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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?

xylem8 Wed 03-Jul-13 10:29:34

I really can't see a problem with it

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Wed 03-Jul-13 11:07:41

She's not being stopped from having a daughter,is is being prevented from selecting only female embryos being implanted.

What indeed would happen if the child was transgender?

TolliverGroat Wed 03-Jul-13 11:40:47

My great-grandparents had nine daughters in a row. As this was in the first half of the 20th century, no one offered them gender-selection IVF. Were they "legally stopped from having a son"? Because if they were legally stopped then it's odd that nothing happened to them when they did have one as DC10 (and another as DC11, as it happens).

Michelle Priestley says “Had it [IVF gender selection] been made available I probably wouldn’t have had five children. I would have stopped.” The fact that she's happy to put that on public record where her sons can read it in future -- to say, effectively "We didn't want you, we wanted a girl" (or even "We didn't want you at all, we wanted to have had a girl instead of one of your older brothers") to her younger children -- shows that she's not being entirely rational or thinking of the child's best interests in all of this.

HildaOgden Wed 03-Jul-13 11:52:47

What happens when someone accidentally becomes pregnant with a boy,rather than the girl they have 'ordered' (or vice versa).Could easily happen,human error being what it is...what do the parents do then,sue?

With the exception of screening out life threatening gender specific conditions,I think this should not be allowed.

(I seem to remember Charlie Sheen saying his male twins came about this way,as he already had 3 daughters and wanted sons.The fact that he could do so,given the train wreck of a life that both he and the drug addicted mother were living,proves how much money talks.)

WaitingIsWhatIDo Wed 03-Jul-13 11:55:28

I'm glad there is no choice. I have two boys and I would have loved another child, boy or girl, but my younger sons autism combined with my age led me to the decision to have no more. I sympathise with Michelle and she seems like a lovely woman, but I think she needs to get over it, I see the same thing at school, mothers crying at the gates because they are having another boy and makes me a bit hmmmm. It will probably be the norm one day but I'm glad I didn't have that dilemma in my lifetime.

SocialConstruct Wed 03-Jul-13 11:57:46

IVF is for people who can't have children, not for people who have seven of one sex to use to have the opposite sex.

EldritchCleavage Wed 03-Jul-13 12:02:10

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

At the moment, perhaps. But these things can change. I don't think we should be too smug about our currently more enlightened gender attitudes, they are not necessarily very widespread or firmly entrenched.

ICBINEG Wed 03-Jul-13 12:09:33

Agree with Sassh
Leaving aside choices for medical reasons, what possible non-sexist reason can there be for only wanting a child of a specific gender?

So why should the state promote sexist attitudes?

ICBINEG Wed 03-Jul-13 12:10:02

Oh hence OP YABVU.

tethersend Wed 03-Jul-13 12:10:13

I think it's unethical; I say that as someone who suffered huge gender disappointment on finding out DD1 was a girl. I would almost definitely have used it to have a boy (had I been rich), as I only wanted boys and was very fixed on the idea of having one- and that would mean that DD1 and DD2 wouldn't exist, the thought of which is fucking HORRIFYING.

Poppycattlepetal Wed 03-Jul-13 13:24:58

Thanks for your posts. I do feel that its a tiny minority who are seriously bothered by this so it is too harsh to make it actually illegal. It would be a very much wanted child which is a good start in life, surely.

Also on the idea of society ending up with every kid having blonde hair and blue eyes if this were allowed- just, no. Firstly, sex selection with IVF only allows you to choose between the embryos you and your partner have already made. Nothing is being added, altered, taken away and nobody knows how to add in blue eyes or blonde hair anyway.

Secondly- we have laws and regulation so these things don't run out of control. Is having babies through sex now obsolete because we've all had the possibility of IVF for the last 30 years? No.

Also i think most people usually just want to have a kid who looks like themselves and their partner. Probably because they liked each other enough to have their kid in the first place! How many people do you actually know who ideally wished they could have genetically engineered their children to look a certain way? Exactly.

I also think it's completely wrong to assume someone doesn't want the children they currently have, just because they said they would also want a child of the opposite gender. That's not what the mother of the boys has said. If this is genuinely how people feel, I think it's wierd how one of the frequent questions you get when pregnant is '.. And are you hoping for a boy or a girl?'

TolliverGroat Wed 03-Jul-13 13:43:07

She's said that if IVF sex selection had been available (so that she could have a daughter) she wouldn't have had five children. That's really not the same as saying she wants the five children she already has plus a child of the opposite gender.

