Kim Kardashian and Kanye West stir up discussion on gender selection

Jun 25, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images/Chelsea Lauren

How far would you go to get the child you wanted? Is it ethical to pick and choose?

Kim Kardashian and Kayne West announced not too long ago that they're expecting a second child. The 34-year-old reality star has made it no secret how much of a struggle it has been to conceive. By sharing her journey on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, viewers got a treat during the midseason finale, when Mrs. West revealed on camera she was pregnant. The pair just confirmed a boy will join their family later this year. Kim and Kanye have an adorable 2-year-old daughter named North West.

As exciting as pregnancy news is, Kimye is coming under fire over allegations that they purposely chose the sex of their second child. Outlets like US Weekly are reporting only male embryos were implanted during Kim's IVF treatment that led to her pregnancy. Apparently Kanye wanted a little boy to carry on his family name, while Kim crossed her fingers for one of each sex.

They both deny these claims.

LiveScience notes that sex selection, while not uncommon, can walk the line of ethics — depending on how you use it. The concept of being able to choose whether you have a boy or a girl might sound weird or even creepy to some people, but the reality is, gender selection can help families with a dicey medical history. Science has now made it possible for couples to undergo fertility treatments that allow them to bypass a particular sex more commonly linked to a genetic disorder. Some couples don't want their child to experience or suffer from diseases in their family history, making sex selection a viable and acceptable option.

There's also the idea of "family balancing," where parents request to have one child from each sex. While many might consider this OK, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes this type of sex selection, as it supports "sexist practices." It does, however, support patients who wish to prevent passing on sex-linked diseases.

I'm always amazed at the leaps science continues to make. However, the thought of creating an "à la carte" child seems a little off to me. Sure, I don't mind knowing the sex of my child, but I don't want to choose it — or other options like eye color and hair texture. I definitely understand people not wanting to pass genetic disorders to the next generation, but I think we must be careful with Pandora's box, as it can open up to a Build-a-Bear process that allows us to craft "the perfect child." Some fertility doctors have already begun molding designer babies that in many ways allow them to take on the role of God.

On top of that, sex selection treatments aren't exactly affordable. It's estimated the West clan paid upward of $17,000 to make sure they had a boy. I guess if you have it, you can use it however you like.

As a mother of two little boys, it would be nice to have a girl, but I'm not pressed. My husband and I were blessed with our second son, and that's something we would never change. If we're supposed to parent a girl, we'll have one.

Where do you stand on sex selection?

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