Gull

Chapter Six continued...
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For the arrival of a son she paid a high price. But now it turns out her son is a mute. They are heartbroken. I remember she had a scan [to find out the sex of her unborn child] when she was pregnant—I wonder if her son's deafness is related to that.

In another instance, a mother had had repeated abortions (presumably after ultrasound scans to determine the child's sex), and eventually gave birth to the longed-for son—only to discover when he was eight months old that there was something wrong with his hearing; testing at the age of one year showed that he was completely deaf.

The only couple among the parents to have adopted a child had to endure the irony that the girl they chose was deaf:

My aunt—my father's sister—was married for many years, but never became pregnant. Because she was worried about having a baby at her age, she and her husband decided to follow the advice of some of their friends and adopt a baby. They adopted a little girl from another family when she was three days old. The girl is now four years old. Both her natural parents are deaf. They have three daughters altogether; the oldest and the middle one are very healthy, without any hearing problem at all, and are doing well in school. That's why my aunt and her husband agreed to take their third daughter, this little girl, thinking she would be as good as her sisters. Unfortunately the girl said not a word after she came to my aunt's house, from that day until today. They brought her to the hospital for a checkup, and after that they finally had to accept the truth of her illness.

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