gender selection

LouisaA - posted on 01/27/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

11

0

0

I would love to talk to any mums out there who have used gender selection to select the gender of their child.
If any one can help me, please comment!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kirsten - posted on 01/29/2013

11

0

1

My husband and I used gender selection. I have faced many people questioning the moral choice we made; however, I keep reminding people that we did not genetically modify a person. We did not do something to the embryos to make sure we got a certain color eyes or hair. We went through a typical IVF round. The doctor was able to run genetic testing on the embryos to find the healthiest, viable ones, then let us know what was there. We simply chose what he implanted. In our case, I'd had children before--I had no health problems & there was no reason that we couldn't have had children on our own...except for the fact that I'd had a tubal ligation 17 years prior. There were very few places near us that did gender selection and they required you prove a genetic problem that ran in the family. We didn't have that but we did have our own reasons for wanting the gender we chose. Because of the cost, we knew we only had one shot, so I spent a great deal of time doing the research to find the right place and the right doctor.
I've always been open about my experience and have welcomed questions. I really think it's important to stress to people that this process is not what many imagine. There was no picking physical traits. We even donated the embryos that we didn't have implanted. I just don't believe that there is a significantly negative ethical question here.

Ev - posted on 01/27/2013

8,363

7

919

Wow, I just can not wrap my head around this idea. I am done having kids now but could not imagine selecting their sex. With my daughter it was a surprise and with my son we let them tell us what the ultrasound showed and still were not sure that the machine was right. Then there is the whole moral thing about it too.

Mary - posted on 01/28/2013

3,348

31

123

As someone who went through years of infertility, and 5 IVF's, I simply cannot imagine choosing to go through the expense and difficulty willingly - just to get a preferred gender.

When I got pregnant with my daughter, her gender was so insignificant to either my husband or I that we didn't even find out her sex until birth. As long as my baby was alive and healthy, I truly did not care if it was a boy or a girl. I loved and wanted my child no matter what. If I was lucky enough to have another, I still wouldn't care what the baby's sex was, and would happily and gratefully accept whatever nature doled out.

19 Comments

View replies by

Groovy Girl - posted on 11/06/2013

56

0

2

Wow,
SHouldnt peple just.be thankful to conceive? Too mant peple out there would love to conceive let alone choose the sex. I find it disgusting!

[deleted account]

While I would like to have only boys, I don't think I would ever feel comfortable choosing things like my baby's geder. I feel like it would be a slippery slope to picking out other traits, like eye color ad hair color, ad I don't think that people should be able to custom make their kids. I also think that gender selection can create a lot of problems in certain cultures where boys are much more highly valued than girls. I know in Canada we have had some problems with people aborting babies as soon as its discovered they are carrying a girl

Tee - posted on 04/02/2013

278

15

17

I was considering it until I found out the cost. At the time I already had 2 boys (just had the 2nd) and knew that I could only have 1 more child. My middle son's father wanted one of each and I wanted a girl. He didn't have a problem with the idea either simply because we both wanted a daughter and I was limited to 3 pregnancies because of a medical condition and we were not getting any younger. Thankfully I did become pregnant 5 years after I had my son and we got our girl.

LouisaA - posted on 03/26/2013

11

0

0

WHAT!
What kind of world do people want to live in where gender is chosen, eye colour, hair colour, skin colour? Thats what gender selection will lead to.

It is a bad bad idea, and i for one am thankful the Aus government is thinking clearly, and not legalising gender selection.

I think it is great for medical purposes, as that prevents pain and suffering, but choosing the gender just because is selfish beyond belief, and no matter what the parents say about benefits to the child, it is a completely selfish act.
I SAY NO!

Jen - posted on 01/29/2013

34

33

1

We considered it when we were in the early stages of IVF. Though we both really wanted to have a girl, we decided against gender selection. Mainly our decision not to do it was financial reasons.
We ended up adopting our first child. Now we're approved and waiting for a second child. For a while we considered specifying only a girl for the adoption also, but ultimately we left that to chance also.

Worldwide, I would rather see gender selection used than abortion in countries like India and China where families are choosing to abort females solely because they are female.

