Aussies seek baby sexing in Thailand
- Published: 2/04/2013 at 09:30 AM
- Online news:
More than 100 Australian couples sought a special medical treatment in Thailand last year to select the gender of their next child - and the "fertility tourism" is rapidly growing.
The in-vitro fertilisation procedure known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is banned in Australia for ethical reasons.
But the "family balancing" service is available in Thailand is available at what a media report published Tuesday called a "clinic".
The report did not name the facility. But both the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok and the Phuket International Hospital openly offer PGD services on their websites.
Tuesday's report by Australian media quoted the representative of a medical tourism company as saying the sex-selection procedure in Thailand is a growth niche industry.
"It's increasing by about 30 per cent annually," said Cassandra Italia, from medical tourism company Global Health Travel.
"In 2011, we sent 72 Australian couples over and in 2012, we sent 106 couples."
Phuket International Hospital openly advertises for medical tourists who wish to use the gender-selection service known as Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), as does the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok.
The Thailand treatment involves testing a woman's embryo for chromosomes, which determine the gender of the child.
Ethical opposition to choosing a baby's sex before birth often is criticised as a system of "designer babies".
According to Tuesday's report, Ms Italia said her clients are almost all Australians who have had children of one sex, and wish to "balance the family".
"Our clients are generally a family where there is one predominant sex," she said.
"In one case, the mother had a boy from a previous relationship and then she had five girls with her second partner.
"They really wanted to have a boy and tried this treatment twice and ended up having a boy."