Australian couples are heading to the land of the free to choose the sex of their baby. More than 20 couples a month are visiting a Californian IVF specialist to select their baby’s gender, with most desperate for a girl.
The number of Australians travelling to the United States for IVF gender selection has doubled in five years, prompting American fertility specialist Dr Daniel Potter to advocate allowing it here. Gender selection was banned in Australia in 2005.
Some couples pay more than $15,000 per treatment and 80 per cent of those want a girl.
Dr Potter – who operates the largest fertility clinic on the west coast of the US – says “it is a reproductive freedom issue”. “The technology is safe, it is there, so why not allow people to use it?” he tells News Corp.
He says the numbers of Australians who travel to his practice to choose the gender of their baby has doubled since 2011.
The National Health and Medical Research Council is currently asking for advice on whether it should lift the ban on gender selection.
IVF Australia’s medical director Peter Illingworth supports the guidelines being changed. Associate Professor Illingworth says he does not think there would be a flood of couples pursuing gender selection IVF in Australia if the laws change.
“I think the demand for this is very small, there are not a lot of couples for which this is a big issue, people are primarily concerned about having a healthy child,” he says.
He predicts that if the research council did change the guidelines there would be no more than 200 couples a year who would go through IVF to select their baby’s sex.
(via News Corp)