There are things about one's life and especially about one's 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 expected—not gentle, not Barbie-doll loving, utterly unlike your childhood self. You might have thought that having one child of…
For almost all of us, the sex of our children is a matter of chance. But some people want a boy or a girl so badly that they are willing to pay thousands of dollars – sometimes even mortgaging their house – in order to choose the sex of their baby via embryo selection following IVF.
Sex selection can also be done by sperm sorting and using the batch with the desired chromosome to fertilise the egg, or by determining the sex of the foetus and aborting if it is not the desired sex.
Preventing and treating diseases are not the only reasons people have turned to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. PGD also makes it possible for parents to predetermine characteristics of a child to suit their personal preferences.
It’s true that the science behind IVF, and gender selection in particular, is not often discussed.
Women who want to select their baby’s sex undergo the costly and cumbersome process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create embryos that are also genetically tested before being implanted. Although the testing, broadly referred to as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, is often used to test for genetic diseases, it can also identify the sex of the embryos.
Traditional medicines taken by some Indian women to help them give birth to a boy are linked to an increased rate of stillbirths.
These fertility doctors have turned a procedure originally designed to prevent genetic diseases into a luxury purchase akin to plastic surgery.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). This is the most effective technique in sex selection. With nearly 100% accuracy and the ability to select not only sex but a healthy embryo makes it very popular.
Choosing the sex of your baby has become a multimillion-dollar industry.
There is evidence that some Americans want to choose their babies’ sex...“It’s jumped over the past four years,” said Dr. Steinberg, whose clinics determine sex through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, an embryo screening that also detects genetic disorders. He said that “if a woman calls to make the appointment, the couple almost always wants a female. If a man calls, they almost always want a male.”
Preference for sons is a real problem, but a House bill to ban sex-selective abortion is the wrong way to solve it.
The National Health and Medical Research Council maintains its ban on selecting sex for non-medical reasons. For fertility specialist Associate Professor Mark Bowman, this restricts a couple's right to exercise reproductive choice.
Fertility specialists have the ability to create and identify embryos of either sex. However, it is illegal to choose your baby’s gender in the UK, unless there’s a medical reason for it.
If you were offered an opportunity to choose the sex of your baby at conception, would you do it?
The real trouble with sex selection goes beyond sex discrimination. The real trouble is that it allows us, for the first time, to use a medical procedure to select or reject a child on the basis of a characteristic that has nothing to do with life and death, that is not in any sense of the word pathological, that cannot possibly be construed as sparing a child any pain and suffering.
Helping you choose the gender of your baby.