The Toronto Star reported that Kathy Witterick, 38, and her husband, David Stocker, 39, sent a simple birth announcement email out to family and friends explaining that they planned to keep their child's biological sex a secret. They said:
Only six people -- apart from Storm -- know the child's biological sex: the parents, his or her two brothers Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, and the two midwives present at the baby's birth.
Some feel it is the right of the individual to develop and express themselves however they choose. So they see a genderless upbringing as a good thing. Others feel that this is a risky approach and they parents are putting their child into the “other” category that will make life more difficult for the child. There is also the opinion that by keeping the sex of a child secret, you are making it the most important thing about that child, not the least.
Opinions in the media:
Are the parents doing this for the kids, as they claim, or are they doing it for themselves? My guess is that they would say and probably believe it's for the kids, but that the main motivation is their own ideological and political beliefs. When the "best interests" of the children and adults beliefs in such regard are concordant in such regards, there is no problem, but when they clash there is... It merits noting that there is an ethical difference between parents having children who are non-conformist in some ways and intentionally making them non-conformist as in this case. As well, choosing not to choose for the child is a choice by the parents... There is also arrogance in ignoring millenniums of human wisdom of what we need to become as fully actualized persons as we can be. Before the "choice armies" come after me, let me quickly add this does not mean that we must not change or not continue to evolve socially, including with regard to respect for girls and women, but in seeking to do good, we must be careful that we do not do serious harm to individuals or society. --Margaret Somerville, founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law.
Family therapist Susan Stiffelman applauds the family for trying to de-emphasize gender norms, but adds that she " just can't get behind an experiment with a human child" and that her main concern is not with the baby but with the child's older brothers being encouraged to keep the secret.
From The View:
The basis of all of this is about wanting a world where anyone can feel comfortable in their own skin without having to submit to expectations about who they should be, what they should look like, and how they should express themselves. Which sounds good. But is raising a child with gender neutrality a good thing? Please vote in our poll and tell us what you think.