Monday, 3 October 2016

Down Syndrome Australia Statement on Australian Story, 3 October 2016

Down Syndrome Australia is the peak organisation for people with Down syndrome in Australia. A key part of our work is raising awareness and understanding about the rights of people living with Down syndrome.

ABC Australian Story is airing a story on Monday night about two adults with Down syndrome who have chosen to marry and live together. The story also covers the very personal decision of these two people about whether or not they will have children and their family’s response to this decision. Down Syndrome Australia will not comment on the details of this specific family situation and the complex and deeply personal decisions that are being considered. 

Down Syndrome Australia believes that people with Down syndrome should be supported to have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as other people in the community, including in making decisions about who to marry and whether or not to have children. 

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability Article 23 specifically protects the rights of people with disabilities to make decisions about whether or not to have children. People with Down syndrome may need additional support and appropriate information before making a decision about whether or not to have a child. 

This may include consideration of what services and support will be available after the child is born and how they will meet the needs of a child. These are the same issues that people without a disability also need to consider before deciding to have a child. 

Families may not always agree with the decision of the person with Down syndrome but as adults they have the right to make that decision regardless. 

More information about the work of Down Syndrome Australia and the contact details for local support and services can be found at www.downsyndrome.org.au

Media Contact: Angus Graham OAM, Chairman, DSA. 
mobile: 0434 079 702

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