US doctor is offering British couples the chance to choose the sex of their child

In vitro fertilization process.

A US doctor is offering British couples the chance to choose the sex of their child at his New York clinic, a procedure that is illegal in the UK. Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, of Fertility Institutes, his New York clinic, provoked anger earlier this year when he said his fertility clinic could allow parents to produce “designer babies”.

He gave prospective parents the ability to choose eye, hair, skin colour and gender. In the United States, the law allows him to use pre-implentation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to allow parents to know an embryo’s sex.

In the United Kingdom, it can only be used to screen for genetic diseases. In Britain, officials have warned parents who go to the United States for treatment usually after spotting advertisements on the Internet, that they should understand the laws relating to these procedures and the impact of the selection on any child who is subsequently born reports the Telegraph.

The Web page on sex selection generates 140,000 hits a month from China, said Dr. Steinberg, and the only country outpacing China’s interest is Canada.

“The Chinese like boys. Canadians like girls. Every country is different,” he said. U.S. doctors are catering to the same gender bias that has led to female infanticide in China and India, opponents said.

The Genetics and IVF Institute in Virginia says that it is also receiving interest from British couples, says Gary Harton, its PGD scientific director. He says,

You’re no different than any other patient. You’re here to get what you want. To get a baby.

Published Aug 21, 2009
by Kevin Jess

Source: Digital Journal

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