A young couple Michael
Cox and Taylor Anderton from Queensland have Down syndrome and are desperate to
get married and have children - even though their concerned parents fear they
may never be ready.
Michael Cox and Taylor Anderton from Queensland met six years ago through competitive swimming and got engaged on a trip to America last year. They have now set their sights on getting married and starting a family of their own.
"We want to have four kids, we're going to have three daughters and one son," said, the 25-year-old Michael.
While Michael and Taylor's parents accept that their children are happy together and support their relationship, they are hesitant about their aim to become parents.
"Taylor and Michael want to get married and have children and that makes me feel very worried, apprehensive and concerned," Taylor's mother Catherine Musk said.
Both of their families say they raised their children to believe in their dreams and live independently but now fear they may have set them up to fail with unrealistic expectations.
"I don't see parenthood being something that they're going to achieve or really they probably should achieve," Michael's father Simon Cox said.
"It would be very difficult being a child whose parents both had Down Syndrome and couldn't have a job and couldn't drive a car and couldn't understand maths homework."
Michael's mother Nikki Cox said the situation was a double-edged sword. "For all his life we've imposed no limits but then it reaches a point where there are some things that he desperately wants to do and believes that he can do that are probably not going to happen," she said.
The young couple have agreed with their parents to delay their wedding but remain determined to have children together.
"I know that their heart's in the right place but being overprotective is strictly not on with your child, even if they have Down Syndrome," Michael said.
Taylor said: "When my mum keeps talking about the rules and me and Michael's relationship, it does treat me like a child a little bit. I didn't understand love when I was little, but I do now, because I am (an) adult."
The chance of two people with Down Syndrome falling pregnant is rare and if a couple were to fall pregnant there is a 50 percent chance of the child having Down Syndrome.
Queensland disability advocate Michelle O'Flynn said the decision to become parents should rest with the couple.