Dear Expectant Parent,
Congratulations on your baby! If you are reading this, it is likely that you were just given a prenatal diagnosis that your baby may have Down syndrome. You may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. We understand the many emotions that you may be experiencing right now. It is normal to mourn the loss of the baby you thought you were going to have. We have been where you are and are here to help.
We are parents of children with Down syndrome and are members of New Directions Down Syndrome Association. Our primary goal is to help families learn about Down syndrome, provide direction to resources, and offer networking opportunities with other families. For many parents, the single most helpful thing they did after receiving the news was to talk to other parents of children with Down syndrome. When you are ready to talk to someone, please contact us at (605) 610-8026. We will answer any questions you have honestly and without judgment. We want to support you and your family’s choices.
The weeks ahead will likely be touched with many emotions. We do ask you to remain mindful of the following information during this time:
• You may feel pressed to make difficult decisions quickly. Please don’t. Please resist whatever pressure you feel you are under and take time – for yourself and your child. Gather facts and discuss all with your spouse or partner, friends or family. Then, and only when you are ready, make your own informed choice.
• Some of the written and word-of-mouth information that is available on Down syndrome is outdated and inaccurate. Please be sure that any information you consider is from a recent and reliable source.
• Quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent years due to significant advances in the quality of medical care and educational support.
Down Syndrome Pregnancy is a wonderful resource for expectant parents. They offer support in a variety of ways, including a free downloadable ebook on their website called Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother’s Guide to Down Syndrome. (If you would like a printed copy of this book, please contact us for our Expectant Parent Packet, which includes this printed book.) Another resources for you to share with family and friends is called Your Loved One is Having a Baby with Down Syndrome. (This is also available as a free download on their website.)
Please feel free to contact us if you would like our Expectant Parent packet, have any questions or would like to visit with another parent of a child with Down syndrome.
Please remember, you are not alone and we would love to be a part of your journey. We wish only the best for you and your baby!
Parents of New Directions Down Syndrome Association
Here are a list of local resources.
Avera Pediatrics (includes section on DS clinic)/Genetic
Birth to three
Family Support 360
SD department of social services
The Option of Adoption
All children benefit from the opportunity to grow up in a loving family, but not all birth families feel they are able to meet the needs of a child with Down syndrome. Making an adoption plan for a child with Down syndrome is a loving choice and can be the right thing for some families. (There are lots of families wanting to adopt a child with Down syndrome.)
Local Adoption Resources
National Adoption Resources
National Down Syndrome Adoption Network
(created by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati)
The DSAGC has excellent resources for those looking for a loving home for their child with Down syndrome, as well as those who want to adopt a child with Down syndrome.
National Adoption Awareness Program provides information to birth families who may be seeking alternatives to parenting as they prepare for the arrival of their child.