Earlier this week we discussed advances in genetic testing for fetal abnormalities, but what about testing for designer babies? In Britain, where it is illegal to use Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) to determine the sex of an embryo before in vitro fertilization, many couples go to other countries to get that boy (or girl) they've always wanted. Though one might assume that parents use PGD to get male children more frequently, the BBC's Colette McBeth says, "If anything, girls won over boys." Surprisingly, the United States does allow PGD for embryos, so if you have an extra $3,000 lying around to add to the approximately $15,000 you'll end up paying for IVF, you can get the baby of your dreams.It shocked me that the PGD testing is legal in the U.S., because there is so much debate when it comes to extensive prenatal testing. But then I realized that PGD tests the eggs before they're implanted, rather than after, so this testing doesn't ever lead to abortion — only to more babies. And who can get mad or moral about more babies? But back to Britain, where PGD is still only allowed to determine fetal abnormalities. McBeth went undercover to investigate a Turkish clinic, the Jinemed Center, that promised her PGD…except that PGD is illegal in Turkey, as well. "Many patients who were planning to go abroad were completely confused as to where it was legal and where it wasn't," McBeth says. In addition, the Jinemed Center "said they normally put in three embryos. That rang alarm bells. The maximum in the UK is two and most doctors would like to see that reduced to one because multiple pregnancy is the single greatest risk with IVF." The Jinemed Center is now under investigation by the Turkish government, thanks to the undercover camera McBeth brought into a consultation with Jinemed representatives. "Proof if needed that the desire to complete a family with a son or a daughter by going down the 'high tech' route could turn into a legal nightmare," she notes. Parents Queue To Select Baby Gender [BBC] Pre-Birth Defects [Slate] Earlier: Advances In Prenatal Testing Create New Twist In Abortion Debate Related: Many Clinics Use Genetic Diagnosis To Choose Sex [NPR]
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That headband = child cruelty. Also, your baby is a girl, we get it.