Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Nicaraguans 'betrayed' by Ortega, Bianca Jagger tells FRANCE 24

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Protesters, punches and the President's bodyguard

Read more

THE DEBATE

Heavy Meddle: Is Russia outmanoeuvring the West?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Trump's Helsinki summit with Putin causes outrage in US

Read more

ENCORE!

On the red carpet with Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's strawberry farms from hell

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

UK book exports could be harmed by Brexit

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Ortega, enough!'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Greece's new chapter: Athens prepares to exit bailout programme

Read more

Europe

French mother’s Facebook post on her baby's Down syndrome goes viral

© Caroline Boudet, Facebook | French mother Caroline Boudet posted this photograph of her 4-month-old baby Louise in a public post on Facebook

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-06-15

A French mother tired of hackneyed responses to her baby Louise, who has Down syndrome, took to Facebook to vent her frustration, writing a post that has since gone viral and attracted the empathy of thousands of readers.

The mother, Caroline Boudet, from Alençon in Normandy, exhorted people who came in contact with parents of children with Down syndrome to refrain from asking if the condition wasn’t detected during pregnancy.

“Either it was, and the parents took the decision to ‘keep the baby’. Or it was a surprise and the topic doesn’t need to be constantly revisited," Boudet wrote in French, adding that mothers already feel guilty enough about everything without blaming themselves for their child's condition.

Children with the condition, also known as trisomy 21, have three copies of their 21st chromosome instead of two and develop slower than other kids, both physically and mentally.

One in every 1570 babies born in France is estimated to have Down syndrome, according to Orphanet, an online journal on rare diseases.

In her Facebook post, dated June 8, Boudet urged people to clarify the language they used when they refer to the circumstances of babies like Louise, who is four months old.

“Don't tell her mother ‘it's your baby no matter what’. No. It's my baby, period. Plus: ‘nomatterwhat’ is quite an ugly name, I'd rather call her Louise,” she wrote in a post that is publicly viewable, explaining that she wanted people to be aware of these issues to avoid hurtful statements to other mothers like her.

Boudet underscored that it was important to distinguish between the condition of Down syndrome and the identity of a person. “It's not what she IS, it's what she HAS,” she said, imploring readers to avoid generalisations when they describe those with Down syndrome.

‘Simply beautiful’

Boudet’s remarks struck a chord with readers, sparking thousands of responses and prompting more than 26,000 Facebook “likes”. Over 34,000 people had shared the post at the time this story was published.

“Louise is simply beautiful. She is a blessing and a gift from God, all children are. I'm happy she has a mother who is willing to stand up and tell people how things are!” wrote a reader Lorène Ordal.

Another reader, Nathan D. Kalcsa, said people with the syndrome should be looked up to. “I've volunteered with people with special needs many times in my life, and I have never met anyone with downs who wasn't loving, affectionate, caring, attentive to other's needs, and funny,” he wrote in comments.

Date created : 2015-06-12

  • FRANCE - INTERNET

    Court tells Facebook France has jurisdiction in vagina row

    Read more

  • France

    Inmate Facebook selfies page sparks inquiry at French prison

    Read more

  • THAILAND

    Thai man jailed for 25 years for insulting monarchy on Facebook

    Read more

COMMENT(S)