Georgia and ­Danielle Trathen, whose parents went to the US for preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Photo: Thom Atkinson.

Although I am miles away from babies, I am familiar with the agonies and insecurities that most of my friends experienced on their way to parenthood. Why some wannabe parents tend towards the preference of the sex of their future child is so beyond me. Isn’t the element of surprise part of the pregnancy process in the first place? Despite the inner will of each parent, there comes a time when the gender is announced to both of them as an ultimatum. Some couples don’t even bother to find out; it’s revealed ultimately at the time of the birth.

Of course, the procedure of gender selection is still illegal in some countries, while in others it’s a flourishing business. Couples like the Simpsons and families like these can be the ideal victims for fertility experts and all this novel market of medicine.

I believe that it’s more a matter of missing the true meaning of bearing life, rather than an issue of morality or legitimacy alone. The humble desire for an able-bodied kid is replaced by the possibility to order a daughter or a boy. What happens if this demand gives way to new desires that will exceed the normal prenatal tests? I wonder how far human avidity can go and what could be foreordained in the future? Being able to choose exactly how pretty or intelligent the newborn girl will be? Instead of meddling in nature so drastically, it would be safer to return to the basic notion ‘just as long as it’s healthy.’

-Magda Repouskou
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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