The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) recognizes that there are several ways to screen for and diagnose Down syndrome during a pregnancy. This includes screening tests like ultrasounds and noninvasive prenatal tests (NIPT); and diagnostic tests like chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis. NDSS believes all women and families should be informed as to the purpose of screening and diagnostic prenatal tests and given information on the risks, limitations of the tests, expense of the tests, manner in which these tests will be performed, and at what point during the gestational period the results will be available.
The decision whether to undergo prenatal testing must be solely that of the woman and family. All forms of prenatal testing for Down syndrome should remain strictly confidential and voluntary. Whether or not to undergo a prenatal screening or diagnostic test is a personal decision, and expectant parents must make the choice that is best for them.
NDSS recognizes that there are several reasons that one might choose to undergo prenatal testing and screening, which can include: advanced awareness on Down syndrome, adoption, or termination. In all cases, upon receiving a positive diagnosis of Down syndrome, the woman and family should be provided with accurate, up-to-date, and balanced information about Down syndrome.
Above all, NDSS strongly believes that through public awareness, education and advocacy, health care professionals, policymakers and society as a whole can help ensure that people with Down syndrome are increasingly valued, accepted and included.