Sex selection: Guidelines under review in Australia
Sex selection for non-medical reasons has been banned in Australia since 2004
By Practical Parenting
February 14 2017
A mum of four from Australia went to extraordinary lengths to have a girl.
After giving birth to two boys, Sarah said she desperately wanted a little girl.
“When I fell pregnant the second time and found out it was a boy I was in utter disbelief because I wanted it so badly to be a girl … I burst into tears,” she told News.com.au.
The outcome led her to suffer from depression.
“I guess I’m not really good at not getting what I want,” she says. “I was still pregnant at the time and the only way I got through it was to do a heap of research on sex selection … it helped me to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“I realised, OK, this is not the end of the world and while we can’t do [sex selection] in Australia, we can save up and go to America to do it.”
Doing just that, Sarah and her husband spent more than $20,000 travelling to the USA. After one round of IVF she fell pregnant with fraternal twin girls.
“I love all my kids absolutely and the girls have really just completed our family," she said.
Now that her twins are four years old, the mum is advocating for sex selection to become legal in Australia.
“It kind of bewilders me why it’s not allowed, being that we’re a free country,” she says. “How does is it personally affect other people, me having a daughter and a son, or two of each? How does that affect anyone other than me and my family?" she said.
Sex selection for non-medical reasons has been banned in Australia since 2004, however, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is currently reviewing Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) guidelines.
The guidelines currently state: “The Australian Health Ethics Committee believes that admission to life should not be conditional upon a child being a particular sex”.
News.com.au reports "this could all change."
On the other hand, Tereza Hendl is a philosopher and bioethicists told the publication, "Gender selection assumes fundamental and fixed differences between children based on their sex and, as such, it reinforces gender stereotypes.”
The review results are due to be released later this year.