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:

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?

Meerkatwhiskers Wed 03-Jul-13 07:48:22

*their grr

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 03-Jul-13 08:02:47

We are not talking about whether something could/should be done, it is done. It's possible. Just not in the UK. And where it is available its not abused. In a country where it very well could be.

I agree with you OP. but I would want limitations on it. Not first/second child. Or if there is a genetic reason one sex would be more preferable.

As a mother with 6 boys in her life I'd like to "buy" the "right" child as people so eloquently put it. I wouldn't personally describe it in that way. It makes it sound like our boys are worthless, which is not the case at all.

ssash that was a very eloquent and moving post! You're parents should be very proud of you and more importantly you should be very proud of yourself.

I am uncomfortable with the whole gender selection thing, but to the poster who said "eugenics", we already practice eugenics. That's the whole point and why so many people were against IVF and genetic screening in the first place. It's a question of, once the technology is available, where does it lead and where do we draw the line? The truth is, that the line is already so blurred that I think some people can't see it anymore. If we screen for gender, then do we screen for eye colour, what about children with ginger hair - they are more likely to get bullied, what about children with a gene increasing their likelihood of developing breastcancer at a later date in life, what about children who have a percentage chance of developing diabetes etc, etc, etc.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 03-Jul-13 08:07:45

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

This feels like a step too far for me.

JumpingJackSprat Wed 03-Jul-13 08:08:40

What theyre basically saying is that the babys sex is the most important thing about them. poor kid.

heidihole Wed 03-Jul-13 08:10:23

YANBU I agree with you. In the USA I think you are only allowed to use it to balance your family. Ie you can use it on your first child. If it was the same here I don't see the problem

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Wed 03-Jul-13 08:23:15

I agree with it in gender specific abnormalities but something about using it to balance a family (hmm ) just doesn't sit right.

I agree with sashh - if someone is that desperate for a baby of a particular gender then what happens when the real live human being they get doesn't match up to the fantasy gender stereotype the parents had in their heads?

And with JumpingJackSprat - no one would ever let you say "well, we have three blonde-haired children already, so we want to balance our family by having a brunette" or "our existing children are all tall and we fancy having one who's more petite". It makes the child's gender the most - indeed, the only - significant thing about them. And it just isn't, unless there are sex-linked genetic disorders in the family.

Tailtwister Wed 03-Jul-13 08:26:43

So if you have children of one sex there's something imbalanced about your family? Now I've heard it all!

IVF should be used for those with fertility problems and to assist people who have a risk of inherited disease in their family. There should be no need to select a particular sex.

Trills Wed 03-Jul-13 08:29:27

saash made a very good post.

I think that if you are too desperate for a child of a particular sex you will be (obviously) a poorer parent of a child of the undesired sex, but also a poorer parent of a child of the desired sex, because there will be too many expectations on their behaviour matching the "ideal" in your head.

Unless the reason you want a boy is because you haven't had the experience of cleaning up poo round a tiny scrotum, that is.

Ubermumsy Wed 03-Jul-13 08:37:31

OP, there's a new test (can't remember if it's a maternal blood test or an amnio) which reliably detects the gender of the baby very early on - 7 weeks, I think. Would that be acceptable too? And if not, why not?

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 08:42:34

Balance your family? hmm I think MN is addictive because you get all these odd notions.

Burmobasher Wed 03-Jul-13 08:50:08

Yabvu, be grateful for whichever sex you get. Both are equally brilliant

SmallSherryforMedicinal Wed 03-Jul-13 09:00:27

Why can't women work on submarines? sassh

The 'balancing your family' thing is plain weird. Families come in all shapes, sizes and gender mixes. There is no such thing as a 'balanced' family.

And I agree that parents may very well be disappointed in the boy/girl they actually get because they don't live up to the gender stereotype they wanted.

Women can work on submarines now apparently. Apparently the reasoning in the past was that women were more susceptible to the build up of carbon dioxide on submarines than men. Pregnant women still aren't allowed on submarines.

melika Wed 03-Jul-13 09:18:29

As someone already mentioned it is legal in US, only a matter of time for here. Is it coincidence that certain famous celebrities get what gender they wanted?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 03-Jul-13 09:31:26

I think that in the UK those able to afford it would use it to have female babies. It would lead to a skewed girl/boy birth rate plus it seems wrong that the wealthier should have the privilege of engineering their families.

QueenofallIsee Wed 03-Jul-13 09:35:00

It has very real consequences in generations to come if widely available - why stop at selectly gender? Why not apply your preferences when it comes to common racial factors or what you think marks our people as intelligent? On the face of it, it seems OK to choose a boy or a girl, but in my opinion you are leading society down a path where you can just weed out anything that 'someone' considers undesirable.

specialsubject Wed 03-Jul-13 09:37:41

didn't know it was legal in America, scary.

I understand that it is being done on the edge of the law in India. As a result there is a generation coming with too few women. A rather extreme method of population control.

the poster who talks about 'not being the girl they wanted' makes a very good point. As do those who say that if you mind which type you get for anything other medical reasons, you aren't fit to be a parent.

Poppycattlepetal Wed 03-Jul-13 09:40:20

sashh thanks for posting and I'm so sorry you have had such a hard time because of your parents' expectations.

ubermumsy I think abortion raises a lot of different issues per se, yes, so I was just asking about IVF and choosing the sex of a baby here.

We can all agree that sexist parenting is not good for children or parents. I'm just not convinced that e.g. the mum in the article who has 5 boys is such a dangerous sexist that she should be legally stopped from having a daughter, which is what this situation amounts to.

ophelia275 Wed 03-Jul-13 09:49:35

I think the real reason why they don't allow it in this country is probably because most people would choose to have a girl and that would unbalance demographics (look at China where boys are favoured and they are apparently missing something like 20 million females and there are millions of men who will not find a wife because of this).

LandaMc Wed 03-Jul-13 10:16:15

YANBU - I've often thought the same thing. There's nothing wrong with wanting a balanced family and it's all preconception so no ethical issues. The test just filters out one sex of sperm. It used to be legal here until a bunch of lobbyists got over excited looking for an issue to play with.

littlepeas Wed 03-Jul-13 10:17:06

I remember the documentary the woman in the link was on. I found it very disturbing.

badfaketan Wed 03-Jul-13 10:18:16

Why do people think it would be used here to have a girl?Are girls more favoured here?
Genuine question.
As someone with sisters only I know that my parents would have wanted a boy if they had had more children (but none of us ever felt parental disappointment that we weren't).
I've also heard mothers of 2 girls say that they would have a 3rd if a boy could be guaranteed,and mothers with 1 of each stopping at 2 for that reason.

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