TolliverGroat Wed 03-Jul-13 13:47:14

It wouldn't be a "very much wanted child". It would be a child who was only wanted if it had the right genitalia to fit in with its parents preconceived ideas of gender and IMO that's not a child who is wanted enough .

Fakebook Wed 03-Jul-13 13:50:52

It's unethical and wrong. Science has provided us with some breakthrough cures for genetic diseases, the latest I think being the IVF based technique to prevent mitochondrial diseases. Your sex isn't a disease. I think it's an absurd idea.

ICBINEG Wed 03-Jul-13 15:28:53

Only a small number of people are sexist enough that they only want a child of the right gender.

Only a small number of people are racist enough that they only want a child of the right colour.

Only a small number of people are shallow enough that they only want a child if it is beautiful enough.


You think we should give people what they want on the basis that they are incurably sexist, racist or shallow?

There is no possible reason for the government to facilitate sexism. EVER.

EldritchCleavage Wed 03-Jul-13 15:30:53

I do feel that its a tiny minority who are seriously bothered by this so it is too harsh to make it actually illegal

If it is a tiny minority, all the more reason not to relax the current ethics to allow them what they want. It's not a pressing issue, thank goodness, so why cater to the misguided people who do want it?

Justforlaughs Wed 03-Jul-13 16:46:48

Firstly OP, sex selection with IVF only allows you to choose between the embryos you and your partner have already made. Nothing is being added, altered, taken away and nobody knows how to add in blue eyes or blonde hair anyway - at the moment! They have already developed a method of using 3 parents to screen out genetic problems, who is to say that this wouldn't happen here.
Secondly we have laws so this doesn't get out of control Yep! it's illegal full stop!

exoticfruits Wed 03-Jul-13 19:06:15

Well said Tolliver- how dreadful to know that you were only wanted if you were a particular gender.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Wed 03-Jul-13 19:11:37

Because ivf is a medical treatment for infertility which, although totally justified where needed, places physical strains on the body and emotional strains on those going through it. It should only be used where medically justified. And I speak as one who begged to go straight to ivf when we found out we had problems conceiving because the success rate was better. The doctor quite rightly said it would be wrong to do this.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 03-Jul-13 19:22:46

I think it's inherently wrong.

I don't agree with gender selection and I don't think it should be an option for any raisins other than genetic issues.

I've 2 boys, my family is perfectly balanced and I have never understood this bias towards wanting a child of either sex.

I'm not the girl my mum hoped for I'm sure. As a child I was derrided for my lack of 'girliness' and being overweight, and I dont believe I fulfilled her expectations at all. We don't have the kind of mother/ daughter relationship that seems to be so desired.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 03-Jul-13 20:21:23


5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 20:35:17

Yabvu. Its been said by others but sassh post was very good. These parents dont just want the other gender they want 'their' ideal of what a child if that gender should be. But actually children are individuals and parents may well.not get the child they imagine.
How awful for that womans five boys to have to read that she wouldnt have had them had she got a girl sad

glamourousgranny42 Wed 03-Jul-13 21:00:48

Sex selection is unethical and more about the expectations and needs of the parent. As has already been said if you want a particular gender there must be sn expectation of that gender having certain qualities. How sexist is that? A child is a child first and foremost. There is no guarantee of a girly little girl or a laddish boy. People would be better off concentrating on raising children with positive self esteem and rounded personality instead of trying to mould them into a gender stereotype

Poppycattlepetal Wed 03-Jul-13 21:38:23

I'm a bit hmm at how many people seem to believe that they themselves, and parents in general, come to their parenting with a completely open mind. 'Let the child be whomever he or she turns out to be', etc. Really?

I think that's disingenuous because if we're honest, most of us parents actually do all kinds of things with the express intention of moulding our children into being who we, the parent, thinks they should be. Only difference I can see is that it is conventionally done after the child is born, not before birth as it would be here.

I just don't see that it's so vastly morally different to seek to choose your future child from a selection of your own embryos based on the ideal you have of your child being a male or a female before you become pregnant with him or her.

MrButtercat Wed 03-Jul-13 21:51:51

I soooo don't see the fuss tbh.A lot comes from people who are hmm over IVF anyway imvho.

I have IVF icsi twin boys,the actual science of it is so routine now it would be neither here nor there if you checked out sex on top.

Most couples would want both if they could choose so I don't buy the population theory at all.

I tried for 7 years to have my boys after being told it was near to impossible.I still wanted a girl too- so sue me.

My natural miracle daughter was born a year later.If she hadn't happened I would have done IVF again and would still have loved a daughter.Big deal.Ensuring that is a non issue,IVF is routine,common and part of modern life - an awful lot of people need to get over it.

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