We all know about how in places like, oh, I don't know, China, people are so brainwashed to want sons that they routinely abort female fetuses, right? Well, in yet another twisted example of human nature's inherent screwed up-ness, it turns out that women in this country are paying tens of thousands of dollars to guarantee they'll give birth to a girl baby. Apparently prenatal gender selection is a multi-million -- yes, multi-million -- dollar industry right here in America. Um, how did this happen?
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) was originally developed to screen for genetic diseases. It's similar to in vitro fertilization; the difference is the removal and testing of one single cell before the embryo is implanted. The process runs couples about $18,000 a pop and approximately 4,000 to 6,000 procedures are performed annually. Because ... I have absolutely no idea.
I suppose, as a parent, I have no business wondering why a couple would go to such great lengths to choose their child's sex -- I have one daughter and one son, the "best of both worlds," I'm often told. (Another common refrain, "Oh, so now you can stop!") And I know I'm super-lucky.
But the real reason why I'm super-lucky has nothing to do with the gender of my kids, it has to do with the fact that they were both born healthy. I am blessed beyond words, but I have to believe I would feel equally charmed to have two healthy boys or two healthy girls.
I know a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes: Easy for her to say, she has one of each. But I just don't get why someone like the anonymous woman featured in Slate's article on this topic would spend "weeks in bed crying" after finding out she was pregnant with her 3rd boy or why she would spend over $40,000 to ultimately have a daughter. Even if she was "worth every penny" and "better than a new car or a kitchen reno." (Seriously, that's a quote.)
What do you think?
Would you spend thousands of dollars to choose your child's sex?
Image via peasap/Flickr