Choosing Baby's Sex

March 24, 1999

For centuries parents have wanted to be able to choose the sex of their child. With modern technology they can do so with impressive accuracy. But should we be able to do this?

A clinic in Virginia announced back in September that it had pioneered a technique called "sperm sorting." The technique allows doctors to separate Y sperm (which would give you a male) from X sperm (which would give you a female). The $2500 price tag apparently hasn't been too much of an obstacle since the clinic already has a list of more than 1000 prospective parents.

The results are impressive. Of the 30 children born so far, 94 percent of the couples desiring girls ended up with one. Of the couples wishing for boys, 74 percent got the desired sex. Most of the couples sought the procedure for "family balancing."

Is it wrong to choose the sex of your child? We may want to consider that question before we head down this road too far. Once we allow couples to choose the sex of their child, then they are certain to choose other characteristics of the child.

Consider the recent controversy over a couple that placed an ad in Ivy League newspapers. They are offering up to $50,000 for the eggs of a woman who is intelligent, athletic, at least 5 feet 10, and has an SAT score of 1400 or better.

And what will society be like if parents do choose the sex of their child? Current surveys show that couples want a boy, and if lots of parents starting selecting for boys, the sex ratios will change.

Sex selection sounds like a good idea until you consider the ramifications. Maybe we would be better letting God select the sex of our children.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.