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The HRC Fertility Blog is a resource for patients and those seeking infertility related issues and articles. Check back often or subscribe to this blog as it is changed weekly by the HRC staff.

Across the Pond to Discuss Gender Selection

HRC partner and medical director Dr. Daniel Potter, M.D., FACOG, recently returned from his trip to London to discuss gender selection options with in vitro fertilization (IVF) with patients who live in the United Kingdom. The purpose of his trip was to share more information on the procedure and answer any questions couples might have about the process.

Many couples travel to the United States for family-balancing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments because they are not legal in their home country. Patients travel from all over the world to take part in the process.

Dr. Potter’s video appears on World News Video and explains some of the points of his talk:

As Dr. Potter explained, there is a growing demand from couples that would like to have fewer children but also want to have each gender represented in their family.

Gender selection is not widely approved in the United Kingdom and is currently only allowed in cases where there is an increased risk to gender-related disorders. Gender selection for family balancing is not permitted in the United Kingdom or in the European Union.

The Telegraph, Britain’s national newspaper, reported that the number of women traveling to the United States. to participate in gender selection rose 20 percent year over year. Dr. Potter said that he treats up to 10 couples every month that want to have IVF in order to control the gender of the child. Most of the patients coming from countries other than the United States for gender selection are from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. According to Dr. Potter, the majority of these couples are choosing to have girls and an estimated 80 percent of British couples wanted a girl.

Dr. Potter believes that gender selection and family balancing is a right of reproductive freedom. He compares it to the woman’s right to choose when she gets pregnant by using or not using birth control, whether she wants to stay pregnant once she is, or to decide how many children to have. He said that women should have the right to create their family they way they want it.

“The technology exists to do it. While it’s not for everyone and I don’t believe that government payers should be paying for such an elective procedure, I do believe that women should have the right to control their own destiny,” Potter said in his recent World News video interview.

Dr. Potter made the trip across the pond to consult with and educate couples about the facts of gender selection and family balancing. While illegal for them in the United Kingdom, gender selection with the assistance of IVF is legal here in the United States. For hundreds of couples in the United Kingdom that simply want to have a child of a specific gender, coming here is a great way to make their dreams of family a reality.

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