While Some Countries Are Happily Aborting All Babies With Down Syndrome, One American Company Is Honoring Babies With Disabilities

This September 2017 undated photo provided by the Warren family via Gerber shows 14-month-old Lucas Warren of Dalton, Ga. Lucas' contagious smile won over executives at Gerber baby food who have made him their "spokesbaby" this year. Lucas is Gerber's first spokesbaby with Down syndrome in the company's 91-year history. (Courtesy Warren family/Gerber via AP)

Since 2010, the Gerber baby food company has held an annual contest to find the year’s spokesbaby. This year, the company chose Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old little boy with Down syndrome. A truly perfect baby and perfect choice to promote the humanity of those born with disabilities.

(Courtesy Warren family/Gerber via AP)

How can you not love that face?

Lucas’s mother, Cortney, said she entered the photo of her son on a whim.

Gerber’s CEO and president, Bill Partyka, said Lucas’s happy disposition and smile stood out among the 140,000 submissions.

“Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” said Partyka. “This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”

“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” dad Jason Warren said. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”

The founder of the non-profit Changing the Face of Beauty, Katie Driscoll, and other disability advocates — and let’s face it, many others — are delighted by Gerber’s pick.

Driscoll says brands like Gerber have the power to change the future of the disability community by valuing the minority as a consumer in their advertising.

“We believe if brands represent children with a disability, they are communicating their value to our society,” said Driscoll. “Moves like this move us closer to a more inclusive world.”

Lucas’s mother said of her Gerber baby, “He may have Down syndrome, but he’s always Lucas first. He’s got an awesome personality and he goes through the milestones of every child… we’re hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he’ll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.”

In the last year, where we’ve seen a country like Iceland practically bragging about how they’ve eradicated Down syndrome through often inaccurate testing and subsequent abortion, it’s wonderful to see a baby born with different challenges being celebrated and humanized.