Objective: To investigate the attitudes of Argentine parents of children with nonsyndromic oral clefts with respect to prenatal diagnosis, termination of pregnancy, and reproduction and to assess the variables that might influence their responses.
Design: One hundred and sixty-five parents of children with oral clefts, ascertained from a craniofacial clinic in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, answered a 151-item semistructured questionnaire. The questionnaire included sections covering sociodemographic information, level of religiousness, characteristics of the child's cleft, parental perception of their child's cleft, pregnancy history, recurrence risk, access to health care, attitudes in regard to abortion, and family environment.
Results: Most parents (60%) believe their child's cleft is not a serious condition. None of the respondents would terminate a pregnancy because the ultrasound reveals an oral cleft. Similarly, very few (6.1%) would terminate the pregnancy if there were an early diagnosis of Down syndrome. Half of the respondents believe that abortion should not be an option for any couple expecting a child.
Conclusions: Most respondents do not perceive oral clefts as a severe condition. Parents would not choose to terminate the pregnancy over delivery of such an affected newborn.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.