British Parents Travel to the U.S. for Baby Girls

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By Smitha Nambiar | July 23, 2014 12:24 PM EST

British parents, in hundreds, are traveling to the U.S. for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment to select a baby girl. Eight in ten British couple want a baby girl through IVF.

Since sex selection is banned in the United Kingdom, more and more British parents are traveling to the U.S. to have IVF treatment in order to select the gender of their unborn baby. The number of couples opting for IVF to determine the gender of their baby is increasing by a fifth every year, says a leading doctor.

Reuters
Mothers cradle their newborn babies before their check up inside a ward at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila

Dr Daniel Potter, who runs a huge fertility clinic in Newport Beach in California, said 80 per cent of British couples are opting for a girl baby. Potter said that the women who visit his clinic have grown up playing with dolls and have always imagined that they would have daughters. "Some have only one child but most have two or three of the same gender. The process is driven by the mother who has identified with little girls since her own childhood and has always had a place for a daughter. When they do not have one, it is like a death and they grieve for their little girl," said Potter.

Most of the ladies who visit Potter opt for IVF because they want to be able to determine the sex of their child, and not because they have any trouble conceiving. The entire process costs the patient around US$15,000 and requires the couple to stay near the clinic for at least 12 days.

Expressing his opinion on terminating pregnancies, Potter said, "I think that pregnancy termination as a method of gender selection is not acceptable but I also believe that is it not for me to impose my values on other people." However, Potter thinks that women should have the right to decide the gender of their child if they wish. "I believe women should have reproductive freedom and that should include selecting the gender of their child if they wish." He further added, "I have had patients come to me from the other side of the world who have never been on a plane before and have saved up for a long time, it is really very important to them."

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Mothers cradle their newborn babies before their check up inside a ward at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila
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