Choosing deafness

A deaf lesbian couple have disclosed that they sought out deaf sperm donors for their two young children, both of whom are deaf. The couple believe that deafness is a cultural identity as well as a physical reality. As I understand it, this is the same reasoning behind the rejection of cochlear implants by deaf parents for their children. John Varley’s award-winning story, “The Persistence of Vision” explores the idea that people with different sensory capabilities develop unique cultures that can be detroyed by “curing” their “disabilities.” Another intersection of science fiction and real life. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if the parents were a straight, deaf couple — the artificial insemination makes all the difference here.

After their daughter’s first hearing test, the couple wrote happily in her baby book: “Oct 11, 1996 – no response at 95 decibels – DEAF!” Their daughter attends a special kindergarten for children with hearing problems.

After tests on their baby son showed he also had severe problems, they decided against giving him a deaf aid in the one ear that still has some hearing, saying they will leave the decision to him when he is older.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Nat!)