Chopin's "Désirée's Baby," published in 1893, explains early in the story why Madame Aubigny, Armand's mother, never left France:
Old Monsieur Aubigny having married and buried his wife in France, and she having loved her own land too well ever to leave it.
We more fully understand Madame Aubigny's refusal to leave France when we learn at the end of the story, through a letter Madame Aubigny wrote, that she herself "belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery.” 1893 America had—on paper at least—abolished slavery 30 years prior. However, a strict racial hierarchy still oppressed and disenfranchised African Americans; black people were still stereotyped as primitive and ignorant. Madame Aubigny thus protects herself by staying in France, a country that had abolished slavery in 1789 with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (although it is not until 1848 that slavery is abolished in all French colonies as well). Because France is far more progressive than America, it is a much safer place for Madame Aubigny than Louisiana. As we see Armand reject Désirée when he believes her to have black ancestry, we understand why Madame Aubigny did not want to subject herself to such painful stereotypes and social ostracization.