Gerber has been feeding babies since 1927. Those chubby faces on their products might look similar, but there have been many different Gerber babies across the years. This year, for the first time, a child with Down syndrome was chosen to be their “spokesbaby of the year.” President and CEO of Gerber, Bill Partyka, says that 18-month-old Lucas Warren is “a perfect fit.” He will appear on Gerber’s social media channels and ads all year long. Lucas’ mom hopes that this new venture will shed light upon the special needs community and help others to see that these children can change the world.
Gerber may not be very welcome in France, though. In 2016, an organization for Down syndrome received a letter from a pregnant woman who discovered that her child had the genetic disorder known as trisomy 21 or Down syndrome. She wrote, “I am scared of what kind of life my child will have.” The organization put together a remarkable video entitled, “Dear Future Mom,” answering her question. Happy children with Down syndrome explained the kinds of things that they like to do: hug, go to school, get jobs, fix bicycles, travel and share love. The French Council of State ruled against allowing the video to be shown, fearing it would be too disturbing for “women who, in accordance with the law, have made personal life choices” (96 percent of pregnancies diagnosed with trisomy 21 in France end in abortion).
France, and all nations, could truly benefit from more babies like Lucas Warren, and more companies like Gerber.