10 February 2012

What If They Knew?

Yesterday, I was talking with friend of a colleague who dropped by our office.  This friend, whom I'll call "Amanda" is pregnant for the first time.  I asked her whether she knew the gender of her child.

"No.  I don't want to."

"What do you think?"

"Well, I have a feeling about what my baby will be.  But I really don't want to think about it.  Whatever the gender of my baby, I'll love it."

Although I'm not sure I'd feel the same way she does in her circumstances, I admire her.  The ability to determine the gender of the fetus is a pretty recent development; for milennia before it, people didn't know the genders of their babies until they were born.  So, in  sense, whatever the child's gender, he or she was a "surprise."

Now I find myself thinking about what it would be like to know other characteristics of your child before he or she is born. I'm thinking about physical characteristics, of course, like eye color, height and diseases.  However, I'm even more interested in what it would be like if parents could know that the fetus in the mother's womb would become a gay or transgendered child.