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<a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1916462.stm" target="_blank">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1916462.stm</a><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Monday, 8 April, 2002, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK<br><br>
A lesbian couple in the US have provoked strong criticism by deliberately choosing to have a deaf baby.<br><br>
Sharon Duchesneau and Candy McCullough, who have both been deaf since birth, were turned down by a series of sperm banks they approached looking for a donor suffering from congenital deafness.<br><br>
The couple, who have been together for eight years, then approached a family friend who was totally deaf, and had five generations of deafness in his family.</td>
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Raises a lot of questions. Will think more before I post.
 

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I wonder, if a deaf woman had married a deaf man and they had babies the "natural" way, would people be saying they <i>chose</i> to have a deaf baby?<br><br>
Did their donor's parent's <i>choose</i> to have a deaf offspring? cause if he's the 5th generation of deafness they must have known what the odds were.
 

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That's the kind of thing I am thinking of. How much weight can really be put on the 'choice.' And is the act of naturally producing a child with a disability when you have prior knowledge that the child WILL have that disability via genetics also wrong? Or is that a red herring?<br><br>
Or if someone believed both were wrong (conceiving a child with a disabilty naturally with knowledge and through something like sperm donation), where is the line on a disability great enough to make the action wrong.<br><br>
I also was rubbed the wrong way by some of the quotes at the end of the article.
 

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Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it. I might feel differently if they "chose" an impairment that made life exceptionally difficult for a child, but I (personally) don't think deafness is one of those.<br><br>
FWIW, when our friends filled out adoption papers, they were asked what kinds of "problems" they would accept in an adopted child. They accepted a variety of things, but they also made sure to include "ailments" that they have in their own genetic backgrounds.
 

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I heard about a similar case years ago when I took a deaf studies class.<br><br>
I think that parents have the right to hope for something that they can relate to in their child. And in this case, nothing they did was a guarantee of having a deaf baby, just increasing their chances to do so. I agree with this part of the article<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"But you know, black people have harder lives. Why shouldn't people be able to go ahead and pick a black donor if that's what they want?<br><br>
"They should have that option. They can feel related to that culture, still bonded with that culture."</td>
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Especially since for many deaf folks, deafness isn't viewed as a handicap or disability, it is part of their identity. Not something that I can entirely understand, but I also can say the same about those that place their skin color or sexual orientation at the top of the list of who they are. It's not how I do it in terms of identifying myself, but that doesn't mean it's wrong, kwim?<br><br>
I don't see a whole lot of difference between this case and someone who chooses a sperm doner based their coloring, IQ, or something else.
 

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I must admit, I do find it strange that someone would go out of their way to ensure their child had a disability. This is different from two deaf people who fall in love and have a biological child. This couple is searching out a particular characteristic, in *hopes* their child will have it.<br><br>
But, I'm not deaf, and I have heard that some deaf people do not consider deafness a "disability". So who am I to judge.<br><br>
As a side note, my great-aunt is deaf, married a deaf man, and proceeded to have 5 hearing children with him. Whew! They might have wished they had a deaf kid or two in there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mindi22</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9027927"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't see a whole lot of difference between this case and someone who chooses a sperm doner based their coloring, IQ, or something else.</div>
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Exactly what I was thinking. I'm just not seeing the problem here.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9027988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This couple is searching out a particular characteristic, in *hopes* their child will have it.</div>
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But when you use a sperm donor, that is what you do: you create a list of characteristics that you want in your child, and you pick a donor who is likely to have them.<br><br>
My wife and I chose a donor who was like her when we began inseminations for me to get pregnant. That means we chose a donor who is African-American, had a similar level of college, and had a similar build to her. We picked someone who when she read the profile, she felt a connection to her experiences and worldview, but we only looked at African-American donors.
 

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I disagree. I was partially deaf as a child and now have near-normal hearing. I had several entirely deaf friends. I would not choose that for my child. But that is besides the point.<br><br>
Read my next post. I misread. Stop quoting me to beat the dead horse, PLEASE.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dnw826</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9028138"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I disagree. I was partially deaf as a child and now have near-normal hearing. I had several entirely deaf friends. I would not choose that for my child. But that is besides the point.<br><br>
The point is this is playing god, IMHO, and wrong whether they picked deaf, curly hair, anything.</div>
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They are not manipulating anything, simply choosing a sperm donor.<br><br>
Do you believe that everyone using a sperm donor should have to just take a choice out of a hat with no information at all? Interesting idea....<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dnw826</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9028138"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I disagree. I was partially deaf as a child and now have near-normal hearing. I had several entirely deaf friends. I would not choose that for my child. But that is besides the point.<br><br>
The point is this is playing god, IMHO, and wrong whether they picked deaf, curly hair, anything.</div>
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This is the other side of what I am thinking about. It seems very subjective to deafness is not a disability or that it isn't all that bad. The child may feel differently. I guess that's where arguments about implants come in as well.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9027988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This couple is searching out a particular characteristic, in *hopes* their child will have it.</div>
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I know the odds are against it, but what if their child <i>doesn't</i> turn out to be deaf? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I honestly and sincerely want to believe that their acceptance of this child will not depend on whether or not this characteristic is shared (you know, like the couple who does everything to plan for a boy, but has a girl instead). Will their child know that they did everything they could to insure that s/he was deaf?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>spedteacher30</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9028073"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My wife and I chose a donor who was like her when we began inseminations for me to get pregnant. That means we chose a donor who is African-American, had a similar level of college, and had a similar build to her. We picked someone who when she read the profile, she felt a connection to her experiences and worldview, but we only looked at African-American donors.</div>
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I don't consider being African-American to be a disability. Nor height, nor hair color, etc. If you are lacking an ability most humans have, i.e. the ability to see, hear, speak, walk, etc., then you are operating at a disadvantage, IMO. And to intentionally try to impose that on a child seems cruel to me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9028990"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Okay... then should two deaf people be allowed to reproduce?<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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Well, yeah. There is a difference, no?
 

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Uh, what difference? These were two deaf people, reproducing.<br><br>
If they were going to selectively reduce to get a deaf kid I'd object. But just picking someone with an increased chance of making a deaf kid with them is not all that different than picking someone the same stature/color/etc as one of the partners.<br><br>
I think this is way better than white people choosing to use sperm from a man of color just for the novelty of it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: At least the deaf moms know what it's like to be deaf and will be able to help the kid cope and thrive.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>famousmockngbrd</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9029072"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, yeah. There is a difference, no?</div>
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No. There's not a difference.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dnw826</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9028138"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
The point is this is playing god, IMHO, and wrong whether they picked deaf, curly hair, anything.</div>
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I chose my dp as the father of my children because of the qualities that I liked about him. He's very smart, he has lots of energy, he has fabulous hair, straight teeth without orthodontic work...sure, as a person he's a great guy and I love him, he makes a good father, but I was definitely looking at the genetic potential.
 

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There are many people in this world who don't see deafness as a flaw. Especially if they are part of the active deaf community. I don't think it's anyone's business personally. You see deaf people getting married all the time having deaf kids. And Little People having little kids. Heck, my friend who has Korean ancestry would only date other people with Korean ancestry, because she wanted her kids and her dh to be fully part of the Korean American culture. If that's part of their culture, why would they not want to have a child that fits into that culture? And why is it anyone's business?
 
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