Prenatal Genetic Testing: Making the Choice That's Right for You

Making the decision
We live in a time of great information, which causes us to make more responsible decisions. But disagreements arise about the definition of "responsible action." This is especially problematic if the husband and wife disagree about whether or not termination should occur in the case of a positive test result.

Also, conflict can arise about the manner in which a pregnancy should be terminated. Certainly the woman must make choices pertaining to her own body. Still, a husband's needs, when in conflict with her decision, will need to be addressed, and are best handled with the help of a family counselor knowledgeable about prenatal choices.

Responsibility is a personal choice, defined and based on deeply-held beliefs and commitments. Our families are like gardens. We nurture each other's growth and development. Can we choose what to plant, or feel is necessary to weed out of our garden? Apparently so. The question each of us must answer is, do we have the right to plant what we want, and weed out what we do not? These are deeply personal and psychological questions, which some find easier than others to address.

Like any other parenting decision that will arise in the future, the answer that is right for you is the one you make together. Be prepared to reach out for help along the way, especially if your genetic test comes back positive. Genetic counselors and family therapist experts in the prenatal period and parenting fields can support you in working through the emotional repercussions to the choices medical science has now made available to us .

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