A couple who have two children with Down’s syndrome, including one they adopted, have spoken of the joys of bringing them up – but criticised the culture of aborting children with the condition.
Speaking to a national newspaper Amanda Hazell, who is also a GP, criticised the “negativity” about Down’s in the medical profession.
She said: “As a GP, I see it first hand. The very fact that expectant mothers can be tested for it is suggestive of it being a bad thing; that if your test is positive, the ‘difficulty’ can be ‘sorted’ with a termination.”
Amanda said their children, Freddie and Mimi, “bring us a richness, a fulfilment we wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t come into our lives”.
She said: “Mimi lives for swimming and painting and Freddie loves acting out scenes with his toys”.
But she also criticised the language used in the medical profession – saying Down’s Syndrome is talked about as “a ‘risk’ rather than a possibility”.
Over 90 per cent of women in 2010 aborted their child when they learned it had Down’s, according to the National Down’s Syndrome Cytogenetic Register for England and Wales.
Following Amanda and Richard Hazell’s first son being born with Down’s, they decided to adopt another child, Mimi, who also had the condition.
Amanda commented that although people “might not understand” why they chose to adopt another child with Down’s, “it felt like the logical thing to do”.
She explained: “We thought two children with Down’s syndrome would get on with each other and on a practical note, we knew it would be easier to adopt a baby with it.”
“By that time we knew all about it – we were equipped to cope”, she added.
Although it is “chaotic and hard work” with the two children, Amanda says Freddie and Mimi are “very spontaneous”, “full of character” and “very funny”.