Ev - posted on 01/29/2013

8,363

7

919

I also said I had been in the position once about ending a pregnancy. Back in the 90's I am not sure gender selection was available or not. My point was that no matter what happened during development I would not choose to end the pregnancy. I was pretty far along almost to the third trimester when the first ultrasound was done. There was thought to be something greatly wrong with my child. They wanted to wait for weeks to do another and in the time between there were all sorts of ideas discussed about what could be wrong. Needless to say, they decided it could be the worst case scenerio. I was told that if it was the worst case, I would have that option to end the pregnancy. What was I to tell a six year old who already knew her sibling was coming? She would not have understood that. So we decided no matter what came out of the next ultrasound we would not terminate. In the end my son was healthy.

But even with choosing gender for reason of healthy children, sometimes things change during the development of the child in the womb. Things could be anything to do with what happens to the mom via stress or illness. What actually happens in development with the child. Just because they are predetermined to be of the best health, does not mean that something can't go wrong. That is also what people do not take into consideration. Look at what happened to the cloning of the animals early on. Many of them died because of some genetic problem. Even with being able to have this option for a healthy child, there are other factors to take into consideration too. That is one thing I am talking about.

[deleted account]

" if the child were going to have genetic disorders or a disability I would not end the pregnancy"

Btw, in the process of gender selection, you would not yet be pregnant at the time you found out that certain embryos had genetic disorders, so ending the pregnancy would not be an option at all. Your only option would be whether or not to have the possibly deformed embryos implanted. The way gender selection works is that the father donates his sperm, the mother her eggs. The eggs are fertilized in the lab and embryos are created, then tested. The parents then choose which embryos to have implanted (via IVF) into the mother's womb.

[deleted account]

Evelyn, you bring up an important point. I didn't mean to imply that $30-$40k was not a lot of money--I agree that it is a very large sum, but then Americans are notorious for spending large sums of money on things we don't need. I mean, no one really NEEDS a $30,000 car, but according to Forbes, that was the average price tag last year. That means that many Americans do have this amount to spend--enough to possibly throw us out of balance if they all decided to partake in gender selection. That said, most Americans (due to our culture) would use it to insure they got one of each sex, which shouldn't hurt us too much in terms of biological matters.

Back to the financial aspect and the part of Evelyn's post I found most interesting. The process can be used to determine not only sex, but eye color, hair color, even certain personality traits, such as a predisposition toward addiction, depression, and even cognitive abilities. If only the rich have access to this procedure, and it becomes a practice to look beyond sex or genetic problems, the upper-class would be able to produce genetically superior children--children who are more naturally inclined excel socially and academically, thus making it almost impossible for children from middle/lower class families to compete in terms of college admissions, and even in the job market. It would be almost impossible for children of lower and middle class families to propel themselves into the upper class through hard work and dedication because these upper class families have genetically "engineered" their children to be the best of the best. If masses of those able to afford this procedure began to partake, we could find ourselves with a VERY large gap between the upper classes and the lower, and possibly even put ourselves in a social climate where we are very much like a caste system where one is not free to move from one socioeconomic class to another.

Ev - posted on 01/29/2013

8,363

7

919

First, I would have to say that for a lot of people that I know is that 40K is a lot of money. Most people I know do not make that much in a year. That said in this economy, most people that could afford this could afford that 30K car. Meaning for the most part upper middle class to rich. I do not make that much in a year and it would not be feasible for me to think of that sort of thing if I were younger and wanting to have kids. I think I would forgo the whole process unless maybe the fact that there is a genetic disorder or something, but then again I would have to be able to afford it and if the child were going to have genetic disorders or a disability I would not end the pregnancy (I have been in that position before). But even then, most families can not afford to do that because of the cost of the process.

Second, regulation processes would be a worry. There would be so many for and against certain reason that it would be available or not available. I think that in the area of genetic disorders, diseases, or disabilities, people would want to choose the gender that would be less likely to get the problems but it could become as such after a certain amount of time to be the way it goes....think of Hitler's idea that German people were better in all ways compared to other races etc. If people begin to think that we need to get rid of all genetic problems or disabilities, then it would be an ethical dilemma.

