SHOCK TREND: ‘Wrong sex’ bubs aborted

 

Queensland parents are aborting babies that are not their preferred gender and then turning to IVF clinics believing their perfect boy or girl can be custom made.

The overwhelming desire to have the ideal child has become so extreme that one Brisbane IVF doctor reports seeing patients who admit they have terminated a pregnancy after the non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) blood test at 10 weeks revealed the baby was the "wrong sex".

They then turn up to the clinic hoping the doctor can perform a gender-selection miracle.

 

Some couples are turning to IVF clinics with the false hope they can choose the gender of a child. Picture: File/iStock
Some couples are turning to IVF clinics with the false hope they can choose the gender of a child. Picture: File/iStock

 

"But we simply cannot help them. Clinics would lose their accreditation if they used gender selection technology simply to please a couple's desire for a certain gender," Dr David Molloy, clinical director at Queensland Fertility Group said.

"We live in a time when people expect that everything can be fixed. I think couples come to me because they know I have always been an advocate of gender selection but the National Health and Medical Research Council upheld the ban on non-medical gender selection in its 2017 review. This move disappointed a lot of Queenslanders and we are still lobbying for change."

 

Quotes shared from parents who have struggled with gender disappointment. Source: Facebook
Quotes shared from parents who have struggled with gender disappointment. Source: Facebook

 

Dr Molloy believes it is strange that there is an ethical problem for parents' to gender balance their family but some end up terminating a perfectly healthy child.

"I witness how the longing for a child of a particular sex can become all consuming for some parents. I have seen hundreds of patients who are disappointed when they hear of the gender of the child they are expecting but it doesn't mean they don't adore the baby when it arrives. For most, the disappointment passes quickly. Sadly though, I do see some who end up broken and in psychiatric care," he said.

 

Dr David Molloy says some patients have ended up in psychiatric care after struggling with the news of their baby’s gender.
Dr David Molloy says some patients have ended up in psychiatric care after struggling with the news of their baby’s gender.

 

The QFG clinic takes inquiries about gender selection two or three times each week. Dr Molloy said the majority of patients inquire about having a girl.

The NHMRC guidelines support sex selection in cases where a child is at high-risk of inheriting a genetic condition that would severely impact their quality of life, but the council will not budge on facilitating parents who simply want a baby of a particular sex.

While Dr Molloy is seeing extreme actions in the quest for the perfect child, peri-natal mental experts report that some form of gender disappointment is widespread in the community among people who would never consider a termination. For most the disappointment is fleeting and for others mental health support helps them overcome the let-down.

Some women are frozen in fear when finding out the sex of their babies at antenatal scans and gender-reveal parties spark terror in case their distress is displayed in front of family and friends.

 

 

 

"Gender-disappointment is the cause of anxiety and stress for new and existing parents for many reasons. Most parents experience extreme feelings of guilt around feeling this way and at worst it may result in bonding difficulties for mums and partners with their baby," Rani Farmer, the operations manager at Brisbane's Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness centre said.

"As with most peri-natal mental health challenges, gender disappointment is often not discussed due to fear of stigma or judgment. Parents should be supported in speaking about and navigating through experiences of gender disappointment to ensure feelings are validated and normalised, and reassurance can be given.

Peach Tree emphasises that the feelings of disappointment in no way negates the yearning for the child but past and present circumstances can lead parents to idealise the baby that is coming into their lives.

When the 50-50 chance of having a boy or a girl falls the wrong way there is grieving process and usually the disappointment passes.

US research found that as many as one in five women express some disappointment about the sex of the child they are carrying.

 

Originally published as SHOCK TREND: 'Wrong sex' bubs aborted


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