Trisomy 21 pp 81-90 | Cite as

Asking for a Prenatal Diagnosis After the Birth of a Child with Down’s Syndrome

  • Nadine Fresco
  • Danièle Silvestre
Conference paper
Part of the Human Genetics Supplement book series (HUMAN GENETICS, volume 2)


Three years ago we undertook, in collaboration with André and Joëlle Boue (Inserm U 73), a research project investigating the psychological aspects of prenatal diagnosis following the earlier birth (and sometimes death) of a child with Down’s syndrome. For this study we selected 20 couples who had requested such an examination. These couples present some particularities which justified, in our opinion, a specific study. In a few cases, one of the parents happened to be a carrier of a balanced chromosome translocation, but usually the trisomy was free. Moreover, the mother’s age did not increase the risk factor.

Our investigation was carried out on the basis of a series of one or several interviews, the man and the woman being seen separately. These unstructured interviews, with the fewest possible questions and interventions on our part, were tape-recorded with the permission of our subjects. We then analyzed the precise content of the typed texts of the these interviews.

Two main topics emerged from this analysis

The extreme impact of the birth of a child with Down’s syndrome and the place and role of such a child in the family’s life, and

The relationship between the parents and physician before and after the birth, including the request for a prenatal diagnosis.

by grant D.G.R.S.T. “Socio-économie de la santé” 1976, and grant I.N.S.E.R.M. ATP “Facteurs génétiques dans le développement normal et pathologique” 1979


Prenatal Diagnosis Early Birth Extreme Impact Abnormal Child Balance Chromosome Translocation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine Fresco
    • 1
  • Danièle Silvestre
    • 1
  1. 1.I.N.S.E.R.M. Unité 158, Clinique Robert DebréHôpital des Enfants MaladesParis cedex 15France

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