UPDATE: couple wins Down syndrome “wrongful birth” suit

Kalanit Levy, pictured with her brothers, whose parents wished they could have aborted her.

Last week, I wrote about two parents who filed a “wrongful birth” suit against their hospital, because their daughter was not prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. At the time, they didn’t want their names released to the public, because they feared the backlash they might receive over the lawsuit. Well, they’ve won, and Ariel and Deborah Levy are apparently happy to talk to the media now that they’ve been paid off for the hassle of raising their daughter (emphasis mine).

A couple who sued a hospital for not telling them their unborn child has Down’s syndrome has been awarded a $2.9million payout.

Ariel and Deborah Levy, who say they would have had an abortion if they had known the child would be disabled, claimed they needed the money to pay for their daughter Kalanit’s lifelong care.

And a jury agreed, deciding on Friday that Oregon’s Legacy Health hospital had been negligent in failing to diagnose the condition in a pre-natal scan.

The hospital is considering appealing the verdict, but the Levys’ lawyer urged them to ‘let this case finally come to an end’.

… Although they say they love Kalanit and treat her the same as their other children, the Levys demanded a huge payout from the hospital to pay for the extra medical care she requires.

This case is just disgusting on so many levels.

First, how can any parent simultaneously claim to “love” their child, yet also wish that they had aborted them? One would think that, if they truly loved their child, they would be thinking, ‘thank God we didn’t find out, because we wouldn’t have her here if we did”. This couple looks at their daughter and sees her as a “wrongful birth”. They wish they had aborted her. Yet we’re supposed to believe they love her? If this is their idea of the love a parent should have for their child, then they don’t deserve to be parents.

Also disturbing is when you compare how the parents describe their daughter versus how they describe their two sons.

[D]ays after Kalanit was born, her mother was taking her to the doctor ‘to show her off’ and he delivered the blow – a blood test confirmed the baby had Down’s. ‘It was devastating,’ Mrs Levy said.

… Their sons are in third grade and kindergarten. The boys, shown hugging their younger sister tightly in photographs, are bright – one has placed in the 99th percentile on standardised tests.

Apparently, once they found out she had Down syndrome, Kalanit was no longer worth showing off — especially not when their other two sons are just so bright and intelligent. Kalanit, meanwhile, can only speak in short sentences. They just had the perfect family until their little girl had the audacity to be born with an extra chromosome, and now, they have to be paid off in order to deal with the burden of raising her.

I’m curious: do these parents see any value in their daughter’s life? Or is she just a hassle, a child with a price tag, that they wish they could have gotten rid of? What would they do if one of their children had developed cancer? What if one of them was in a car accident and then developed a disability? By their thinking, they would then no longer deserve to live — especially if, Heaven forbid, their disabled child was a burden on them. After all, children are there to make life easier for parents, right?

Oh, wait. That’s not how it works at all.

The other chilling aspect of this case is the potential long-term implications it could have. As it is, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted (by “loving” parents like Ariel and Deborah Levy). But doctors don’t always catch the diagnosis. Nothing in medicine is ever 100% accurate. And sometimes, there will be errors. Sometimes, things will slip through the cracks. How many parents will be encouraged to sue hospitals now because their child was born with an extra chromosome? Prenatal testing, like the CVS test and an amniocentesis, are extremely accurate. But there are still those few cases where they aren’t, and now the precedent has been set.

Instead of looking at their daughter as the miracle and blessing she is, these parents look at her as a burden, a child they wish they could have gotten rid of, a child they need to be paid off in order to raise.

When I think of my unborn son, who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, I don’t feel dread. I don’t worry about the costs of raising him. And considering my husband is a Marine, while Ariel and Deborah Levy are employed as a civil engineer and a dental hygienist, respectively, I’d be willing to bet that, even without the lawsuit, they’re in a much better financial situation to raise a child with special needs than we are. (I guess we should sue as well.) I think, gosh, it’s a miracle that he survived, since around 80% of babies with chromosomal abnormalities end up as miscarriages. I think about how cute his nose looks on ultrasounds, and I think about how much he kicks and moves in the womb. I think about how much fun Ben, my older son, and Wyatt will have together as they grow up. There is no thought about the “burden” he will supposedly be — instead, I see a life full of potential. Isn’t that how a truly loving parent would feel, as opposed to wishing they could have aborted their child and demanding a payoff in order to raise them?

My son, and the thousands of other children like him, are not defective. They are not burdens, and we, as parents of these children, do not need to paid off to compensate for the supposed hassle of raising them. There is no wishing that the child had never been born, that we could have killed him if we had the chance, that we need money to offset the burden. Life comes in many forms, and all of it is sacred and beautiful and worthwhile.

Perhaps Ariel and Deborah Levy need to be reminded of that as they enjoy their $2.9 million payoff in exchange for dealing with their “defective”, if-only-we-had-aborted-her daughter.

  • Thomas

    When I was born, I had a hole in my heart, which is still probably there.  I was sick a lot and the doctors said that my parents should let me die, after all they already had 3 boys and a girl.  There weren’t any tests back then, no ultra sound and such.  I am almost 62 years old now and very thankful that my parents stuck it out and eventually paid all the doctor and hospital bills, even after I got out and started working myself.  Maybe it was a different time back then.  Maybe families cared then.  Some things are priceless and really can’t be repaid, such as family, love, and maybe the feeling that what God brought into this world should only be taken out by Him?

    • Myfriend32

      Those parents are terrible and Kalanit should be taken away from them and put in a home where she will be loved for who she is and not just a big payoff.

      • Judith Goldsberry

        I fear for the welfare of all those children.

      •  She is being very well taken care of. Her parents are Orthodox Jews and the Jewish community has always did an excellent job at taking care of disabled children. Especially at a time when most Christians would just lock their kids away. The jury ruled 12-0 in the couple’s favor. The law is very clear cut about malpractice.

        • Cannonmommy

          Medical tests are not 100% accurate. Malpractice is negligent and purposeful. Consenting adults should be aware that mistakes happen and be willing to accept it. As Orthodox Jews I would think they would be aware that God’s will is sometimes different than our own….Now I have to go research where Orthodox Jews stand on abortion. In my mind this dog don’t hunt!!

