99 per cent success rate
The process is similar to IVF – eggs are fertilised outside of the womb, examined for gender indicators and those of the desired sex are implanted. If a pregnancy occurs, the process is over 99 per cent successful in achieving the desired gender of the baby.
Why we should consider whether it’s time to allow sex selection in IVF
Should parents be allowed to select the sex of their child through IVF when there’s no compelling medical reason to do so?
Director of Gene Ethics Bob Phelps said enabling parents to choose the sex of their child fosters expectations of what those children will become.
“It’s either the kitchen or the workshop is that what parents are choosing when they choose the sex of their child, these are important questions because we should be moving away from that to a more egalitarian society that values boys and girls equally.”
And he warns gender selection is just the starting point to designer babies.
“I think people would be beginning to ask for IQ, height, beauty and other attributes, athleticism would be another one, for their children and these aren’t possible at the moment but we could envisage them for the future.”
The causes of gender selection
Parents may want to prevent the transmission of a genetic disease, they may want a male child to carry on the family name or to meet the requirements of their religion, or to achieve some balance within the family.
The growing use of technology to bear a child of a particular gender is driven by two different populations. Immigrant families from countries such as India and China use the technology to ensure the birth of the much-wanted boy child. Some fertility clinics have a history of advertising gender-selection services in foreign language newspapers targeting patriarchal cultures.
The other population utilizing gender-selection technology are couples with one or more sons, in which the wife has an intense longing for a daughter.