To say why not use IVF to choose the sex of a baby?

(423 Posts)
Poppycattlepetal Wed 03-Jul-13 06:26:47

If people could save up for the IVF required, just don't see who else's business is it if they have a boy or a girl baby, really?

It seems U that we are not legally allowed to try for this in Britain. Clearly, we'd not all choose boys. See this mother of five sons in the Indy today: www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ban-on-sex-selection-of-ivf-embryos-is-not-justified-says-ethicist-8683940.html

It is allowed in US to do this, and you don't hear of a population imbalance over there. Just what seems like an incannily high proportion of celebrities who have twins, one of each!

I do get the issues about things being very different in other countries where there can be a cultural pressure to have sons of course. And i'm only talking about methods used before pregnancy begins. And obviously this would have to be genuinely freely chosen. Just feel that as the majority in the UK doesn't share any particular preference, why not let the people who do really mind, have the choice?

ImagineJL Wed 03-Jul-13 06:42:03

Well I just think it feels wrong, can't really explain why, and I also think we probably would end up with a population imbalance.

Having said that, I do think it should be permitted in situations where people are carriers of genetic diseases that only affect one sex, rather than having risky post-conception tests that can cause miscarriage.

I'm not sure about other situations. For example, I hate those cases on TV in which someone has 4 of one sex and desperately wants the opposite sex, then they cry at the scan when they learn they're having a 5th of the same sex again. I feel so sorry for the child born in that situation, always resented for being the wrong sex. So maybe people who can prove after psychiatric assessments that they will be depressed if they don't get the sex they want could be eligible to choose? But then I think well if people are that scared of getting the "wrong" sex for no reason other than a personal desire (ie not a hereditary disease) then perhaps they just shouldn't have any more kids!

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 06:47:03

If you want to buy the 'right' baby then you shouldn't be having one IMO.

Bunbaker Wed 03-Jul-13 06:50:23

Because it would be massive abused and misused. Remember when all those baby girls were left to die in China?

In countries where the culture values baby boys over baby girls there would be a huge imbalance in population.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 06:51:04

We are so used to choice and ordering life the way we want it that some people simply can't accept that a baby isn't similar, it isn't a commodity or a possession.
It is also very selfish to take up resources when you don't need them and they take away from those who do.
Money can't buy everything.
You sound like the person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 06:53:38

MNetters would mainly have girls- they seem to be the favoured ones to be dressed like dolls and mothers best friend when older! (Judging by posts on here)
I think it is utterly wonderful that you have no choice and get what you are given.

katiecubs Wed 03-Jul-13 06:57:53

YABU - having a child full stop is a gift. Sex shouldn't matter and if it does then don't have any.

PoppadomPreach Wed 03-Jul-13 07:01:08

YABU - if you want a particular sex so badly you'll do anything to stop having the other sex, you are not fit to be a parent.

Poppycattlepetal Wed 03-Jul-13 07:03:18

I take your point Imagine but I think that here, where there's a test available that would allow a genetic condition to be avoided, then parents can be offered it by the NHS. It's where there is no medical reason for preferring one over the other that it's not allowed.

Bunbaker you are right about China and that imbalance will have very difficult consequences for many people in society down the line there. But I do feel that here in UK we have different cultural view of boys v. girls and not everyone would choose to have a boy baby here.

itsallshitandmoreshit Wed 03-Jul-13 07:04:11

I think it should be allowed with certain strict criteria in situ. And obviously it is private so would not be taking resources away from anyone else.

I think very, very few families want a child of one sex only so I don't think it would have any major implications. In the US the actual stats of sex selection are 50/50 boy/girl anyway.

StupidFlanders Wed 03-Jul-13 07:05:28

That famous ethicist (?) agrees with you and felt it wouldn't create imbalance as it hasn't where it is being used.

He also argued it would prevent "late" abortions/killing of babies which will hapen otherwise so again, won't change the already existing imbalance in some places.

I think he said the people who would most likely use it would be people who had a child (or chikdren) already and would like one more of the other sex.

I don't have a problem with it personally if you already have a child/ren.

