PARENTS

Couple Who Are Raising A 'Genderless' Child Speak Out About Their Decision

02/06/2011 12:24 | Updated 22 May 2015
Couple who are raising a 'genderless' child speak out about their decisionAlamy

A couple who caused outrage by announcing they were going to raise a 'genderless' child have spoken out about their controversial decision.

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker sent an email to their friends and family when they welcomed their third baby, Storm, explaining only one close friend and their two older children, Jazz, five, and Kio, two would know the sex of the new arrival.

'We decided not to share Storm's sex for now - a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a standup to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime,' they wrote.

After the news hit the headlines, the couple have spoken about their decision in an open letter to the Edmonton Journal in Canada:

'I'm shy and idealistic, and all my life I've worked in the field of abuse and violence prevention. Jazz is five years old. Since he was a young baby, he's enjoyed color, texture and vibrancy.

'As Jazz grew, his love of bright colors (especially pink) and lots of fabric (especially dresses) continued, and he wanted to grow his hair. The older he became, the more he met with pressure from peers and adults to adjust his image and 'act more like a boy.' Jazz remained committed to his own style.

'There are these moments as a parent when you wish your child could bring a different issue to the table - but there it is, plop! And if you really mean what you say about being kind, honoring difference, having an open mind and placing limits thoughtfully where they help children develop competencies and be safe, then you better walk the talk.

'We agreed to keep the sex of our new baby private. The strong, lighting-fast, vitriolic response was a shock. These voices demonstrate how much parents are in the world's critical eye - in particular mothers, who are judged based on little (mis)information and not offered opportunities to share, grow, learn and be supported and celebrated by the community to raise children.

'Storm is my third child and this is what I know - one day soon, Storm will have something to say about it, so in the meantime, I'm just listening carefully.'

We're all for ditching pink for girls and blue for boys, but is a young baby really the right thing to try something like this on?

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