Couples are paying up to A$13,000 to select the sex of their child at IVF clinics in Sydney, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The more prominent of these is Sydney IVF, run by Professor Robert Jansen. It does about social 100 sex selections a year, with another 100 done for medical reasons. Girls have been the choice of 63% of couples, says Dr Kylie de Boer, a sydney IVF embryologist. “When the mother is the driving force, the decision is almost always for a girl. It’s about the mother-daughter relationship.” The SMH’s investigation of genetic testing uncovered another clinic doing sex selection, IVF Australia. Professor Michael Chapman does about 20 social sex selections a year and his clinic has a six-month waiting list. There are plans to treble capacity next year.
Social sex selection is not a procedure which unites the IVF industry. Dr Jeffrey Persson, also of IVF Australia, says “it discriminates against normal embryos on the basis of sex. Where is the unconditional love in this process?” Social sex selection, complains Dr Persson, risks sullying the good name of IVF in the community. “I don’t know why we’re muddying the waters with this,” he told the SMH. Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott told the ABC that the New South Wales government ought to consider banning the practice.
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