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Monday 17th June 2019

Women fly to US to choose their baby's gender

29th August 2012

A growing number of women from the UK are flying to America so they can choose the sex of their baby.


Gender selection is not permitted in Britain under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act but it is allowed in the US where doctors are helping parents have a baby of the sex of their choice.

British couples wanting to “balance their family” are flying to New York, or other US cities, where doctors such as Jeffrey Steinberg are offering a technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

The process takes place at fertility clinics where medics check the women’s fertilised eggs and then implant an embryo into them after checking that the child will have the required gender.

Dr Steinberg, who trained in the UK, sees around 40 British couples a year and has assisted 400 British women in this respect since he began offering the service a few years ago.

He said: “'New York is only a seven or eight-hour flight from most of Europe, so it works very well for those from Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the Middle East.”

His website says that for those hoping to choose the gender of their next child PGD is the most reliable method.

It adds: “While traditional sperm-screening techniques have a success rate of 60 to 70%, only PGD offers virtually 100% accuracy.”

And it emphasises that sex selection is available to all parents, not just to couples with known genetic disorders in the family which is the only reason permitted for gender selection under British law.


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