Texas couple with two naturally conceived sons defends doing IVF to have a daughter: Understandable?

Despite never having fertility issues when conceiving their two teenage sons, Texas parents Vincent and Rose Costa spent more than $100,000 on seven rounds of IVF to ensure they would have a daughter.

“I love my boys very much and wouldn’t change them for the world, but having a girl is really important to me,” Rose told The New York Post this week. “You feel incomplete as a mother until you have a girl.”

The practice of using preimplantation gender diagnosis (PGD) to pick a baby’s sex is a hot-button issue these days, especially following reports that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used the method to guarantee they would have a son. Although only 21 percent of Americans polled in 2014 approved of the practice, the Fertility Institute’s Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg estimated 85 percent of IVF clients now do it. (A  doctor interviewed by Page Six put the figure at 10 percent.)

“Most of them don’t have fertility problems—they want to guarantee a boy or girl,” Dr. Steinberg said, adding there has been a 250 percent increase in demand for the services since 2010.



In the Costas’ case, Rose said she began researching gender-selective PGD eight years ago, but waited so the couple would have enough money for the procedure, which costs $16,000 per round. During that time, she used birth control to prevent conceiving another child that may have been a boy. Once they saved enough and began IVF, Rose said they were disappointed when the first batch of embryos proved to be all male.

“I was very upset,” she said, explaining she they donated the five embryos to the clinic. “It wasn’t the outcome I expected.”

During the next round, she was implanted with a female embryo — but, sadly, miscarried at seven weeks. After several more unsuccessful rounds, Rose became pregnant with a girl during the seventh round of treatment.

Now approaching her October due date, Rose said she has no regrets. Still, there are plenty of gender-selective PGD critics.

“It’s the entitlement mentality in overdrive,” said the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network founder Jennifer Lahl. “Children are being made to order like Prada handbags.”

Despite that kind of backlash, Rose told Yahoo Parenting she wanted to speak out so other potential parents could learn more. She explained, “I know it’s something a bit controversial, but I also know that a lot of people, women especially, who have this kind of desire would like to know more about this–how it works and what they could do.”

Do you think gender-selective PGD is understandable or is it a scary glimpse into a dystopian future?

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