Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Choosing Genetic Defects

Parents now can choose to have defected children and do so for the "rich, shared culture." Here's more:

But a desire for children with genetic defects isn’t new. In 2002, for example, The Washington Post Magazine profiled Candace A. McCullough and Sharon M. Duchesneau, a lesbian and deaf couple from Maryland who both attended Gallaudet University and set out to have a deaf child by intentionally soliciting a deaf sperm donor.

“A hearing baby would be a blessing,” Ms. Duchesneau was quoted as saying. “A deaf baby would be a special blessing.”

Born five years ago on Thanksgiving Day, the couple’s son, Gauvin, was mostly deaf, and his parents chose to withhold any hearing aids.

This trend is beyond reprehensible. How will this boy feel when he grows up, when he finds out that he had the neurology to hear and his parents withheld the ability from him--on purpose. He has no choice in the matter.

Can the narcissism that grips our current world get any more entrenched? Children aren't their own people in this view, they are cultivated in a petri dish to be mini-mes.

Barbara Spiegel, a homemaker in Maine who has dwarfism, had a first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. She underwent genetic testing during her second pregnancy, and because of a laboratory mix-up involving petri dishes, was told that her child would grow to normal height. She would have loved the child, she said, but in an interview, she recalled thinking, “What is life going to be like for her, when her parents are different than she is?”
Um, her life is going to be like every other kid in the world who views their parents as freaks at a certain point. This kind of nonsense is what keeps children of color from being adopted into different colored families.

Oh, that there were some guarantees about familial bonding. But more than that, having children is not like buying a toy or a pet chinchilla. The child is a unique individual not an accessory. And the first rule about parenting is to leave the selfishness behind.

Parenting: It's NOT about you.


mkfreeberg said...

Great comments. I'd just love to grab people like this by the shoulders and ask them, what did they ever do just for the sake of doing...and not to get attention. I know this type well. Every little thing they do, from parenting, to buying a car, is for the sake of some kind of statement.

One is tempted to comment that at least, out of all these things they do in the course of living their lives, at least they're all insignificant compared to the parenting; that the selection of their baby's genes as an attention-getting device, is the very zenith of their selfishness. I'd like to think that. I'm not willing to bet a lot of money on it.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I've seen children be adopted...especially picked out for some qualitiy, and then the child, being a child, would not meet their expectations. Well, what were they thinking about? Oh, I know...THEMSELVES.

Great post Melissa!

MaxedOutMama said...

You're right. It is narcissistic. The normal parent wants their kid to have the most options in life. This is quite similar to parents who decide which careers they want their kids to have at a very early age, and then try to force the kid to comply.

I strongly agree that not being a perfect human being does not doom a child or an adult to an unhappy, unproductive life. But this is something different....

Dr. Melissa said...

One of my friends growing up had parents who were, for lack of a better word, hill billies. They held their children back because "who do you think you are trying to be better."

I put these types of decisions in the same category. The deaf couple are trying to seek validation for their place in the world--being deaf is just as good as having hearing. Well, yes, you are an equally important person if you are deaf as those with perfect hearing.

But let's be real, here. Without hearing, your world is profoundly limited. You are deprived of Mozart. You are deprived of birds singing.

If they were blind would they seek a blind child? What about AIDs? Would they give their child AIDs so that they can all relate? How about cancer? How about paraplegia?

These parents are absurd and morally bankrupt. They limit their child's potential for their own emotional needs.