idea for story – about all the kids born with down syndrome over the years & what was told to siblings/relatives when they didn’t bring a baby home…
Did they always say the baby died? Did they tell the truth to their close family/friends? Did they ever see the baby again if it survived and they institutionalized them?
check stats of how many babies born/year in US. how many had diagnoseable conditions known to impact cognition (like Down syndrome) back in the 30s, 40s, 50s… or in the 1800s? 1700s? is there any way of knowing? how many survived? how many were acknowledged even if they didn’t come home? How many of the rare ones came home?
Ties in with family history myths – like that everyone is biologically their father’s children or that those ancestors who looked like they were cherokee were just ‘real tan’. My dad had a sibling who was ‘stillborn’ – in birth order right before him – but of course she could have easily had down syndrome and died – or had down syndrome and survived! And then just disappeared. Grandma, is this what happened??? How many “stillbirths” were really babies with down syndrome who were recognized and rejected for it.
3/21 ed. need to find some good bibliographies… found excellent (depressing) article on infanticide – connects more than a few dots on the subject.