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Word Count: 1,062
There are things about ones life and especially about ones children that cannot be known in advance and to which it would be foolish to assume a right outcome or a wrong one How for example could you possibly know whether you and your family would be better off having had a boy child and then a girl or a girl first or two girls or two boys What would your standard for comparison be Which child would you have given up in order to have had the imaginary right family You might have thought you wanted a girl and then gotten one not at all like the girl you expectednot gentle not Barbie-doll loving utterly unlike your childhood self You might have thought that having one child of each sex was perfect and then found that family harmony eluded you nonetheless Certainly the more precise your expectations of your children and the more convinced you are that those expectations can be met indeed that you deserve to have them met the more disappointed you are likely to be Without some humility in the face of the unknown and unknowablewithout some fundamental willingness to accept and to love whatever child you getparenthood would be a very different and a lesser thing One might think that all this would be obvious to anyone who was ever part of a family or read a novel about one But in an era when people can shop online for sperm and egg donors of specified height and hair texture and IQin an era in other words of consumer-driven privatized eugenicsits easy to forget about what we cannot control or predict In this environment radical reproductive technologies tend to slide into use when someone wants them and can pay Theres always at least one fertility doctor out there who will do anything no matter how risky or ethically dubious Religious absolutists fume free-market purists and biotech groupies celebrate and
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