Claire Martin | Facebook

"Let's go home, we can't kill this baby"

AT 15 weeks pregnant, Claire and Ben Martin were told their baby had Down Syndrome.

The NSW couple were at a routine scan when the doctor delivered the news and raised the possibility of a termination.

"My doctor was wonderful. He was very factual, he left emotion out of it and said: 'Your baby does have Down Syndrome' and my husband and I were both crying," Mrs Martin told Daily Mail Australia.

She said when she told people she was pregnant with a baby with Down Syndrome they said "I'm so sorry" and cried and hugged her.

"I even had one person say to me, 'If this was a dog what would you do?'" she said.

But she said she thinks their reaction was their lack of education about Down Syndrome and she understands, she probably would have done the same.

According to the Down Syndrome Australia website Down Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome.

People with Down Syndrome often have health and development challenges, some level of intellectual disability and some characteristic physical features, the website states.

Claire, Ben and Xavier Martin
Claire, Ben and Xavier Martin Claire Martin | Facebook

Mrs Martin said it was being hugged by people and told "sorry" that heavily influenced their decision.

After weeks of discussion, the couple chose to terminate the pregnancy.

But while waiting in the clinic they changed their minds at the last minute.

"I'd made an appointment to have a termination and we were sitting there but then my husband dragged me outside," Mrs Martin said.

"He said, 'What are we doing? Let's go home, we can't kill this baby'."

It's been eight weeks now since Xavier was born and Mrs Martin said they have no regrets.

"I have no idea what I was so scared of, but I was absolutely terrified and I did not know what to expect."

Down Syndrome Australia states: "people with Down syndrome are not fundamentally different from anyone else."

Madeline Stuart, now the world's most famous model with Down syndrome, conquered the New York Fashion Week catwalk at Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall as part of the FTL Moda presentation of international designers. Photo Contributed
Madeline Stuart, now the world's most famous model with Down syndrome, conquered the New York Fashion Week catwalk at Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall as part of the FTL Moda presentation of international designers. Photo Contributed Contributed

Queensland teenager Madeline Stuart became an ambassador for people with disabilities when she became the first professional adult model with Down Syndrome.

The 18-year-old has walked catwalks in New York  and is the face of cosmetic company  Glossigirl.

Ms Stuart has used her modelling career to promote acceptance and equality for people with disabilities.

Over 270 babies born per year in Australia since 2007 have Down Syndrome and there are over 13,000 people with Down Syndrome in Australia now, according to the Down Syndrome Australia website.


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