Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where is Martin's birth family?

I do not know why Martin’s first family could not parent him themselves, but I do know that most parents in his country do not raise their children who are born with disabilities.

In the place where Martin was born, parents are advised to place such children with the state or abandon them in the hospital. Their births are viewed as shameful. There are few educational and therapy programs for them when they are young, and almost no employment or housing options for them when they reach adulthood.

Knowing that there is very little opportunity for their children at home, some parents actively seek out adoptive families for their children from the United States, Canada and those Western European countries, like Ireland, which allow international adoption of children with Down Syndrome.

Attitudes toward people with disabilities in Martin’s country are not so different from what they may have been here in the United States 50 years ago. In some ways, they are not so different from the attitudes presented to women whose children are diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome and other disabilities in this country today. It is estimated that 90% of the children in the US today who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome prenatally are aborted. Remembering that should help to keep us from feeling smug.

To learn more about the high rate of abortion for children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome prenatally try the following links:

To learn more about the realities facing children born with disabilities in Eastern Europe, stay tuned to this blog. The details will follow, and they won't be pretty.

No comments:

Post a Comment