Two disturbing bits of information came to me in the past few weeks which puts me at fear for babies with Down syndrome and a culture that negates these precious ones.
Recently someone with whom some friends are acquainted wrote about an experience with a judge in Eastern Europe as a family had applied to adopt a child with Down syndrome. I will let the writer’s words do the talking, edited only for clarity and names:
“Hold your little ones close those of you who have crossed the waters and brought them safely to this side of the ocean. Hold them close. Hold them and pray because today – early this morning – while they slept safe in their beds – clinging to their bears – dreaming dreams of family and love – today – this morning – in a court across the ocean – with a family pleading with every ounce of their being – a judge said no.
She said No.
She thinks that a child with Down Syndrome is better off in an institute instead of with a family.
She said No.
Against the advice of every single person in the courtroom.
She said No.
No to this little boy whose family has done everything imaginable to go get him.
[He] has been denied a family.”
Did you catch that? A judge who was overseeing a hearing to allow a child with Down syndrome to be adopted by a family that desired to raise and love him, denied their request because the judge, one woman, believed that he would do better in an institution.
The writer goes on to say that this was the first child brought before the judge with Down syndrome but others are scheduled soon. If she has established precedent in her courtroom, then what would make us think she is going to suddenly allow the next family to adopt the child? Somewhere in her mind, this judge has decided the value of a child with Down syndrome does not warrant a child having a family. It sounds like something from a bad movie.
Study after study shows the detriment to all children in institutions rather than with families, to their socialization, emotional health, and especially issues of bonding and attachment. It’s unthinkable to me how anyone with an ounce of humanity could rule against a child being loved.
Sadly, the horror of this isn’t reserved for that location. It may not look like this but we have our methods of eliminating those we deem “less” than. In fact, a new scientific breakthrough has many pro-lifers concerned about the fate of Down syndrome children.
This story reports on a new blood test which, thus far, has shown a 100% accuracy in predicting Down syndrome in a child in the womb. Until now, that was determined by amniocentesis, an invasive procedure which “involves removing amniotic fluid from the uterus with a needle. Amniocentesis is typically done during the second trimester, at 15-16 weeks gestation. It carries a risk, estimated at 1-2 percent, of miscarriage. New DNA testing could be done as early as 11-13 weeks gestation and avoid the invasive amniocentesis.”
Researchers praise the medical advances while fearing the implications. A study a few years ago showed that a startling 92% of those whose babies are diagnosed to have Down syndrome abort. Disturbingly, if significantly less than 92% of people consider themselves to be pro-life, the only conclusion one can draw is that many who call themselves pro-life find an exception with children with Down syndrome.
LifeSite reports on the new blood test:
While Down syndrome affects approximately 1 in 700 children born worldwide, …, rates should have statistically increased in recent years due to the fact that more women are waiting longer to have children. However, this has not proved to be the case, almost certainly due to the extremely high abortion rate for children diagnosed in utero with the condition… [I]n the U.S. between 1989 and 2005, Down syndrome births should have increased by 34 percent. In reality, 15 percent fewer Down’s babies were born, a 49 percentage point decrease from expected numbers.
Opinions aside, the numbers show that babies with Down syndrome are being eliminated. Now we have a judge who has decided if they are born, they need to be left in an institution rather than in a family. My English degrees didn’t come with strong enough vocabulary to express the horror I feel at this.
There’s only one answer to the horror of injustice that we know works 100% of the time: intercession. The writer of the article about the judge ends with a call to us all to pray, not only for this judge an courtroom, but for a world that has stopped looking through the eyes of the Father to see the value of the ones He created.
We live in a fallen, sinful world and sometimes, for a short season, evil triumphs.
But we serve a Loving God and He is Good.
He conquered death and the grave.
In the end – He will prevail. Love will win.
God will triumph.
Wrongs will be made right.
Until then… we pray. We cry out. We stand strong against the evils of this world.
We fight on.
We do not give up. And we hold each other up. Because it hurts when evil wins for a season.
And our brothers and sisters right now are grieving beyond words.
Pray for the [families]
Pray for all the little ones in that region.
Pray knowing that God will be glorified in the end.
We must stand and be a voice for those who can’t speak, in the courtroom of heaven and the courtrooms of earth. Never be silent; 92% of those with Down syndrome need us, as does every other unborn child suffocated from life.