Sex or gender selection has been banned in Britain since 1993. In 2003, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) carried out a year long consultation on the issue and concluded that the ban should be made even stricter.
The current position, it that gender secretion is only allowed in the UK for exceptional medical reasons. The procedure will only be legally acceptable in cases such as where it can be used to avoid the birth of a child with a sex-linked genetic disorder. In these rare instances, you will be able to have gender selection on the NHS.
However, MHS funding for sex selection is not seen as a priority, and therefore waiting lists can be very long. Be prepared to wait for several months before receiving approval for funding.
You can have gender selection for medical reasons at many private clinics throughout the UK. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is available at a number of fertility centres in England, Wales, scotland and Northern Ireland. PGD can help identify genetic defects and improve the chances of conceiving a healthy baby. But once again, any form of sex selection during this process will only be allowed for the medical reasons. PGD costs in the region of £1000 to £2000 in the UK. For combined PGD and IVF, expect to pay anything from £6000 to £9000.
Laws regulating gender selection are less strict in many other countries around the world. In territories as the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica, sex selection is allowed even in cases without medical reasons. This has led to several UK couples travelling abroad to choose the sex of their baby. This kind of treatment costs well over £10,000 in the US, although prices are somewhat cheaper in South America.
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