Australian Couple Fights To Have A Girl Through IVF, Aborted Twin Male Fetuses

Illustration for article titled Australian Couple Fights To Have A Girl Through IVF, Aborted Twin Male Fetuses

An Australian couple is fighting for the right to sex-selective IVF. They want a girl, having lost their only daughter — and have already aborted twin male fetuses conceived through IVF.

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According to the Herald Sun, an independent bioethics panel rejected their request for pre-implantation sex selection in favor of a girl. That's because in Australia, as in many countries apart from the U.S., sex selection in IVF is only allowed to prevent genetic diseases or abnormalities.

The unnamed couple already has three boys, conceived naturally. Their daughter died as an infant, and the paper says the woman "admits she has become obsessed with having a daughter and it has become vital to her psychological health."

The next step is a hearing before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which is expected to take place in March.

India and China have strict regulations against sex selection (which can take place during IVF, or after conception), though even their governments admit those regulations haven't traditionally done much to prevent the gender ratio artificially skewing male. But preference for male babies isn't universal; in Germany, for example, a survey found no clear sex preference; in the U.S., couples usually say they prefer girls. When non-medical sex selection was allowed at the Sydney, Australia IVF clinic, the preference for girls was about 60/40, and say that "women were the predominant driver of the IVF-based sex selection process."

The United Kingdom has a similar policy to the one the Australian couple faces, which has led some British couples seeking specific sexes to clinics in the U.S., where the practice is allowed. (Some clinics apply their own policies, including "family balancing" — allowing couples to choose the sex if they already have at least one child.) Robert Brzyski, chairman of the ethics committee at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, told The Times of London last year, "The tradition in the US has been to not interfere with the reproductive choices of American citizens." Well, sort of.

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We Want Nothing But A Girl [Herald Sun]
IVF Doctor Backs Right To Choose Sex [SMH]

Image Via Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

beyourownhero-old
beyourownhero

As someone who has lost an infant (daughter) to SIDS and is pregnant once more (sex of impending baby unknown) I would be very hesitant to judge the experience or position of anyone who has lost a child to death, especially if you have never gone through this particular hell. And I can assure you, it is hell.

I know many parents who've lost infants to death. Many want another child; some do not. Many wish for a child of the same sex as the one who died; many dread or fear such an outcome. Some parents who've lost infants label their subsequent or anticipated/hoped for future baby as a "rainbow" baby, representing joy after great sorrow. I may not agree with what these people are doing, but I am in no position to judge them.

If psychological vitality was a prerequisite for having a child, many among us never would have been born.