With the concept of gender selection becoming increasingly common in the Western world, couples from UAE have also started undergoing PGD treatments to conceive a baby of their chosen sex. The high accuracy in the procedure has meant that people are increasingly trying the treatment.
The family balancing is now becoming more and more important to people living in the modern age. There are examples of a mother wanting to improve the quality of her life with the companionship of a daughter. She already has 4 sons but with them being married and moving on, the mother felt the need to try gender selection to conceive a daughter.
Couples who have children with one dominant sex are more likely to consider choosing gender selection treatment in Dubai, Adu Dhabi and in other UAE regions for balancing their families.
The PGD treatment with IVF is not only for people who want to balance families. Others undergo the procedure for medical reasons. If there is a high likelihood of genetic related disease then PGD with IVF can help eradicate such diseases and this is the motivation for many.
The treatment can also help women who have a history of frequent miscarriages of their babies. They can be helped by the treatment to conceive a healthy baby.
Although the PGD/ IVF treatment in UAE is allowed in circumstances where the sex of the baby is known, there is no law that deals with sex selection specifically.
In countries such as India and China, selecting the gender of a baby is clearly prohibited. In India, the government is concerned that the couples will abuse the procedure to conceive males over females since some give males a preference over females.
For the Chinese government the belief is that the policy of only having child will potentially lead to couples preferring a male over females to carry on the family name.
But sex selection is not all bad. It can be beneficial in certain situations, especially in countries such as India. It is still not uncommon to find many cases of women aborting their children because they found out that they had conceived a female. This practice alone poses risks from a medical perspective. For example an abortion at a later stage of pregnancy can be fatal to the mother. Would be not be better for couples who are determined to conceive a baby of their choice to choose the sex at the preconception stage instead of an abortion later stage? This would not only be medically safer but also ethically much more acceptable.
So for the UAE, it would be better that there is no specific legislation against selecting the gender of a baby. The treatment can save marriages from breaking up and lead to better quality of life for people. It is not uncommon to here of men from the UAE to re-marrying because their previous wife (or wives) has failed to give birth to a boy. There are some cases where males have re-married multiple times to achieve the goal of having a baby boy. This is because in the UAE and the Arab region in general, having a male to succeed the family name and responsibility is given a big importance. Having the choice of selecting the gender of a baby in UAE and the Arab world inhibits such family problems and gives people more freedom.
The Islamic view can be understood to not disallow a fertility treatment of this nature. Some would interpret the Sharia law to offer no objection, since the soul of the baby is not destroyed when a few days old embryo of the undesired gender is destroyed. Some experts of Sharia law would go as far as to cite Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) which suggest that that the baby is created in a mother and the “breath of life” is blown into him after some time.
As far as the UAE law is concerned, the main requirement is that the unwanted embryos must be destroyed to ensure that they are not used in the future. This rule is enforced with a tough stance and the penalty from not adhering to the UAE law can be strict.
As far as ethics are concerned, the parents should make every effort to ensure that they are building a family naturally. This may not always be possible for women who are of an older age (and hence less fertile) and need the PGD/ IVF treatment to conceive successfully. But the bottom line is that the case for choosing the sex of a baby in an UAE clinic seems valid for many who are trying to balance a family or struggling to conceive at all.
The couple looking to choose the sex of their baby in UAE should choose a clinic that has sufficient experience in carrying out the procedure. The clinic should sufficiently educate the couples about the preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and how it is combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and how it works from start to finish.