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    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    Pick a boy.. or how about a girl? It's all up to you!

    Without any reference to God in all of this, this mother's truth still comes
    through. God help us and the ultimate consumers we have become.


    I want my family to be judged by the sum of our hearts, not the sum of our parts.

    Just the other day, I received another intriguing letter in my mailbox. It said: “Have you ever considered Gender Selection? It’s easy, reliable and affordable.”

    Included with the letter was a colored brochure that had a picture of a smiling blond boy and girl on the cover, the stereotypical perfect pair. I’d heard about gender selec­tion on television and read about it in magazines, but here it was staring me in the face and promising me all the happiness of a Disney vacation. Was this really the next wave in luxury items, the “perfect” family on demand?

    No, it was something else about the expensive sales brochure I held in my hands that was making me very, very uneasy.

    I turned to the “Is It Ethical?” section of the brochure for insight. It said, “Experience shows that most people use selection techniques for a second or third child to achieve a balance in the composition of their families.” This sounded like it was written by a practitioner of the “Come-on, Everyone Else Is Doing It” school of ethics, the type of person with whom our mothers never wanted us to travel to the Brooklyn Bridge. It is very tempting to jump at an offer that tells you that money can buy your wildest dreams. The good doctor was promising that with just a little sperm trafficking, he could conjure up an “easy” and “afford­able” future baseball player or blushing bride.

    I understand the desire of so many parents to experience the joy of having one of each. I already had a healthy daughter when I gave birth to a healthy son, and I basked in the glory of having a perfect pair. I heard all the usual congratulatory words and felt the very real envy of others. Once out of the spotlight of other’s expectations, Cameron and Ryan were two wonderfully unique children. Before they were born, my dreams for them might have been pink and blue. The reality was a more complex, vibrant and unpredictable spectrum of colors. My son and daughter surprised me daily with their likes, dislikes and complete disdain for parental authority at bedtime. I realized quickly that I was going to be my children’s guide to the world, but that I had no real power to determine their ultimate destination.

    I now live each and every day without one of my children. Whenever someone hears I lost a child, he or she never asks, “Was it a boy or a girl?” Everyone knows a child is a child and that a parent’s love isn’t dependent on gender. Whatever today’s ethicists might say, I believe that trying to select a gender means buying into the silly belief that fate can somehow be bought. I learned the hard way that it can’t be bought, or even bribed. So farewell, good doctor, I do not want to live my life influenced by people like you, who are willing to profit off the misfortunes and unfulfilled dreams of others. I want my family to be judged by the sum of our hearts, not the sum of our parts.


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