The mother of a boy with Down’s syndrome has spoken of her unconditional love for him and expressed her determination to change attitudes.
Caroline White said she was saddened by the recent coverage of Gammy – a child born to a surrogate mother, who was reportedly rejected by his biological parents because he has Down’s syndrome.
Writing as a guest blogger on the BBC website, Mrs White was critical of society’s attitude to Down’s.
She continued: “I am forever grateful that I did not know that my six-year-old son Seb had Down’s syndrome until he was in my arms.
“A pre-natal diagnosis would have sent me into a frenzy of fear, but thankfully I had no choice but to get to know my baby, and fall head over heels in love with him.”
The mother said that in the six years since Seb was born he has taught her so much and she “would not swap a single thing about him”.
Her blog piece also criticised some of the degrading terminology which is used when people speak about having a child with Down’s syndrome.
She said that there is “still talk of the ‘risk’ of having a child with Down’s syndrome” pointing out that risk “is a word associated with danger.”
White added: “People need to stop placing value on babies’ lives. They cannot be treated like a commodity, an accessory and a right”.
Last month, the mother of a seven-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome, who hit the headlines for appearing in Sainsbury’s clothing adverts, said there was an “assumption” she would abort her daughter.
Hayley Goleniowska said that there is a “conditioning to fear Down’s syndrome” coupled with an “assumption” that if the baby tests positive for the condition, you will “automatically” have an abortion.
At the moment doctors can approve abortions up to full term if they think there is a “substantial risk” that the child will be seriously handicapped, under ground E of the abortion Act.
Hayley and her husband Bob told The Daily Telegraph they now have no limits on their expectations for their daughter Natalia – or Natty – who swims, rides horses and is in mainstream school.