          •  The hospital DID mess up. The jury ruled unanimously and the evidence was straight forward.

          • Kell

            After reading the article from the dailymail website, it is possible that there could have been a mistake in the testing.  Also, if they had to wait for a blood test after the child was born (Not physically evident at birth) then this child does have mosaic Down syndrome, which is not as easily detectable pre-birth.  

          • Cassy Fiano

            The hospital also argued that because of the mosaic Down syndrome, the girl had a high number of healthy cells, which could be another explanation for why the test came back with a false negative.  This isn’t malpractice, this is a risk you run with prenatal testing.  Nothing is ever 100% in these cases, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

        • Momof2

          Wow.  What basis do you have for saying Christians would just lock away the kids with Down’s?  That is unfounded and an egregious error on your part.  The fact is this couple wants to say they love their child, but her life is not worth living. My value does not come from what man says or thinks, it comes from God.  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made… Psalm 139:13-14.  I have a friend that has a beautiful baby with Down Syndrome.  That baby girl brings joy to everyone who encounters her.  God has purposed her, just as He did Kalanit.  To say Kalanit’s life should have been stopped in the womb, and suing for it leaves me speechless.

          •  No, that’s not what I said. But historically speaking many people with disabilities were locked up in institutions up until about the 1960’s. (You know, the time period that many of you conservatives like to complain about.) There are many Jews that have suffered from genetic diseases but they have always taken excellent care of their children.

          • Beverley

            Oh Michelle!
            Why do you keep bringing up “Jews vs Christians”!!!
            What has that got to do with this? These people are getting money because they weren’t told their child was “defective”. It reminds me alot of parents in certain countries killing off their girl babies because they aren’t profitable. And we ALL know that that is morally wrong!
            So why do you defend them? They got paid off and now they love their daughter? For 2 million dollars, I’d love anyone!!! 

          • Suzi

            I’m guessing Michelle is probably feeling guilty over an abortion.

          • kiki

            Maybe not guilty but disappointed in how many money she could have been awarded by a wrongful birth sue.

          • Fatima

            I guess they take “good care” of them as long as they represent MONEY (fundraisers, maybe your local synagogue will help too and of course the goverment) You are disgusting and yes, I’m being just as stupid, disgusting and prejudicial as you are by mentioning money but after all, everybody says thats what move YOUR people and by this particular case you are just confirming it. I REST MY CASE …now, see how it feels too be judged…grow up!!

          • pizza

            There is a difference between letting them live and taking excellent care of them.

            Keeping a child you do not want and feel Bourdoned by does the child no good. Obligation for looks and bragging right will never replace love.

        • Mary j squire

          What the heck does that mean?? Christians lock there children away?? Okay so you must be a Jew and no nothing about Christians how dare you say that?? And the point is her parents the Orthodox Jews! Wanted to kill there own child.. so Michelle M. Williams you are a crazy loon.

          •  Before the 1960’s, (you know, that time period that you conservatives want to act like was so evil), children with down’s were locked away in institutions. A lot of Jewish people have genetic issues like Tay-Sachs but they have always traditionally taken much better care of their children. Christians actually taking care of their disabled children is only a recent practice and was not practiced in your so called proverbial “good old days”. And traditional Jewish law does not have life starting at conception.

          • Mary j squire

            We can tell how great the Jewish people are with there handicap children so get off the jew kick we read the story and these people are what is being discussed and even with there “great” heritage they want there daughter dead and she is nothing more than a thorn in there side. So all that blah blah crap you are putting out there trying to degrade someone else’s religion is nothing but a bunch of prejudice bull you are trying to put out. Is that another Jewish practice? 

          • VanTed

            And if we want to hold to tradition and stereotypes, then it makes perfect sense that a JEW would be looking for a cheap way to be compensated.  Plain GREED.  Doesn’t feel to good to hear that Michelle, does it?  Two can play at that game but I can say as a Christian,  a completed Jew at that, that if I actually believed that being Jewish was the reason they filed this lawsuit, I would be just as guilty as your stupidity for justifying such an act.  Sticks and stones.

          • Guest

            I want you and the three people that voted thsi comment up to die of AIDS-related complications. You’re shitty.

          • VanTed

            Kevin Rikert, did you read the whole comment? Not sure why I’m the shitty one…I’m not hoping anyone dies from AIDS.

          • Anonymous

            What does Tay-Sachs have to do with anything? That is 100% fatal, lifelong care doesn’t apply. Also, that is only extremely common among the Ashkenazim Jews, not all of them. And besides, what the heck does religion have to do with care of a child?? There are some great and horrible parents in every religion (or lack thereof). I’d like to know where you get your statistics on “you Christians” being the ones to put kids in institutions. Even if it is true, ever think maybe it’s because the majority of people identify as “Christians”? There are hundreds of “Christian” denominations and to group all Christians against Jews is immature and inaccurate. Not to mention irrelevant! This is about ONE SPECIFIC COUPLE, not an entire religious group.

          • Pmwr215

            Please let’s not insult the Jewish community here.  I happen to be Jewish, but also a Christian.  From what I have read, Jewish law regarding the termination of a pregnancy has allot of rules to it.  Unfortunately, I fear that allot of these rules have been twisted and reinterpreted by man, and that’s where the problem lies.

            On the other-hand, we really don’t know what this family believes. In any faith, we all sin against our beliefs, so with them being Jewish, you can’t generalize.

            The saddest part, is that it sounds like they want to blame someone for their daughters disability (for lake of a better expression).Obviously they had no intention of raising a child with Down Syndrome, and now they’re being forced to do so.  I just hope they will come to realize what a blessing every child is, and that she, like anyone, can change the world!

          • Sue Long

            Nobody is forced to do so. If you are cold hearted enough that you would have killed your child because of a disability then surely your heart would be no less broken if you gave her up for adoption. And yes, there are parents out there who would be more than willing to adopt a child with downs syndrome.

          • KOBE SBM

            You cannot be Jewish AND Christian. Despite what Jews think, they are nothing more than members of a religion. They are not an ethnic or racial group and many of those who claim being Jewish are descended from converts to Judaism and have no Semitic blood in them at all. You are either a Christian or a Jew.

