Every day we’re faced with countless decisions. There are insignificant ones, like whether to add millet to your grain bowl. And there are important ones, like whether or not to buy a house. There are very few times in life that we don’t have the option to choose.
Determining the sex of our future children was one of them…until now.
“Family balancing,” or nonmedical sex selection, lets parents choose whether they want a boy or a girl--and it’s a costly, complicated and controversial process.
How does it work? In oder to do "family balancing," a woman must undergo in vitro fertilization to create embryos that have been genetically tested for both genetic disease and sex. Then, post-testing, a woman or couple would choose to implant only embryos that match the desired sex.
What does it cost? A lot. Each cycle of IVF costs between $15,000 and $20,000. While medical IVF is covered by some insurance plans, nonmedical IVF is not. If you’re already doing IVF for medical reasons, though, sex selection costs nothing extra.
Is it legal? In the U.S., yes. But in most other countries, nonmedical sex selection is illegal. As such, a lot of people seeking IVF for sex selection purposes in America are from abroad.
What do people think about it? Though you can find adamant proponents for both sides, the ethics committee of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes the use of IVF (intended to help women with fertility issues) for nonmedical reasons.
Would we do it? Probably not--as much as we’re hoping for that next one to be a girl.