A girl or a boy? Which would you prefer?

 

It is a question we have all been asked at some stage during pregnancy. Those with boys are asked if they are DYING for a girl and those with all daughters are expected to be pining for a son. 

 

Preferences do happen, but we are all quick to follow it up by saying 'as long as the baby is healthy'. 

 

But what if you had a choice? Would you choose to pick the sex of your baby?

 

Some say that choosing the gender of your little one is 'playing God,' while others say you should be able to do whatever you want for your family.

 

Last year, famous model and super-mum, Chrissy Teigen, revealed that she and her husband used a gender selection procedure to have a girl baby. 

 

“I’ve made this decision. Not only am I having a girl, but I picked the girl from her little embryo. I picked her and was like, ‘Let’s put in the girl’,” she told People Magazine back in 2016.   

 

Image result for chrissy teigen and luna

 

Currently, fertility clinics in Britain and Ireland are banned from using sex selection on IVF embryos and frozen sperm unless it is to avoid a specific genetic flaw being passed on.

 

However, in recent years, the number of Irish and British parents have been travelling to America for gender selection IVF procedures, known as Preimplantaion Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) - in fact, the number of Irish parents travelling has tripled in recent years. 

 

The price for choosing to have a daughter instead of a son or vice versa can cost up to €15 thousand but this figure varies from clinic to clinic and depends on the range of options you choose. 

 

Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, who is the founder of the Fertility Institutes, which has clinics in Los Angeles, New York and Mexico, spoke to The Independent last year about why more and more couples are choosing genders.

 

“People want what they don’t have. If a family has all boys, they want to know what it’s like to raise a girl. They all come to me thinking they owe me an explanation, and they don’t. What we’re doing isn’t harming anyone, and our babies are healthier than those born by general chance. It’s happy medicine.”

 

 

Dr Steinberg continued, explaining that attitudes are very different now, then they were back when he started giving IVF treatments: “When I started out 35 years ago I had the second IVF programme in the US and I remember someone left a note on my windshield saying ‘test-tube babies have no soul’, it’s just a lack of education that begets ignorance.”

 

This kind of science sparks a much larger question, circling around so-called "trait babies," which would be babies who have had specific features selected for them - we're talking a blonde hair and brown eyes situation. 

 

While there can be benefits to selecting certain embryos, in that it is a way to avoid certain genetic disorders, it certainly sparks a number of questions. 

 

 

But who are we to play with fate? Shouldn't we just be happy with what we get? 

 

As someone who has children of both genders, I don't have that overwhelming urge I see in some people to have a particular sex. I can see how it consumes some people, but is interfering in nature to this extent a slippery slope?

 

Where do you stand on the issue?

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