Huntington Reproductive Center - Blogs

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.

Making the Decision About Family Balancing

Dr. John WilcoxBy: John Wilcox, MD FACOG 

Numerous factors lead couples to make the decision to balance their families using PGD, the gender selection technology. For some it may be the desire to raise a child of each sex and others may already have several children of the same gender and desire a child of the opposite sex to balance the family. Many patients undergoing fertility treatments for the second time and parents in their forties, also consider family balancing since they are likely to have small families. As you can see, the reasons for family balancing are varied but many people share conflicting emotions about making the decision. Some feel guilty and question whether it is ethical to select the gender of a child for family balancing. Others worry that they are playing God.

It is only natural to have a vision of your ideal family and want to see it realized.  Let’s face it, raising a boy is different than raising a girl and it’s ok to want to experience both. However, couples need to talk openly with each other about their feelings, however conflicted. Both partners need to look at their underlying emotional reasons for wanting to balance their families. For instance, if a woman wants a girl to share her love of fashion or a man wants a son to go to baseball games with, these parents may be disappointed if their children don’t live up to their preconceived notions. A good place to start the process of family balancing is discussing your feeling with your fertility doctor and a family counselor. Remember, always use counseling as a resource, not a last resort.

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