While this trial verdict sickened me for moral reasons [Who will ultimately decide what reasonable limits are grounds for testing - why not keep aborting & abandoning babies while you're trying for the sex of your choice (hello, China!)]; the issue so many have yet to comment on is (?) the idea that any government should force *anyone else* to pay for a life-style equalizer (?)

    Does anyone else believe that this is an incredibly slippery slope? Why not sue a school district b/c your child was/ or/ was not given a special needs’ placement, or, didn’t get a diploma, or, get into the right college?
    There is no way to pop that genie back in the bottle. Once the public accpets that b/c you ran out of money it is okay to run to court to get it, there will be no bounds on the issues we try to convert to compensation. Yikes, we may already be there!

  131. kia says:

    For all of you who are defending this couple clearly you don’t know what happens in other countries such as China where people abort babies just for the fact they find out they are girls and not a boy. If you want a guaranteed perfect child then you shouldn’t give birth to ANY kids at all and adopt the “perfect” child you are looking for. Everyone knows before they get pregnant there is a chance something could go wrong, even AFTER birth something could go wrong that leaves a child with a disability for life. You say we are judgmental who do not agree with these people wanting to abort the baby but if I was a child I sure wouldn’t want to be under their care.

    I am currently pregnant and no matter what, I will and do love my child from the first 2 pink stripes I saw on the pregnancy test. My first thought was not wait… what if this baby is not “perfect” and thoughts of getting rid of it. I have two special needs children, one is autistic the other has breathing and digestive problems that has him on a special diet and kept him home bound the first four years of his life. Life hasn’t been easy but I most certainly would have never considered aborting either one of my children had I had known before they were born the problems they would have. My son is such a joy to have around, he is always happy and full of life despite being in and out the hospital etc. My special needs children have helped me grow as an individual and have taught me so many lessons about the real meaning of life.

    This couple sounds like they had the wrong motivation for getting pregnant in the first place. I feel I have “perfect” kids, special needs or not just because they are mine and I love them dearly. They placed conditions on their child to receive their love before they were even born, when you love conditionally this is what happens. Notice nothing was ever said about them being the least bit concerned about what their child was facing but only that they didn’t want to be “burdened” with a special needs child. They have no concern for their child at all in my opinion unless that child is exactly what they want or wanted. I feel sorry for this girl, she most likely is headed directly to a nursing facility where she will see very little of her parents after she is placed and they begin the conquest again for the “perfect child” to replace her.

  132. Alice says:

    Are there any medical tests that are foolproof and have no erroneous readings? What is this going to do to the costs of medical malpractice insurance? Those costs are directly passed on to the consumer in the form of higher fees.

    If someone’s actions while conducting or processing the test actually rose to the level of malpractice, then I suppose the parents’ have a case. If they just got a statistically possible false negative result from the test, then this case is very dangerous to the future of the practice of medicine.

  133. Mimi says:

    I realize that different people believe different things. However, having said that, I really don’t think that any of us have the right to kill another person because they aren’t perfect. If that were the case, not many of us would be around. Every person has the right to a life. When will we start aborting babies because they have the wrong hair or eye color? Maybe the baby is a girl and they want a boy? This has the potential to become some really scary stuff!

  134. Jennifer says:

    NO tests are 100% correct. It’s life and to think that they would abort the baby makes my skin crawl. There are so many families out there that can’t have children, they would have LOVED this or any child with or without disabilities!!!! Think before you act. It’s not up to science to make sure our unborn children are 100% healthy that’s the work of GOD!!!

  135. Amber says:

    This sickens me. No test is 100 %. To abort a child just because he or she is special needs is riduculous. Being cold hearted is these parents disability. Talk about equality. Special needs children are people too. Since when is it ok to start deciding who can live and who has to die? The last time I checked you couldnt walk outside and kill someone because you didnt like the color of their eyes so what makes it ok to kill an innocent child because he or she needs more than other children. We all know there is a chance we could have a special needs child and if you cant handle that KEEP YOUR LEGS CLOSED!

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  139. grey says:

    Those test are no accurate I tested positive for ds twice and I have a healthy baby! IM just saying not to trust them it can go either way

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  141. dondolina says:

    I would recommend the book “Handle with Care” by Jodi Picoult to all of you. It explains the reasoning behind decision to sue for money in case of wrongful birth (terrible term, by the way). I don’t think that these parents do not love the child – on the contrary, they probably did it for this child. If they said in court that they would never abort the baby, they would never win this case. It’s the matter of medical malpractice and a matter of providing for a child that will for sure need it more than a healthy child. Of course it was a very controversial decision and I guess everybody will have different take on it. Was it ethical? Well, I don’t know. What is more important – to make sure that your child is well taken care of now and when you’re gone or to look good in eyes of the public opinion? It was for sure very difficult decision of these people and we should not judge them. And remember – they did not abort, they just got more money than you did. Saying that you would abort is not the same as aborting.
    On the other hand, I am one who had the baby wih DS. I knew all along that my baby would have DS, but I would never abort her, because I loved her from the beginning. It was very stressful pregnancy for me, full of despair and tears, but I am glad I knew (no amnio, just blood tests and USG) because I could plan how to go about helping my little one and get used to the idea. I wasn’t so lucky though. My baby developed PPH while in womb and had to have shunts done in utero. I still hoped that she will recover, but unfortunately a week after delivery she passed away. She was beautiful and I love her with my whole heart. I thought that it was very unfair that I could not keep her, I still grieve and I think I will grieve for her for the rest of my life. I know she would never be the same as other kids, but I know I would love her and be the best mother I could. On the other hand I think that maybe she would suffer terribly in life and I would not be able to help her much. And I don’t really know how it would pain me to see her sufferring and know that I cannot afford (financially) to help her (if there was help available). When I read “Handle with Care” I have cried like crazy, because I was imagining my little girl and me in situation like this. I don’t know if I woud sue for wrongful birth, but I know that I would do everything possible to help my child. That’s why I cannot judge these people.

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