How far would you go for the girl of your dreams?
There’s a place people go.
It’s in Newport Beach, California.
There’s a doctor there who will give you whatever kind of baby you want, if you’re lucky enough to have a successful IVF cycle, that is.
But his clientele aren’t childless couples desperate to conceive, but couples who want to choose what sex baby they want.
After the US, Dr Potter’s clientèle come mostly from the UK and Australia. And what they want is a girl.
The UK Telegraph reports:
Dr Potter said the women he sees are desperate for a girl having grown up playing with dolls and always imagined they would have daughters.
He told the Telegraph: “Some have only one child but most have two or three of the same gender. The process is driven by the mother who has identified with little girls since her own childhood and has always had a place for a daughter. When they do not have one, it is like a death and they grieve for their little girl.”
Dr Potter’s patients often do not need fertility treatment in order to conceive but go through the process so that the resulting embryos can be screened and the chosen sex transferred to the womb.
The whole process costs around US$15,000 and requires a 12 day stay near the clinic.
In Australia, it’s not legal to choose a baby’s sex. But Australians can travel to do just that – to the US, or closer to home, to Thailand, the last place in Asia where gender selection is legal.
There’s a myth that all women secretly want a daughter. Why? The world tells us that they’re calmer, quieter, more passive. They’re more likely to stick around to look after you in old age. You don’t lose them to marriage in quite the same way. They like the “same things” you do – but I don’t think the world has met my daughter, or indeed myself.
But it comes from the deep-seated idea that as a female, a mother will always long for another female to bond and share with.
Before I had children, the feminist in me held me back from ever admitting that boys and girls were really very different. And then I met my son.
He is only two. A little curly-headed whirlwind of terror, constantly moving, trashing, laughing, shouting. He is already a very different child to his big sister, who is no wilting wallflower.
Of course, a lot of that is personality. But when I see him stand on the arm of the sofa and hurl himself off towards the wooden floor with absolutely No Fear, I look at my partner and find myself saying, "He's a boy."
Dinosaurs, trains, cars and trucks. Balls and bikes and planes. These are things that litter my house now.
And it's wonderful to be part of a whole new world, but let's say that I now have a tiny sliver of understanding of what the life of Jodi McMahon was like when she was the mother of seven boys. Seven.