There has been one main infertility and IVF story dominating the headlines this weekend – and it has once again sparked debate about whether it’s right to use infertility treatment such as IVF to select the gender of your baby.
Regardless of the facts behind the media story on Liverpool-based fertility doctor Charles Kingsland, the ability to choose the sex of your baby through IVF is illegal in the UK.
The only time such a process is considered by medical and infertility experts, is when there is considerable risk of a baby inheriting specific genetic conditions, which affect only boys or girls for example.
But using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) screening methods to only select embryos of a certain gender for implantation is not illegal in other countries such as the US – so it’s not uncommon for couples who wish to balance their families to seek this controversial treatment abroad.
As such, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) can do little to dissuade people from paying thousands for PGD treatment in foreign clinics.
But there are other issues to consider, such as whether clinics abroad which claim to offer this service are in fact acting legally, and whether they have the same strict standards and rules that British infertility clinics must adhere to. Is it really worth the risk?