Home > Article from newspaper, Opinion, Videos > Deaf couple wants to have ‘guaranteed’ deaf baby via IVF

Deaf couple wants to have ‘guaranteed’ deaf baby via IVF

May 19, 2008

Should a Deaf couple with hearing embryos and deaf embryos to choose from be allowed to choose only a deaf one for implantation? Does this qualify as control over one’s body, like abortion, since the woman is choosing the fetus she wants to carry? Or is deafness as disability that we shouldn’t choose for a child to have?

Click to watch the video:


Click to read people’s opinion about Deaf couple in yahoo forum:


Click for story that the Deaf couple angrys at IVF:


  1. May 20, 2008 at 2:50 am

    Well I must say I am very shocked at this. Excuse the pun but listen up guys – what right have you or me the right to deny anyone – one of life`s pleasures, and that being able to hear.

  2. May 20, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Being able to hear what? Whiny hearing people going on about the pleasures of hearing?

    Unless you actually understand the issue, don’t comment!

  3. MM
    May 20, 2008 at 3:41 am

    It’s probably views like that above, that encourage the research into deaf gene eradication, the closed and bigoted mind. We are what we are not by choice, nobody in today’s deaf culture or community is. We cannot know what our parents would have chosen had the real choice existed. Now maybe a choice will, even deaf parents have said they would not deliberately disadvantage if they have the choice, they know how hard it is. Via perusing most comments deaf and otherwise, the overwhelming majority is if a child can be born hearing and not deaf then they will choose that. If deaf are perfectly willing, to abort or take medical help and such to avoid a child with disabilities, then what moral high ground do they hold ? None. The British couple were exploited by deaf activists, they are activists themselves, do they want a deaf child for themselves, because a hearing child is hard work for them ? To use their bodies to score a cultural point ? In the natural scheme of things that’s up to them, via state-sponsored IVF, they will not get such an easy choice option,because the STATE,is paying We need to really examine motives here, in WHOSE best interest is it to choose deliberately a deaf child ? and indeed, discard a hearing one ? The above contributor is not even an UK resident, or part of a heterosexual couple, so don’t tell us what to choose.

  4. patti durr
  5. May 20, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Video’s not captioned? Am I missing a subtitle toggle somewhere?

  6. MM
    May 20, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Deafness isn’t a tragedy ? Blindness isn’t ? the argument can be used for many aspects, but the view ISN’T unanimous amongst deaf people, especially people who cna acquire deafness, and even older people going deaf via age. It’s not about deaf people today, but about deaf futures tomorrow, which won’t be an issue to us. No-one is obliged to maintain a culture via a disability, no-one is forcing deaf people NOT To have deaf babies, the only issue is where they are unable to naturally, should they have rights to discard hearing embryo’s in favour of deaf ones, and should the state assist that. There will be NO Issue if the deaf gene is eradicated, there will be no deaf people to object… It won’t eliminate deafness, that can still be caused by other issues unrelated to genetics. There seems some blanket assumption, all deafness is genetic. Most isn’t.

  7. Jacey125
    May 20, 2008 at 10:26 am

    My Goodness…
    All new tech still coming up…
    It is every person’s choice to choose to do what they want…to make them happy! Then I am happy….

  8. flbigmouth
    May 20, 2008 at 10:57 am

    It’s the freedom of choice for any individual. Technology are such wonderful to have beyond what the past had. Everyone has the right of choice and choose what makes them happy. Just my opinion.

  9. Billythegoat
    May 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

    No way!!!! It is not fair because the hearing parents have the opportunity to put CI on their babies while the deaf parents can’t have deaf babies? It is discrimination against their wishes. Leave them alone and make them happy.

  10. MM
    May 20, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    In the end what deaf culture thinks doesn’t matter. What the prospective parent thinks and wants does. It is futile to think advocates of deaf culture can tell parents what to choose. Choose for themselves ? Most comments from the cultural deaf area are saying “leave it to nature’ this in itself will not gurantee a deaf child, the odds are much against. Now, they WANT to use eugenics to get a deaf child ? seems they are advocating eugenics anyway so long as they can utilise it… we are ONLY talking about IVF nothing else ! People should stop clouding the issue by declaring it is a war on the deaf community, we STILL have not seen a deaf couple stepping up to the court for IVF to demand a deaf child, I doubt, we will…..

  11. Debbie Wolfe
    May 20, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t believe this conversation! I cannot believe that this couple wants to ensure they only have a deaf baby. Sounds like very selfish couple to me. You would think the deaf parents would want the best for their child whether hearing or deaf! What if the baby has another disability then what! Going to turn them away! Sorry this my view. I am hard of hearing.

  12. Just Jodi in the Netherlands
    May 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I am shaking my head with disbelief,, designer babies are going to be the bane of our very existence,,Some years ago women had the choice to abort their fetus if the child was less than perfect, ie having some sort of “crippling” disablility. I have known several women who have been told they had a downs syndrome child, some went on to abort the fetus and some went on to have the child, and the child is a delight to be around. How on earth are these people expecting the IVF to offer an emybro that is DEAF,, it boggles the mind what scientists can do these days,,and it scares me that these very people are playing God.
    This will be a very sticky subject

  13. May 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    It is not one embryo which is in dispute… what happens here is that if the deaf embryo is selected, the hearing embryo is REJECTED. Therefore it is the exact same as the vice-versa, and something that should not be done. Hearing embryos have no more reason to be rejected than the deaf ones, and neither should be relegated to the trash heap. But then again, I’m opposed to the destruction of any embryos. If I had some fertilized myself, I’d only create the number which I could feasibly use. I am a mother who has implanted her deaf children, but I would never in a million years have prevented their birth. Even if the CI had never been invented they are valuable and lovable, and equally worthy of birth. Their worth is not based on such things.