Third, the process of choosing who could or could not be using the process is also another dilemma. Those that could afford it might be given precedence over those that can not afford it. Those that want kids but can't come up with the funds would be out of luck. Would health insurance cover it? That is another question to ask. If health insurance would cover it, what would the company allow or not allow>

Fourth, the doctor's information on the cases he or she has in his office would also be in question. But as we know health insurance for example would want the information to be able to determine if it was a viable reason to pay for this gender choice. If people can afford it then there could be a privacy to it. Otherwise, like other health records it can not be known to only those that need to know like doctors, nurses, billing, and insurance.

Finally, with all this said, I do think that its more for those that can afford it. I am worried about the regulations that would have to be in place and the reasons behind it. I would be worried that in the short future it would be used as a way to get rid of all those children that would be born otherwise healthy. There is also the worry of those that want a baby and want to avoid the gentic problems being overlooked because of income or health insurance not covering it. In the end, I would be worried that someone would want a "perfect human race". But we also have to note that even with gender selection, that sometimes things do happen during development that we do not expect and the child could end up having special needs anyway.

[deleted account]

I do worry about the effects having gender selection easily available would have on cultures who value one sex over the other--I can see things getting shifted out of balance very easily. It is not as expensive as most people think it is. After talking to my friend, I found that she spent less than $40,000 including her travel expenses. This is less than the cost of many adoptions. Also putting it into perspective, she said, "You know, it's no more than what we spend on a car every few years. I'm just going to keep my car an extra 5 years. We don't NEED new cars that often anyway, right?" Btw, the average sale price of a new car was right at $30,000 last year, so she has a point--this makes gender selection a very viable option for many 1st world couples, thus something we do need to be considering.

That said, I would worry about regulating the process.The same process is used for genetic screening. Would regulation put obstacles in the way of those using the process to avoid genetic diseases and deformities? What would be the process to determine who could or could not use the process? A couple could simply say they are doing it for genetic security, but then only choose to have the sex of their choice inserted. Would the doctor be required to withhold information about the couple's embryos? I think I would find that unethical (the testing reveals the sex, no way not to see it).

Ev - posted on 01/28/2013

8,363

7

919

Jodi, you said everything that I was thinking of as far as ethical and moral issues were concerned. Too many people want to be choosy. For health reasons, I could see it, but beyond that it seems to me that it would be just because as the reason. Too many countries do have this issue of wanting males over females and there is a major decline in their female populations. Also consider the costs of doing this. Does the health insurance help with this? Or are these people rich enough to be able to choose their child's gender? I see this as more of a luxary than and actual need.

Amanda - posted on 01/28/2013

188

0

30

I can't help, but I like the idea. Jodi does raise some concerns. Now that I think of it, most of the women I knew had been hoping for boys, I was one of the few hoping for a girl. Good luck, hope you find what you're looking for.

Jodi - posted on 01/28/2013

3,562

36

3907

I have difficulty with the potential ethical questions that are raised by having availability of gender selection. Too many cultures prefer having male children (for a variety of reasons), and the ability to be able to select gender could cause problems of imbalance amongst those cultures. Consider the issues that have presented themselves as a result of China's one child policy. We should love all of our babies, no matter the gender, even if we have a family of 4 girls and the next one is a girl.

There was a news story in Australia about a woman who already had 4 boys and wanted a girl so badly that she actually aborted a baby because it was identified as another boy. While I can see that the ability to gender select (I believe she did end up going to the US and doing the selection) would reduce abortion because of gender, I am just not sure the the benefits would outweigh the potential negatives.

On the other hand, however, I can justify its use in the case of genetic disorders. There are many debilitating disorders that are passed on to a specific gender, and in these instances, the parents are choosing based on not wanting a child who may either die in the womb, or have a life of suffering, if at all, not choosing because they just want a boy or girl.

[deleted account]

It is available in the US. A mom in my neighborhood used it about 3 years ago, but she had to fly all the way to California to do it.

She was very happy with her experience, and was able to get pregnant on her first round. They warn you that it may take more than one round for a pregnancy to occur, and I know each round was very expensive, but I have no idea how much she paid.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms