Thanks to the advances in fertility treatments that allow doctors to identify male and female embryos, sex selection of your baby is technically possible. More couples consider such an option now and a number of them are willing to go for it no matter the cost. As a matter of fact, a significant number of Australian couples travel to US every year to get this done. That’s a fact that has now made Australia to ponder sex selection.
Sex selection used to be an option only for couples who wanted to avoid passing sex-linked genetic disorders to their children. This has now changed since this option might also appeal to parents who have children of one sex and want to have a child of the other sex, what is commonly called “family balancing”. However, it is not always easy for parents since options aren’t equally effective, affordable, or available.
At the moment very few countries permits gender selection for non medical reasons, between them US, South Africa and Thailand. According to infertility doctor Daniel Potter Australian couples are looking towards the US for sex selective IVF technique and that has doubled in five years. Around 15 to 20 Australian couples visit his clinics in Southern California each month. “Typically it is women wanting to have a daughter, that’s 80 per cent of what we do,” he mentioned. The cost to get this procedure done is estimated to $15,000 per treatment, excluding the travel and accommodation costs.
This has sparked a debate whether the government should legalize the practice in the country since Australians are already selecting the sex of their children, but they are forced to go to overseas clinics, in places like the US or Thailand. Experts comment that this could be risky, because “not all international fertility clinics have the same standard of care that exists in Australia’’. Due to the rise in treatment, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is presently running a consultation about proposed changes to the existing law on sex-selective IVF. The fertility experts from US are also invited to speak on the controversial issue of sex selection in Australia.
Some people argue that gender selection process will eventually come to other genetic traits selection. Would you agree with them?
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