Oh... My... G......! I think it commendable they accept THEIR being deaf made huge issues to CODA's, but surely they are not suggesting this is an OK alternative ?
LIKE so many excited parents-to-be, Claire and Paul Dowdican insisted they didn't mind if they had a boy or girl. But, astonishingly, they were certain of one thing - they desperately wanted their first child to be DEAF, just like them.
And when tiny Reese was born they were thrilled to discover he shares their world of silence. Claire, 23, explains: "We prayed our baby would be deaf because we feel his life will be much richer as a result. "Being deaf has forced Paul and me to be stronger and more open minded and we are very happy the way we are. We want Reese to grow up the same way and share our experiences."
Claire admits the couple's views will shock countless parents who pray only that their children will be born able-bodied and healthy. "I know hearing parents will be baffled - maybe even horrified," she says. "Society sees deafness as a disability, but to us it is a positive thing, not a negative one." As she cuddles her otherwise healthy two-month-old tot, the proud mum tells The People she knows Reese will face difficulties communicating with other kids.
But she insists: "We believe he would have had MORE difficulties as a hearing child born to deaf parents, so we aren't being selfish." Claire admits: "I had second thoughts at times. I carried him for nine months and gave birth to him and I have the guilt that I may be giving him a hard life. "Every parent wants the best for their child and I know Reese is not always going to get the best.
"Of course I agonised about whether my baby was going to face a hard life - but all mums do that. "There is so much pressure on us to have a perfect baby but life is not perfect, is it?"