With the advent of a screening process that allows couples to screen for various traits, including gender, of their babies, some fertility clinics are seeing an upswing in foreign clients. This is because the US does not have as strict regulations as some other countries over embryo selection and allows doctors the freedom to select for gender - a desirable thing for many couples considering children. In other countries, such as Australia, screenings are permitted only for genetically inherited diseases, so a couple that wants a girl can come to the US and, with the help of a doctor here, can get one.
Doctors say that the bulk of their clients come from Canada, where girls are very popular, and China, where boys are in demand, though potential parents come from New Zealand to Austria, too. The procedure costs about $20,000.
Not all clinics offer this sort of service and many doctors and legislators oppose what they say amounts to "amounts to medical tourism for designer babies " Other doctors simply say that they are serving the marketplace and fulfilling a need.
But is it ok to turn a potential parent into a consumer who is on the lookout for only a specific type of child?