Jane and Jon Cornwill flew to California from their home in Australia to try a fertility technology called pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) that would allow them to choose the sex of their baby. After raising three young boys, the Cornwills suffered gender disappointment and were desperate for a daughter. PGS technology is typically used to prevent transmission of a genetic abnormality or disease and regulations in Australia prevent its use for gender selection. In order to travel to America and have the procedure, they spent nearly $50,000. For the couple, it was worth the cost. Nine months later they gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
We want to know, if money were no object, would you want to choose the gender of your child? Take our poll, and then share a comment below — it could appear in a future issue of Parents.
In a time where there’s an app for just about anything (including the best time to go to the bathroom during a big-screen movie—which comes in very handy while you’re pregnant!—now a brand-new app called StorkDiet Guide to Conceiving Girls claims to be able to tell you how to give birth to the baby gender of your choice. The secret, they say, is what you eat!
According to Business Insider, the app, which costs $9.99, is based partly on a study of 740 first-time mamas done by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford that found women who ate more calories, sodium, and calcium were more likely to have boys, while women who ate less of those things were more likely to have girls. The study proved not to be 100 percent fail-proof (surprise, surprise!). In fact, just 56 percent of the women who ate the “boy” diet had sons.
The app’s creators claim that their 9-week diet and conception-timing program has a higher success rate of 81 percent.
This is the third time in just over a week that I’ve heard something about wanting to choose your baby’s sex. First, Snooki said that she really hopes she has another boy, because she’s “not ready for a diva mini-me.” Then came the news that Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis and his girlfriend chose to have IVF so they could choose the sex of their babies and screen for genetic diseases. The couple says they wanted girls because that’s what they know (both only have sisters).
As much as I’d like for my son to have a little sister, I don’t think I would ever go to great lengths to make that happen. I guess I’m old fashioned in that I’d rather leave it to chance, and be surprised on that awesome day when you finally find out your baby’s sex. It seems a bit like a bad science fiction movie to me to be able to decide what you do or don’t want to have (cut to the scene when there are no women left on the planet). But to each her own! That’s the wonderful thing about life—and this app: the choice is yours.
Lots of women (and, yes, even men) have dreamt about what sort of—and how big of—a family they’ve wanted ever since they were little. Some dads want a “mini me” to throw the ball around with; others want a little girl to spoil, while moms might hope for a shopping partner to dress or a doting mama’s boy. But not all couples have to leave whether they have a boy or girl up to chance.
Did you know that the United States is one of the few countries in the world to allow parents to choose their preferred gender of baby during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? It’s called Pre-Implementation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), and after enough eggs are harvested for IVF, the eggs are implanted with sperm and only three days after fertilization scientists know whether the embryos will be boys or girls. A couple chooses which sex they prefer and only the embryos of the desired sex are inserted into the uterus (of course, a couple using IVF can choose to have both male and female embryos inserted as well).
England is one of the countries that still has a ban on this type of gender selection (other than in extreme medical cases where a horrible genetic condition is only passed down to one sex). But now some doctors are speaking out in the Telegraph, saying families have a right to choose their baby’s sex regardless of their reasons.
I understand why people are scared of this sort of technology—it’s something straight out of a sci-fi movie, where a crazy dictator decides to kill off all the women to form a “superior” race. And it’s not that far from reality. If used in parts of the world where they prefer boys (like Asia), it could lead to a shortage in compatible mates. In China, where they highly favor boys, and there’s a major push to abort female babies, The State Population and Family Planning Commission has already predicted by 2020 roughly 30 million Chinese men will be unable to marry on the account of gender imbalance.
That said, if I was given the chance would I want to choose whether my second child was a boy or girl? Yes! With my first, I was one of those people who truly didn’t have a preference. I was just so happy to be pregnant that I didn’t care what came out of me as long as it was healthy. Though, I knew friends who really had their hearts set one way or the other, and they were actually devastated when they found out that they were having the opposite of what they wanted. There was actually a period of mourning for a bit before they could truly be excited about their baby again.
Now that I have an amazing son, I would love to have a girl to see the other side of the baby bond. I could finally indulge in all of those fantasies of buying an adorable pink tutu and taking my daughter out for real tea with scones after years of imaginary tea party play. I’d have someone to pass down my mom’s jewelry to, and to give advice about boys. In my dream scenario, I cut out the part about mother-daughter drama that inevitably comes with the teen years!
TELL US: If you were able to, would you choose to have a boy or girl, or would you leave it up to chance?