  14. MM
    May 21, 2008 at 2:39 am

    We live in the 21stc like it or not, genetics are going to offer all sorts of ‘solutions’, no pain no gain basically. It is here we have to address the issue of choice, the issue covers not just deaf genes , but Gays and many other areas as well. Initially prospective and terminal illness which is known to be passed on are the ‘targets’, I know few who have argued it is wrong about de-selecting the genes that cause that, so is it a question of degree ? personal view ? someone with a terminal illness may still be a contributor and enjoy life. Some inhertited illness are carried but do not emerge in the person carrying it, so a gene trashed there will mean a life lost anyway ?

    The quandary is these choices ARE going to be made, if we look to the Americas they are amongst the first usually to demand the freedom of choice, from designer babies to cosmetic surgery that is not needed at all, but they simply want to fit some image or other. I think there are a number of choices to abort foetus’ and to use genetics in America, that have already been taken. A mother may be told “Your child is going to be ‘disabled’ in some way or other,but, we can use anothree embryo you have without it, which one do you want ?” Or do you want both ?

    Humans given a choice would wish for the child with the best chances, not only of basic survival, but, to get the best start in life, I coul suggest, survival of the fittest is built in. Be it the Americas or the UK and western world,parents will take the decision,it seems heavily loaded against perpetuating deafness or any other ‘disability’ simply because you can. Despite what we think and believe, the support and funds to educate and assist the deaf do not come from them but from the state, the state will ‘number crunch’ at some point and then maybe decide, “We cannot afford this, and, why is it happening anyway ?”

    Genetics poses a lot of hard decisions on us all, many of them we are not going to like, but the global community WILL do its own thing, and even if we dig in against, they, WON’T, in the end that will force US, to go along with it, or be left behind, America would not tolerate that !

  15. daftincalifornia
    May 21, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Might as well move allus deaf people along with otherwise handicapped people to the moon, so the hearing can hear themselves self-destruct in their quest for genetic and racial superiority….

  16. MM
    May 21, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Via IVF it won’t affct you a bit unless you are undertaking IVF in the UK ! The people making the choices will be….. the parents, (Pity they are hearing but there you go !)..

  17. Billythegoat
    May 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I sometimes wonder what if the deaf embryo grows in mommy’s tummy. When she born her baby and find out that she has a hearing baby, not deaf. Dodo?

  18. May 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    What a fascinating topic! I’ve never even thought of this possibility before.

    As has been pointed out above by “Mother of Hearing and Deaf Children” an embryo is going to be rejected no matter what. What does it matter if the one selected is deaf? Are those in opposition of this saying that it is better never to be born at all than to be born deaf?! I don’t think so! Those who say you must select the hearing embryo are essentially saying that you must abort an embryo if you know that it is deaf! If all the eggs are fertilized, why can’t the couple choose which one to keep?

    The couple is simply saying that deafness should be allowed equal statis. They can give the child a loving home with BSL as a native language. If an embryo is either genetically deaf, or genetically hearing, the deafness already exists (or doesn’t exist). It’s not like they are choosing to turn a hearing child into a deaf child. Do you think a deaf child would wish that she had never been born at all because she is genetically deaf?

    To those who think this couple is being selfish: Do you think a deaf child born this way will say, “Mom and dad, I wish you had rejected me and kept the hearing child. I wish I was never born!”?

    The issue shouldn’t be about deafness. If people have a problem with the process of invitro fertilization, that’s another issue….

  19. MM
    May 22, 2008 at 4:20 am

    Is it right the deaf people who consider rejecting a hearing embryo in favour of the deaf one, can campaign on the basis being deaf isn’t a problem ? (As the deaf couple did on TV), while obviously it IS, not only for them, but for millions of those going deaf now and have already acquired it, the MAJORITY in fact, it dismisses these views, and it’s people out of hand, mainly because they put deaf, and culture in front of everything they say, and don’t, really ID them. There are thousands of deaf people, there are hundreds of BSL and cultural people, the ration is about 13-14 to 1, and of that number a minuscule number (NONE so far), who undergo IVF. It’s a gross over-simplification to state the only problem, is hearing people, I’m NOT into that, because that is a lie, albeit it gets them brownie points in the ‘Deaf’ world, it does nothing to clarify the issue, and of course gets increased opposition from hearing and acquired deaf alike… Perhaps if the cultural deaf had even bothered to debate and discuss the pros and cons with others, it would have helped, then a consensus view could have been put forward with far greater numerical force than the campaign had here…. All it did is further polarise the ‘Deaf’ view from everyone else’s, it’s as if they want to be a Greta Garbo culture… while ther rest of us want to get out into the wider world again…

  20. flbigmouth
    May 23, 2008 at 4:00 am

    I don’t mean to be blunt, but your (MM)script sounds like you copied, partial of the artical on here. These words are not in your wordings…intereting… don’t you think?


  21. flbigmouth
    May 23, 2008 at 4:04 am

    interting/interesting ~mispelled~

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