There is a clinic in the UK which offers such treatment, but you are right OP, the 'implantation' of the embryo cannot be carried out in Britain-I think it was Turkey and it is over £10k a cycle.

StupidFlanders Wed 03-Jul-13 07:10:03

Damn sorry- I should have read your link! Yanbu!

I don't have a problem with it. I have one boy and one girl and didn't much care about their gender so it's easy for me to say people should just be happy with what they get. It's easy for me to say no one should care. But if they do, and they are paying for it, I don't see what the problem is either.

I think this is a preferable choice to a woman ending up with 8 sons/daughters that were only ever conceived in the hope they'd be the other gender.

bellablot Wed 03-Jul-13 07:13:28

What exoticfruits has said!

And you can already do that In this country when people carry genetic diseases, it's happening as we speak.

scaevola Wed 03-Jul-13 07:14:43

The number of abortions so late as to be illegal in UK is vanishingly small, so I do not think there is adequate grounds to make such a change.

The views of the majority of ethicists - who are against this - need to be set against the one with atypical views.

Tests performed because of serious medical need are a totally different category than selecting a baby because of gender. And I mean gender, not sex.

ImagineJL Wed 03-Jul-13 07:25:56

Actually I think it probably wouldn't cause a population imbalance, for the simple reason that very few people would choose to have IVF if they didn't need to. Having done several cycles of IVF myself, I am certain that the vast majority of the population would rather take pot luck on the sex of their baby and conceive naturally, than put themselves through the hell of IVF.

ImagineJL Wed 03-Jul-13 07:26:21

It still feels wrong to me though.

Tattle Wed 03-Jul-13 07:27:00

if its available then then people will buy it.
To me it feels wrong to be test tubing purely to choose a babies sex,it's against nature and anything that is does have an effect somewhere down the line.

Badvoc Wed 03-Jul-13 07:29:16

A form of Eugenics, surely?

badfaketan Wed 03-Jul-13 07:29:34

IVF is such a gruelling process with a high price and low success rate that I doubt many women would want to do this just to have a particular sex so even if it was allowed,so I doubt it would cause an imbalance.
If you have a yearning for one particular sex it is often because you have at least one of the other.
I don't object to IVF for this.

ShadeofViolet Wed 03-Jul-13 07:31:20

You start with the sex and then what next? Being able to choose hair colour, eye colour etc.

Having a baby shouldnt be like picking out Ikea furniture.

sashh Wed 03-Jul-13 07:41:17

Because a baby isn't a commodity to be bought / sold.

And because the article was all about the parents, not about the human being they are going to produce who may not self identify with the sex the parents have chosen.

My parents wanted a girl, my paternal grandparents wanted a girl (they only had boys), I was born a girl.

But I'm not the girl they wanted. I have been and continue to be a great disappointment because I have not lived my life the way my family thinks a girl / woman should.

I have never walked down an aisle to be given away by my father, according to my mother this is something he has dreamed about since I was born.

When I meet up with my parents if I'm wearing a skirt I'm told I look nice, but only if I'm wearing a skirt.

It took me a long time to realise that it was not my fault I was a disappointment it was their fault for having certain ideas about women.

I could understand wanting sex selection in historical times when a boy would inherit.

But these days, apart from work on a submarine, or actually give birth yourself there is virtually nothing that your sex stops you doing.

So why have a preference? Because of gender. Because some parents have very fixed ideas about male / female roles.

The woman in the article has 5 healthy children. Why isn't that enough?

DragonMamma Wed 03-Jul-13 07:41:31

Having one of each, I can't preach that people should be happy with what they have etc, and I think gender disappointment is a very valid feeling for a lot of women.

I know a woman who has 3 boys and has paid an awful lot to have gender selection in the US, has fallen pregnant with female embryos only to miscarry on her return here. She was devastated but booked another trip as soon as funds allow. I can't see that it is good for your physical or mental health to put yourself and your family through this in her quest for a daughter.

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 03-Jul-13 07:48:01

As shadeofviolet said, you start with sex but it won't stop there. People will want to change eye and hair colour. It opens the door to true designer babies and that's just wrong. It's not what IVF was invented for and i'm sure the pioneers would not want to see theie 'baby' being used in that way.

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