        • Pmwr215

          I agree that the laws are clear about malpractice, but sadly enough, the laws are not clear and cut about whether it is murder and wrong to terminate the life of a child.  

          • Kevin Rikert

            Yes they are. Killing a child is illegal. Killing a fetus is not, because they’re not people like children are.

        • Nathalia

          OMG did you just made this about religion? I think no parent should ever wish they have aborted their son or daughter…Since you are talking about religion and how “orthodox” they are I got a tell that their behavior is NOT very compassionate at all. and please lady stop the hate towards Christians, Muslims and all other religions that doesn’t share your point of view YOU FREAK!!!!!

        • Hendi

          It may be true, the law is clear cut on medical malpractice and according to the law they may have justly got that pay-off. It is not the pay-off that disgusts people it is the fact that the they had to ask for one, the fact that they admit to wanting to abort an already living child, and the sad fact that humanity as we know it is a sad mess. These people, Ariel and Levy, may in fact be normal people, but they definitely do not deserve the job as parent to any of their children. All human beings are flawed.

  • All they want is the money. It’s greed, plain and simple, plus we have no way of knowing if they really would kill their daughter if they knew she had Down syndrome; they’re just saying that to win cash in a lawsuit. 

  • Drwgsmom

    this is straight up s### . i have a beautiful baby girl who was born with half a heart, and no spleen ,stomach on the wrong side of her body and  backwards, hip dysplasia, had to have surgery on her intestines as well and i had no clue anything was wrong until the day after i had her and i didnt sue the doctors or hospital. uhhhhh my daughter is alive and well after several different surgeries and a heart transplant and i am so beyond blessed to have her these people suck enough said

  • I find myself with conflicting thoughts on this issue. I believe the family had grounds for a malpractice suit. I believe parents are entitled to know the health of their children for as long as the parents are required to care for them. I feel that it is a shame that this family would have used that information to abort the child instead of preparing for the child’s needs.

  • PWW

    O, that our hearts would break by that which breaks the heart of God.

    • Lissaq680

      If only we all would remember to ask that when we make decisions in our lives! Break my heart Father for that which breaks Yours!

  • Stampers

    There is nothing I can add to this.  Thank you for all the work you do, bringing the injustices of the unborn to our attention.

  • Soccer_junky13

    Why are people so heartless? Don’t they understand that they are alive only because their parents didn’t have an abortion?! I’m a little angry but mostly disappointed that people would even think of killing their children, no matter what problems they might face in the world. They have a right to live too.

  • Jgeleney

    This is just so wrong! I hope the hospital appeals and then the girl is taken away from these ubfit parents.

    •  Why are they unfit? A jury of their peers ruled in their favor 12-0. The hospital messed up. If you want to claim that there should be caps on how much people can sue for than that is a separate issue

      • KWed2b

        They are unfit because they are exploiting their daughter in their shakedown of this hospital. I think the results of the Casey Anthony trial have proved that juries can be wrong. This families lawyers succeded in finding 12 idiots just as stupid as Casey’s.

      • VanTed

        Peers is right….selfish and heartless peers.

  • Susann Gehring

    Well written and you make your point well taken.  Wonder what standards this would set for the future.  I would understand suing for having false test results, and not being able to prepare for the birth of their daughter like you are able to get mentally ready for your son (example-reading up on down syndrome).  Thank you for sharing.

  • Imacherrielover

    How can those parents look at her everyday and tell her they love her when they didn’t want her, and used her to get money! That’s not love that is greed.

    •  They are going to need the money for the rest of the girl’s life, even after the parents die. The jury ruled in the parents favor 12-0. The parents are Orthodox Jewish and Jewish families do the BEST job of taking care of disabled children.

      • Momforlife

        Hogwash! I have 7 children, 1 has DS, it doesn’t take a windfall to take care of a DS child. It takes love, sacrifice, unselfishness, thriftiness, planning, research, advocating, treating them like you would any of your children, and lots and lots of patience. Their being Jewish has nothing to do with it, they would have preferred to kill her! And 12 jurors agreeing doesn’t make it right, just means there’s less moral compass these days than there used to be!

        •  In the “good old days” this child would have been thrown into an institution to have been never talked about again if this couple had been Christian. Down Syndrome children were not often raised with their families.

          • Beverleys

            wow! A little prejudiced against Christians are we?
            Get over yourself!!!!

          • VanTed

            While you are right that these children were often thrown in institutions back in the “good old days”.  It is even more of an atrocity that after all the adversity these children had to overcome to be recognized as human beings, people like this would take a step backwards by 50 yrs!  The only difference is, instead of hiding their child, they would rather have had her killed.  Explain that one!  Christian/Jew…..what the HELL is your point!  

      • Cassy Fiano

        Jeez, I wonder how my husband and I will ever be able to survive without a 3 million dollar payoff then.  Or how the countless other families of babies with Down syndrome manage.  

      • Chubanana123

        Being Jewish has nothiing to do with it.  Neither does being Christian.  There are thousands of Christians that do a wonderful job of taking care of disabled children.  And talking about how people used to treat them and continuously reposting it doesn’t mean anything.  WE ARE TALKING ABOUT 2012.
        Anyways, just like anything, a disabled child takes good budgeting. Not millions of dollars. 
        They’re probably better of than my family in terms of financial need and we do just fine and live wonderfully.
        Obviously, these parents don’t love this child unconditionally, because they were planning on killing the baby. 

  • Cindysmaltz

    Cassy, praying for you and your unborn child that you will both be healthy and that your lives will be a testament and glorify the Lord.

  • Mark

    Beautifully put. God bless you and your family, and especially Wyatt. I wish you all the the best.

  • Cannonmommy

    On of the most disturbing aspects about this “win” is that 12 presumably reasonable people agreed with these morons.

