Australian women complain of 'gender disappointment'
11 February, 2017
Reproduced under Creative Commons licence
"Gender disappointment" is not a recognised medical
condition. But many women in Australia – where gender
selection is illegal -- attribute their depression to it.
Australia's ABC network, a woman using the pseudonym
Kate described it as "a guilt-ridden, debilitating
depression". She has two boys and she desperately wants a
daughter. "Unless someone has that desire themselves and
feels how it can be all-consuming, they can't understand
what it's like," she says. "It'd be so easy if I could just
switch it off and just be happy."
An ethics committee of Australia's
National Health and Medical Research Council is
reviewing guidelines for assisted reproductive
technology and may recommend the legalisation of sex
Sydney Morning Herald ran a feature this week about the
condition. A woman named "Lisa" told the SMH"
"I was faced with the realisation that it was
possible, probable even, that I may never be the mother
of a daughter. I was plagued by envy observing other
mums with their tutu-clad little girls and I became
haunted by the fact that my husband may never be the
father of the bride, and every other gender cliche that
I could possibly latch onto."
Critics say that sex selection is the first step on a
slippery slope to designer babies. Women also feel that they
are being ungrateful for the children they already have if
they make it known. So "gender disappointment" is
complicated by social stigma.
But one person's disappointment is another's opportunity.
Australians who want to "balance" their family can go
overseas to access sex selection technology with IVF. One
popular destination is a company called
Selection Australia, an agent for a Los Angeles IVF
doctor, Daniel Potter.
His services cost one woman A$50,000, but she was
ecstatic with her daughter after three sons:
PGD isn't for everyone, but don't take that choice
away from somebody else. You don't know how much that
might mean to them. Some people might say that we are
playing God, but isn't all IVF playing God? Forget about
the costs. Forget about people's opinions. What matters
is you and your family.
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