Would You Choose the Gender of Your Child?

Dawn Davenport


Did Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Select the Gender of their baby?

Would you select the gender of your baby? If you had a girl and you could “easily” select a boy, would you? Should you?

The internet was abuzz last week with reports that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West choose the gender of their second child when undergoing IVF. The couple denies sex selection, but what surprised me was the shock the media and people expressed that anyone would consider selecting the gender of their unborn child. Many people seemed surprised that sex selection was even legal.

Infertility patients undergoing in vitro fertilization have long been able in the US to select the gender of the embryo being transferred, and sex selection is increasingly more common as genetic screening of embryos is becoming a more routine part of IVF. Adoptive parents are also able to select the gender of their child depending on the agency and type of adoption.

Statistics on the number of infertility clinics that allow patients to select the gender of the embryo during IVF are not available, but a 2006 survey by Johns Hopkins University found that 42 percent of fertility clinics offered gender selection as an option in IVF. The percentage would surely be significantly higher now that genetic screening of embryos in IVF is becoming almost common.

Ethicist have worried that if gender selection is allowed, families would prefer boys over girls resulting in a population gender imbalance, such as has occurred in China and India. However, fertility clinics that allow gender selection report that girls and boys are selected about evenly. Families in the US tend to prefer both genders about equally and are often seeking “family balancing”—a girl if they already have a boy, and vice versa.

Kim Kardashian twitter announcement that her baby is a boy.


Adoptive parents overwhelmingly prefer girls. Check out this article on the reasons why: Snips & Snails v. Sugar & Spice: Gender Preferences in Adoption.

Listen to this Creating a Family radio show/podcast discussion on Gender Selection When Trying to Conceive with Dr. Harvey Stern, Director of Genetics and the Fetal Diagnostic Center at the Genetics & IVF Institute and Medical Director of Fairfax Cryobank and of GIVF’s Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) program.




If you were able to choose the gender of your baby with little extra risk or work on your part, would you?

Image credit: 
US Weekly Magazine
Daily Mail

01/07/2015 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Would You Choose the Gender of Your Child?

  1. Avatar Mom of two says:

    I don’t have a problem with people choosing the sex of a baby in cases where they have some control, honestly. It depends on what works for a family, and people may have all sorts of valid reasons for doing it. It never mattered to me. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted a new member of our family, not just a baby (babies grow up, after all.)

  2. Avatar Robyn C says:

    We did. We adopted. The first time, we were open to race and sex. The second time, we specified race (all or part “African American” because our son is biracial) and sex (girl). I do not think it’s really that big a deal. I know too many families who have “kept trying” til they “got” a child of whatever sex they wanted. I also know people with parents who always wanted a child of the opposite gender, who felt that very keenly growing up. Unless we see that the numbers are skewing so badly that one sex would vastly outnumber the other, I don’t really care if people want to choose their children’s sex.

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      Robyn C., the evidence I’ve seen for the US, is that preferences are pretty equal for each gender.

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