Becoming a parent should be a joyful experience. Fortunately, for the vast majority of people that is exactly what it is. Their baby, or babies, are born healthy and the whole family goes home happy and content.
But we all know that occasionally things go wrong. Sadly, some parents find themselves faced with having to deal with the heartbreaking and difficult consequences of wrongful birth.
This is a subject that is rarely spoken about. As a result, finding good quality wrongful birth info is not easy. This article aims to go a little way towards bridging that gap.
What the term wrongful birth means
In some countries, doctors are required to warn parents if they are at risk of conceiving a child that has a serious congenital disease. Unfortunately, occasionally, doctors fail to do this effectively. Or, they botch sterilization procedures, which leads to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.
As a result, there are couples out there who only discover during pregnancy or after birth, that their child has a congenital disease. This can leave the parents in a terrible situation.
The consequences of a wrongful birth
Often, they end up trying to care for a severely sick child without having the necessary resources to do so properly. They find themselves in a situation that they would not have deliberately put themselves, their child and the rest of their family into.
It is sometimes possible to claim compensation for wrongful birth
In many cases, if they had known of the risk they would have avoided having biological children. Or, availed themselves of the various ways of ensuring that any child they had was born without an inherited illness or condition. For example, gene therapy or correcting congenital anomalies while the child is still in the womb.
As a result, when a medical professional fails to inform someone that they could pass their congenital disease onto their children this is often considered to be a form of negligence. His or her failure to inform has put those parents and their children in a life-changing situation that could have been avoided.
A fact that opens up the chance for the parents to sue that doctor for compensation. To cover, at least in part, the additional costs of raising a child with severe disabilities. As well as compensate them for their pain and suffering.
Even more importantly, it opens up the possibility that sufficient funds can be put aside to help that child during adulthood. In many cases, regardless of how well they cope with their disabilities, they will be faced with significantly higher living expenses. They will usually also find it harder, sometimes impossible, to find a job. So, having access to compensation is important.
The right advice and support are vital
Naturally, parents who find themselves facing a wrongful birth situation, need support. Regardless of what they decide to do, their lives are going to be turned upside down in a sudden and potentially destructive way.
A lawyer can help them to understand whether they can bring a case against their doctor. They will play an important part in putting a strong case for compensation.
But, when it comes to day to day practicalities, the best sources of advice are other parents who have gone through something similar. Other parents who have children who are suffering from similar disabilities are also excellent sources of advice. You can find out about several excellent family support groups via this page.