The Right to Choose...A Baby's Gender?

A debate has sparked in light of rumors that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had quite the pre-pregnancy (pre-in vitro fertilization) plan to ensure they would have a baby boy. It's brought on a lot of questions about whether or not an individual should have the right to choose or in this case "plan" the exact gender destiny of their child-to-be. The couple is denying the claims but let's explore this topic. 


Many celebrity couples have made IVF somewhat a trendy "procedure" to consider if you're having trouble conceiving naturally. But the truth is this procedure is very involved from start to finish and there are a lot of important decisions both parents need to understand and talk about with their doctor. 

IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus. During this type of process it's possible for a fertility clinic to screen the embryos to determine the sex. Technically, either the female or male embryos could be inserted, versus both. 

The issue of selecting a child's gender is quite controversial. Many accredited organizations in the field of reproductive health and technology agree that if the goal is to avoid certain diseases that are prominent among one gender —an example, hemophilia, which occurs more in boys — then selecting the sex is deemed acceptable. 

The concern enters when sex selection is outside of a medical reason because the practice may insinuate sexism and also population control. 

But a reasonable desire of some parents is what we call "family balancing" where parents already have a boy and now want a girl or vice versa. Some experts view this as ethically acceptable. 

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine doesn't have a firm outlook on the issue of sex selection. They, instead, encourage doctors and healthcare professionals to develop policies for their own practices regarding how they will conduct sex selection and under what circumstances.