gender selection

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

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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!

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Kirsten - posted on 01/29/2013

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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.

Mary - posted on 01/28/2013

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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.

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Groovy Girl - posted on 11/06/2013

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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

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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

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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

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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.

[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.

[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).

Amanda - posted on 01/28/2013

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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

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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.

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