  • My son has Down Syndrome and we did not know it until he was born.  It is a devistating diagnosis only because you do not know what to expect.  It is scary because you do not want your child to die.  Yes people did institutionalize children with disabilities including Down Syndrome but only on the recommendations of their doctors and I am sure it was not just one group of people that did this, it was probably just not spoken of in some communities as much as others.  What these people did just makes me sick, you cannot truly love your child and say at the same time that you have killed them if you knew they were defective.  While I was pregnant I was offered testing to see if there were any abnormalities and I turned it down because I knew that no matter what I was going to love that child, and I do with all my heart.  Obviously these people do not practice their faith because if they did they would not have done and said those things.  I will tell you we have sufferened financially since he was born for many reasons; 1 because of we both have suffered layoffs and health insurance has more than tripled in cost for us because of that not because our son was born.  My husband told me the other day that he loves to have Josh around because he gets a little boy to hang out with a little longer.  He is 6 by the way and he is perfect!!!

    • Kevin Rikert

      What kind of shitty parent doesn’t test for abnormalities?

  • I guess I am a little confused about something though, when I was pregnant the hospital was not involved in my care until he was born, usually an OB takes care of you until you are ready to have the baby?  How is the hospitals responsibility and not her doctors?  Maybe things are different in Florida than Ohio

    • Sorry guess they are from Oregon, either way still does not make much sense to me.

  • Paul Hughes

    I wonder if it’s possible that they lied to get the money?  They don’t wish they’d aborted her, but they saw it as a way to pay for the extra care?  I’m not suggesting *that* is any better; only that perhaps they don’t actually believe what they’re saying.

    •  The evidence was given to a jury and they ruled unanimously in the couple’s favor.

      • Michelle we get that, yes we know the jury believed them but that does not mean that did not lie about it either, just to get money.

        •  There is evidence against the hospital. It is not a matter of “he said, she said”. Please read more articles on this issue than just the one here.

          • I want to know what the hospital had to do with it.  My OB is the one who did all the work, not the hospital.  I was only at the hospital to give birth not anything else so how is the hospital to be held liable?  I was trying to read some of the other articles they all say the same thing.

  • Forliberty

    Why don’t they just kill her now, she’s just a blob of cells. Oh, but then they would have to give the money back! (Sarcasm)  Down’s kids are the sweetest, most loving individual PERSONS you will ever find. Maybe Kalanit will teach them something about love, compassion, and true joy.

  • Uhhhhhhh… WHAT?!?!? Pandora’s Box has been blown wide open. 
    I love my son DEARLY… BUT since everyone else has officially lost their cotton pickin’ minds, maybe I should jump off that loony bridge too! 

    Why don’t I sue the hospital for yankin’ my son outta my crotch with those giant salad tongs they call forceps which caused his head to be pointy like a Conehead (hmmm, maybe that’s why he GOT autism???), or maybe I should sue them for NOT yankin’ him out before he hit the 24-hr mark of being in the womb with no amniotic fluid to chillax in (maybe THIS caused his autism), or… or… or! 

    This is beyond ridiculous! Ariel and Deborah are missing one vital life message… that you can’t LOVE with CONDITIONS! Autism, Down Syndrome, whatev! We’re talking about people who deserve to be here AND loved UNCONDITIONALLY! 

    “Dearest Kalanit. 

    This is mommy and daddy. We love you but then we found out you were jacked up with DS. Since it was too late to abort you, we sued the hospital, and the wonderful state, who also saw you as a mistake, gave us $2.9M so we could DEAL with you financially. After all, that’s really what you are… a financial burden. Oh, we did mention that we LOVE you, right? 

    Signed, Mommy & Daddy!” 

    {steps off soapbox… looks for nearest pub}

  • Mcj12211

    These Downs Syndrome children are the most loving children, my brother-in-law who was killed in a bus crash about 30 years ago had downs syndrome. He was the most loving person and I was proud to be his sister-in-law.  My mother-in-law raised him by herself and was told he would never walk or talk but my husband was younger than he was and Jerry learned how to do everything that any other child did only a little slower. These parents do not deserve their daughter she needs to be with a family that will love and accept her for who she is. God Bless you Cassy for accepting your child into your life and not thinking twice about it.

  • SA

    Her brothers sure look like they love the heck out of their sister.  She may never be able to understand her parents’ actions but those boys will.  Some day when they are older and realize what was done and said the parents will have to explain to their sons their actions.  As long as those boys keep loving her and treating her like the perfect sister that she is, she will feel God’s love.  

  • Heather James

     im sorry but this is rediculous. would you have ended the birth if you knew, is that what your saying by suing?? you should be happy you have a healthy, beautiful, and inspiring child. down syndrome is not a “handicap” or “flaw” we need to rid. these children teach us everyday how to laugh and love! Crappy “parents” these people are, infuriates me!

  • Reneechawick

    These people are disgusting.if ahe is that big a burden give her to a loving family that would love to have children no matter there disability.

  • Ladylaw75

    I agree completely! My sister has Down Syndrome! My parents tried to discourage other parents from
    putting their children up for adoption and then fought to get main stream programming in the 70’s! That’s what loving parens do. Not wish they would have aborted a special needs child!

  • Molly G.

    My niece has downs syndrome and my sister and her husband didn’t know until the day she was born. They are glad they didn’t know since abortion is not an option. My sister told me she felt it was a blessing… instead of being worrying the whole pregnancy, they enjoyed every minute before Millie, (their first child) was born. She is now three and one of the brightest little girls you will ever meet.
    Shame on those parents for putting a stigma on one of God’s most precious gifts and shame on the court system for letting them get away with it.
    Children are a blessing…not a curse or burden.
    Cassy, I wish there were more people in this world like you and your husband. God bless you and from one military family to another, thank you all for your service!

  • Cew81

    This is soooooo sad maybe they should have aborted her ignorant parents….you love your children regardless of his/her disabilities….I love my daughters more than anything and my daughters are healthy and I’m everyday I’m grateful every morning I wake up…..those two don’t even deserve to be “parents”…..cause you love your children unconditionally……regardless of their health

  • Guest

    The Downs Syndrome children that I have worked with are the most loving children.  Every milestone they hit will be a time for celebration…10x more than it is for “normal” children.    Thank you for writing this, and enjoy your son!

  • KWed2b

    I have heard estimates that for every one search and destroy mission to kill babies with Down syndrome three typical children are murdered. Are those parents going to start suing for wrongful death. I hope this thing blows up the whole eugenics movement. Maybe doctors will start backing away from prenatal testing and 92% of babies like my daughter, who has Down syndrome, will escape the death chamber. I pray this hospital appeals and these disgusting peole get zero dollars. They should have all their children removed from them. I hope they have to live their lives in constant hell and feel shunned from everyone they meet.

    •  Why should they be shunned when over 90 percent of people would do the same thing?

      • Megz

        Shunned not because they would have chosen abortion if the prenatal testing had revealed that their daughter had Down Syndrome, but shunned because they now see their child as a burden and are looking to get rich from it. Get off your ‘religious’ high horse and quit trolling.

      • Guest

        90%? I disagree.

      • Nicole Tozier

        And I might ask why it is okay for them to do something, just because the majority would do the same?

  • blondmom

    These parents should be ashamed of themselves. Not only because they thought it, but now because Im sure the daughter will hear someday that they wish she would have been aborted.  That little girl Im sure LOVES her parents and brothers unconditionally, meanwhile the people who should love her most, wish she were never born. They dont deserve her. She should be taken away from the family and placed with a loving family..why would the “birth family” care if they didnt want her anyways?

  • manda

    the bottom line is EVERY life has value and that value is not determined by parents but by the God who designed them and allowed what He allowed for His glory–yes, even a child with down syndrome

  • There are no words. This is insanity.

  • Ericaaa

    I’ve yet to have children, and honestly the thought of having a child with DS scares me. I dont think I’d be strong enough to raise a special needs child and am amazed at the strength those parents have and have so much respect for them. That being said I am not a religious person and am not against abortion. If I had two children already, how would having a sibling with DS affect their lives? Of course it would open their eyes to being accepting but Would I still be able to afford to send them to the best schools? Be able to have them travel and experience other cultures? Would they be able to participate in the sports they wanted to? Or would the medical financial strain keep them from experiencing these things? This is what goes on in your head BEFORE YOU HAVE YOUR CHILD. so I can see where people choose to abort. AFTER THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD how could you even imagine a life without them? Maybe what this couple wants is for their children, any of their children, is to not go without. And hey they found a loop hole to make it so.

    • Erica how is not being able to travel the world or going to an expensive college going without.  People have a warped perception of what really counts in this world.  It is not worldly positions, or playing every sport in the third grade that you will probably not ever play in high school or your adult life.    Believe me my son has Down Syndrome and my daughter does not do without, so maybe she will not get to go to Disney World but she has been to a lot of places more than what I have ever done and she is just fine with that.  Pure selfishness thats all it is. Absolutely having a child with Downs is scary because of all the things that could happen, like he could die and I would never get to kiss his beautiful cheek again, or hug his little neck again, that would be devistating.   My son is perfect in every way, he is not treated any different than his sister. 

      • Ericaaa

        it’s not traveling the world and going to expensive colleges.  Its natural to want your children to have just as good as or if not better of a childhood than you had.  When I say school, I mean grade school. I would personally be heartbroken if we didn’t have the money to let my “kids” (i don’t have any) experience the sports I was able to growing up.  Those are my best childhood memories, making friends and spending my summers and the ball field.  Along with going to destin for our annual beach weekend. Or never visit the country their grandparents came from because its part of their heritage.  and I’m not saying that a special needs child is treated differently than their siblings either.  These are just things that goes through a person’s mind.  When parents think of having another child they think of how it will affect their current children.  A special needs child could very easily push a family into poverty.  That’s why people often make the mistake of choosing abortion.  I don’t agree with the decision, but I can see where they come from before having the child.  That being said, still stating the fact that they would have had the abortion after having their daughter as part of their family…now that’s messed up.

        • Cassy Fiano

          Kids with Down syndrome have an extra chromosome.  They aren’t destined to spend their lives stuck in their homes doing nothing.  They go to regular schools, take vacations to Disney World, go to the beach (probably even in Destin), participate in sports… and also, there are state programs for families with special needs children.  You don’t have to pay for a lot of the early intervention and therapy that they need.

  • val1224

    This couple does not deserve this child – or any child.  May God have mercy on their souls.  And Cassy, nice to see you writing such great articles for a great site!  I remember you when you were here in Jacksonville.  Congratulations on your marriage and your blessings!

  • Tmbwinningparents

    Beautifuly written. I agree with every word.

  • Jengill

    As the Mother of a beautiful little girl with Down’s, this story breaks my heart. Our sweet sweet Mary is 8 yrs. old and has brought our family so much joy. We celebrate all of her accomplishments and are so very proud of her! We, like the Levy’s did not know until her birth but never blamed anyone…we learned quickly that we still had dreams for our daughter, they just changed course a little. Her big Sister protects her and Loves her tons and we know she can do great things. Not having her just the way she is is unimaginable. I’m sorry for these people and quite embarassed for them…Good Luck with your growing family and know that you were chosen by this beautiful boy!

  • Ljk1961

    If they see her a such a burden, they could have put her up for adoption.  Someone would have adopted her and love her as she is.

  • Jennifer o

    I think that is a disgrace. I think that kids that have medical setbacks such as down syndrome, are some the best people on the planet. They have the rare gift of seeing a glass as always half ful and an ability to love with all their heartsl. I feel bad for those parents though. While you write of the joy you know he will bring your family, they can only see inside their own self involved lives. They won’t ever get to see the true joy their daughter brings – or realize how blessed they are to have not one, but three beautiful children. I only hope maybe she can teach them a thing or two about love…

  • SandyLester

    Wow, these alleged people do not deserve any of their children. It sure appears her brothers lover her. I am surprised they just didn’t leave her on a church steps somewhere.

  • Ellery100

    Evil abounds

  • Cassy, you are an inspiring and classy lady.  I pray that one day the Levy’s will learn to love and accept their daughter for the special angel that she is and will donate their ill found wealth to charity.

  • Theresa Czy

    Let’s hope that they’ll experience great love for this child, experience a conversion and use the money to help raise the little one. And in the meantime, let us pray for them :-) God Bless!

  • Emnk5308

    If this was really so important to them, they should have ASKED for all of those tests. Sick, disgusting people. They do not deserve 2.9 mil! They deserve to have that child taken away. Having a child is your responsibilty. If you can’t handle it, then you need to give it to someone who will.

  • Slgcope

    I don’t understand why they don’t put her up for adoption?  It is obvious they don’t love her.  :*(

  • ccrwm

    Ariel and Deborah Levy are monsters and they probably know that deep in the recesses of their minds… I pray for their daughter Kalanit. What a sad story to read and almost unbelievable. I hope the hospital appeals and fights this to the Supreme Court.

  • BillyHW

    Poor kid to have such awful parents.  But you can’t choose your family.

  • My son has Down Syndrome.  I didn’t know it until he was born, he was adorable and that was what I focused on.  He has made me the mom I am today. He is a son, a brother, a nephew, a grandson, an uncle, a Godfather, and a friend to many many people.  Jason worked hard his entire life for all the things he wanted.  He lives independently, works full time for a mtg company where he earns $12 an hour, has health insurance,  a 401K and 4 weeks vacation a year.  He is devoted to his faith and participates in many activities at church.  He has a huge circle of friends all non disabled who pick him up and bring him home from all their gatherings.  He has been in three of his friends weddings as a groomsmen.  Do you get the theme here…..if I didn’t tell you he had Down Syndrome you would think you were reading about any other young adult.  What a blessing Jason has been to our family and all those that he comes in contact with.

    • Kbug

      That is awesome! I have 2 sons, one with Downs and one with Muscular
      Dystrophy. I can only hope they can do half of what your son does. You must some proud parents!

      • Kevin Rikert

        Stop having kids.

  • Apatx

    How sad that one day that little girl and her siblings will grow up to learn that their parents would have killed her for not being their definition of perfect. Not enough money in the world could make up for the hurt that they have caused their children, and to themselves as well.  Their children will see the truth when they grow up, and the parents will not be able to hide

  • Erikapriddy

    I hope child protective services keeps a close eye on this family. God bless that little girl.

  • Sulentic80

    My wife and I are both 42, and having our final child. The blood test days Downs, and our odds were 1 in 12. We were told that the blood test is usually a false positive, and we would need an amneo to be positive. We said no, because we will accept what God gives us. All I can say to that family is, if it is such burden use an adoption agency instead of a lawyer. I know a lot of people who would take any child they could get, just to have the blessing.

  • Just a thought…

    While I do not agree with abortion, and I believe that it is murder, the author of this post, claimed that the parents said they “wished that they had aborted [her]”. I would like to point out that there is a huge difference between saying if they had known about the Down Syndrome they would have aborted, and saying that they wish they had aborted the girl. The hospital made a mistake in the testing, and that is malpractice. The jury made the right decision in awarding this family the money they need to take care of this precious little girl. 

    • Im not sure what you mean by mistake, these tests are not 100% and never have been and there, usually you are told this right away.

  • Lisa

    This is the saddest thing. I think the state should have taken this precious child and found her a loving home. When I was pregnant with my second child they sent me to a specialist because my tests were abnormal. I refused the amnio because I was blessed with a gift from good and loved her too much already. I have worked with special needs children and they are just as wonderful as “normal” children… I would live to raise her and there are many others that would too. God be with this precious child!

  • AA

    To say our country needs Prayer and a lot of work by people who Respect all life (educating others), is a giant understatement.

  • of course….two jews. wow….what a surprise. 

    • Oedipa Mossmoon

      Really? Oy vey.

  • Kpetey35

    We were told by the blood test that my first and only child was going to be born with downs, I never when ahead and did the test of my fluid bc I did not want to lose my child…downs or not. We had to do many many ultra sounds to insure everything was moving along as planned. I never once thought of aborting her, she was my child and that was that. When she was born October of 2009 she came out perfectly healthy and beautiful! No downs or any other learning disabilities! So when you say there is no 100% medical way of telling you are so very right. Was I happy she was ‘normal’ or perfect as they said, yes, but I already loved her before she was born no matter what. Think if I would have been one of those parents that aborted their children bc of this, terrible! I think these people are sick and I feel very sorry for their daughter, I have family and friends with downs children and I think they are the kindest sweetest people I have ever met. In fact I personally believe they are God’s angels and are closer to God than any of us! Great article!

  • JC

    This story is absolutely disgusting…brings tears to my eyes. How could anyone feel that way about any child!

  • Jeanne Murray

    This reminds me that we never run out of reasons to pray for ourselves and for others that before we ask, “What do I want; what is most convenient for me?” We learn to ask, “What does God want; what is his most loving, all-wise, all powerful will for me and for every other soul in the world?” And then he helps us to add, “GOD, please help me and each of us to love and live your will for us with more and more love and faith and trust. Thank You” 

  • Guest

    This makes me angry on so many levels.  Aside from the fact that the parents are complete a-holes, I can’t help but wonder if their mentality on their daughters life is a result of the warped health care system in the US.  I don’t know what kind of help familes with disabled children get, but I do know that the only reason they got away with sueing the hospital was because of how f’ed up the system is.  This is what happens when you put a price tag and life and health.  It’s sad.

  • Siudh

    This is disgusting….I hope that little girl is welcomed by someone who will love her for who God made her to be. Those Parents are the most ignorant people I have every heard of… raising a child that has differences shouldn’t be a reason to sue a hospital or abort them. I know it wouldn’t be easy but God has a plan for every person, including that little girl. The parents will be judged in the end.

  • Broncosjenny

    These morons should be
    shot… I will take that baby. They can keep their money. What a joke.
    Love only because of 2.9 million? gr… My little brother brings us more joy than I can tell you.  He is the light at the end of the tunnel every day for me.  I took a three day vacation last week and was so ready to come home to his smiling face…. I hope that the money can “enhance” (emphasis MINE) their lives enough… whatever. 

  • Broncosjenny

    These morons should be
    shot… I will take that baby. They can keep their money. What a joke.
    only because of 2.9 million? gr… My little brother brings us more joy
    than I can tell you.  He is the light at the end of the tunnel every
    day for me.  I took a three day vacation last week and was so ready to
    come home to his smiling face…. I hope that the money can “enhance”
    (emphasis MINE) their lives enough… whatever.   BTW I am 40… he is 44… perfect and precious gift from God.

  • Pmwr215

    I think we need to look at the big picture here, not whether these parents love their child or not, or whether they can provide for her or not. On a larger scale, people on the whole are demanding “someone” to be responsible for every little detail of our lives.  It is the world’s view of God.  Either He isn’t real, and we are in control of our destiny, or if He is, then how could He allow this to happen to me?.  Rather than prayer, the world view is to gain “knowledge” to be able to scientifically answer everything.  Perhaps in this families instance, the Doctor’s did make errors, and could have been able to determine the future for this little girl, however, THANK GOD for their errors than.  Due to their (alleged) mistakes, there is a wonderful little girl whose life was saved by “their mistake”.  To me, that is proof there is a God.

    • Kevin Rikert

      You don’t know she’s wonderful. You just read a biased, shitty article. The kid could be a total asshole.

  • I hope they get hit by a car on the way to the bank…they do not deserve the right to be a parent…POS!!

  • Georgian Glosser

    God Bless you Cassy.

  • Isa_larabee

    My youngest daughter was born with cancer and went through chemo at the age of three months old, if they had told me that before she was born I would have still continued with the pregnancy. My children are gifts from God. If this poor child was going to that much of a “burden” to them they should have given her up for addoption, many people want a child soo bad that they would still take her. I pray that this child has a wonderful like dispite what her parents have done. Just my two cents.

  • Tmstewart98

    I too have a child w Down Syndrome and like the Levy’s his diagnosis was missed. All my prenatals came back normal….HOWEVER unlike the Levy’s I would never do what they r doing. Cody brings smiles to my face everyday of his life. He is not a burden but a gift!! I also have a 13 yr old daughter who is extremely gifted like the Levy’s. But that gives Cody a leg up because he has a sister who loves him and helps him develop everyday! I can not believe a parent could put a price on their child!! If they dont want her then let me give3 them my name and address and they could bring her to me where she will be loved for who she is not just because she brought dollar signs!!! They r greedy in my book and dont deserve to be her mother!

  • Wish the daughter could file a lawsuit for “wrongful parenting”.  Shows that this society is going to hell in a hand basket.

  • My daughter was born with a Lymphatic Malformation, found via ultrasound in utero. We were never told it was a lymphatic Malformation even when I had asked. We were told it can be easily drained and taken care of at birth. When MaKenzie was born she couldnt breath and had to be intubated right at birth. She was born with a large mass on her face/neck that was indeed a Lymphatic Malformation which required so far over 25 surgeries and requiring a tracheotomy at 15 months of age. MaKenzie could only be fed via g-tube for 2 years due to a large mass on her neck/face which did make her look very different from other babies. We are blessed she is alive, blessed that she will live a full and happy life. MaKenzie’s surgeries will never end…its life long. Her birth has changed our lives forever. Never can I even imagine life with out her or feel I deserve $2.9 million payoff in exchange for dealing with her life long condition. This is very disturbing! What is wrong with some people?

    • Kevin Rikert

      How could you subject a human being to that kind of life? You may be lovely parents but you’re shitty human beings.

  • Shirko

    your all being so judgmental on these parents,,,,Just because they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known it had Downs syndrome, Doesn’t make them bad parents now…where does it say anywhere that they feel this child is a inconvience ??? They say they love her and treat her the same as her brothers….Why do you all doubt that?…The hospital & the lab clearly did not test correctly…They should have to pay up for their mistake….
    I wish this family well…..

    • Everyone knows these tests are not 100% and we are told that when we are offered them, these parents said they would have had an abortion if they had known.  You cannot say you love that child and in the same breath say you would have killed her had you known she was defective.

    • AT

      By wanting the money to raise their child was loud and clear that she is a burden and inconvience for their lives.

  • Tran6

    This breaks my heart for that precious baby girl, who like each of is “fearfully and wonderfully made! In Gods image.” We have a beautiful daughter, whom we picked up from the hospital at two days old. Very early on I knew something was up. As she was in pt, ot, st and even therapy to help with eating. We adopted her at 18 mos. At 3 she was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. She is a sweet, caring beautiful ten year old. We do have our struggles and she continues in different therapies. They help her so much and our entire family! God has blessed us with this amazing little girl! My husband and I would have adopted her whatever the diagnosis would have been. I pray that this family truly loves their baby girl and sees her worth in their life.

  • Shannon

    I can’t even put into words how this article makes me feel – angry, disgusted…!   My husband and I have a 3 year old girl who has Down Syndrome.  She has brought SO much joy and love into our home.  She goes to bed happy, wakes up happy – my husband and I fight over who gets to get her up from her nap!  And she’s absolutely beautiful.  I would PAY you 2.9 million to get her!  ( though I might have to work the rest of my life to get the money :)  Like I heard the mother of another DS baby say “As far as I’m concerned, we won the Lottery of babies.”

  • Elizsjones

    God bless you and your little angel.

  • Puzzmom2

    This story brought tears to my eyes. My brother is 27 and has a TBI. The doctor wanted us to pull the plug. We did not. He was in a coma for a year and is full care. Yet my family fought for him tooth and nail. My parents take care of him AT HOME and all of us siblings go and help with his care. His smile is just as beautiful as before the accident. So when you wrote this piece and said what would they do if one of their kids was in an accident…HOW COULD THEY SAY THAT??? How could they say they would have aborted her then say they love her? It literally makes me sick to my stomach! That precious girl should be taken from them and placed with a family who will love her for who she is. You are an amazing person. Thank you for writing this piece.

  • Sue

    Excellent article and I wish you all the best with your beautiful baby boy who is on the way!  I didn’t know my daughter had Down syndrome until she arrived.  Yeah, it was scary, the unknown always is, but man, I wouldn’t take one second of it back, not one second.  She is the light of my life.  My cup runneth over.  Thank you to your husband for his service to our country.  God bless.

  • Paulette

    Everyone should read Angel Unaware by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans about the blessing they received from their Down Syndrome child.

  • Jordansanford1984

    Nicely said!

  • Lisa

    agree 100% with Cassy.How awful.  Some people hope,wish, and pray everyday to have a child.  Why is it people like this are blessed with any children?  The way they speak about their “burden” is oxymoronic.  Any child is a gift, how sad they don’t see her that way.  

  • Wantedmore

    Disgusting. I always wanted another child, but have miscarried several – they can keep their money – I’ll happily raise their “burden.” Ingrates.

  • Smile

    I was told my child would have Down Syndrome and was asked if I wanted to abort my child. He came out and did not have Down Syndrome. I wonder how many babies have been killed because they might have Down Syndrome. I also wonder if I could file a law suit because my son is smart obnoxious turd at times(sarcastic). 

  • Bbarlett28

    Think about the suffering the child goes through?  50% of adults with Down syndrome are diagnosed with chronic depression at some point in their lives.  It is almost selfish to deliver a baby prenatally diagnosed with such a debilitating handicap.  It is evolutionarily and biologically a deformation and is detrimental to the human being.  A parent can simultaneously recognize this and love his or her child.  This article is painted in a negative light – a jury of people just like us decided the way they did, so something must have swayed them.  Look at the whole story – there’s more to the case than this article suggests.

    • “It is almost selfish to deliver a baby prenatally diagnosed with such a debilitating handicap.”

      You should read the post above your own. If it is selfish to deliver a child that is diagnosed with such a handicap, what about the scores of children who are wrongfully aborted because of a false diagnosis?

      Also, I would really like to know how delivering a child with a handicap is “selfish.” Care to enlighten me?

    • Nicole Tozier

      Maybe adults with DS are depressed because society tends to reject them and treat as lesser beings. Perhaps they are depressed because they tend to be singled out, and made to feel different, and inferior. Maybe they’re depressed because once they were locked up, then they were looked as tragedies and burdens to be carried, and now we abort them before they’re given the chance to live. Maybe that’s why they’re depressed.

  • People with Down’s Syndrome are living longer as well. What about the “burden” the Levy’s are going to face when they are in their 80’s and their daughter is in her 50’s? I hope they use the money and set aside a trust fund for her so she can live well, with proper medical treatment. People with Down’s Syndrome age at a different rate as well.

  • Psalm91woman

      Dear Ariel and Deborah Levy, we will take your precious daughter,
    Kalanit and you can pretend like this terrible injustice never happened.
    You can simply get back to living your self centered life. If it’s
    more convenient maybe you can leave her
    in a cardboard box on our doorstep. I would hate for you to feel any
    shame of being seen with her. Heck we will even take her for free! Sincerely sickened, Roy and Laura Ashley

  • Barb

    The world needs more strong true feminists like you Cassy.  What a wonderful example of a mother you are! Wyatt is a great name.  Our youngest is named Wyatt.

  • Psalm91woman

     The other tragic repercussion
    to their choice is that all hospitals will now be under the gun to
    diagnose and offer abortion to anyone with Downs Syndrome and other
    conditions. Amniocentesis will be demanded and no longer optional. This
    one decision will steal even more of the sacredness of birth and more
    babies will die. Consider this prophetic.

  • This sets such an UGLY and DANGEROUS precedent.

  • Shannon

    My son, Chance has Down Syndrome, and was not diagnosed before his birth. This story makes me sick. These people don’t deserve to have children at all.

  • Realist

    I absolutely agree with the attitude of the Levy family. Can you compare being proud of your child walking on a stage of a college/university with an earned degree with being “glad” that a Down syndrome child can tell two meaningful sentences in a row by the age of fifteen? Also, I found it very unfortunate and disgusting that you compare your own financial situation with that one of the Levy family. Mr. and Mrs. Levy just made more efforts in order to succeed. By the way, your husband as a veteran will be eligible for many grants and scholarships in order to complete his degree(s). That is what he needs to do now. If you are suggesting the Levy family what to do, that gives all of us the right to tell your family what to do. As a matter of fact, my paternal grandparents did not have a chance to finish high school when they were young. Later my paternal grandfather served in the Navy for many years. They worked very hard and invested in their kids who became respectively a university professor and a senior manager in biochemical research. If you want your child to succeed in life that takes a lot of energy and efforts. Please do not compare birth abnormalities with cancer and/or accidents later in life. Totally different things. The latter examples belong to the areas where people do not have a pre-event control. Everyone who can avoid an accident before it would happen, does that. A similar avoidance can be done in a case of a fetus with Down syndrome.

    • AudreyA

      Late to respond, but many people consider ending the life of a fetus to be the same as ending the life of an infant. Make no sense to you, I am sure, but an abortion does not “avoid an accident” in that, to many thoughtful people, the fetus with down syndrome is already present in the world. Our society has decided abortion is a legal way to end a life. It does not erase the life as if it had never been, it only ends it.

  • axisoflife

    Down syndrome is not cute. They do not live normal lives and can’t strive in society. Who’s going to take care of them when there parents can’t? Happens all the time they end up in group homes where they are abused. Nobody thinks about that. Why bring a baby into this World just to watch it suffer.

    • AudreyA

      Many disabilities are not cute and many people with varying abilities do not live normal lives. Are you going to euthanize all of them? The moral answer is not to end the life of the baby but to actively work to make sure the group homes (which are not all centers of abuse) are safe. Don’t defend death, go volunteer at your local L’Arch home and help protect vulnerable people.

  • pinkie37

    Old age is not cute. Old people do not live normal lives and can’t strive in society. Who’s going to take care of you when you’re old? Happens all the time – old people end up in group homes where they are abused.
    You know what else happens all the time? Individuals with Down Syndrome (and old people) are lovingly cared for by family members who adore them.

  • ThePaganProLifer

    we live in world where we’re not supposed to judge people like this. bull. what these “parents” and other people arguing this don’t realize is that downs people have a inherent right to life, simply because they live and are. if that’s too complicated for you to understand- i’m sorry, I really am. I truly, truly, pity you.

  • Kevin Rikert

    It’s not a miracle. These pregnancies self-terminate because there’s something wrong with them. Notice how everyone else isn’t like them?

  • Kevin Rikert

    Down’s kids are expensive as shit to raise. You are aware of that, right?