The Stork, the Conveyor Belt and the Boy-Girl Stamp – Submitted by Diane Franz, 9/24/2022

Many years ago, there was a cartoon that ended with a stork stamping babies “boy” or “girl” as they came down a fast-moving conveyor belt. It was just one of those silly cartoon antics that sometimes stays with you for years and even my husband remembered it.

That image keeps coming to mind as I learn more about The Maine’s Department of Education’s troubling kindergarteners video message that a doctor tells parents the gender that they think their baby is but “…a doctor can sometimes make a ‘mistake’ about a baby’s gender…”.

If you deliver a baby and the doctor tells you he or she does not know your child’s gender in the first nanosecond, your most important first desire should be to cuddle and bond with your newborn. Your second act should be to reach out to all pregnant family members and friends to alert them to arrange for back-up gender identification should their doctor be unable to tell if they have had a boy or girl. I am not sure how many doctors miss the gender chapter of their anatomy class but there must be a lot if Maine’s Department of Education has identified it as a distinct possibility that again, “…a doctor can sometimes make a ‘mistake’ about a baby’s gender”. What about the backlash for all of those gender reveal companies that get it wrong!

The Maine Department of Education must allow dedicated teachers to teach children academics and remain focused on helping them to learn to think. This solid foundation will serve older youth who are making important personal life choices because they will have acquired the wisdom and life skills to support those choices. Life altering decisions require the guidance, care and sensitivity of those who have the expertise to help not harm. It is a special calling for only a select group of qualified professionals.

The stork stamped randomly “boy” or “girl” as the babies came down the conveyor belt. I am grateful that it was just a cartoon. The Maine Department of Education should not be trying to make it a reality!

Diane Franz,  Kennebunkport