Danish company offers gender selection

Ethics council finds the new frontier in family planning questionable

A Danish company offers parents-to-be a sex selection service for their future child. For around 40,000 kroner, couples can choose whether their child will be a girl or a boy.

KirurgiRejser, which also offers plastic surgery and stem cell treatment amongst its other services, has been placing large ads in newspapers offering fertility treatment discounts for Danish couples willing to undergo the procedure in Cyprus, where – unlike in Denmark – gender selection is legal.

Big promises
Advertisements promise that at the Cypriot clinic couples both choose their baby's sex and avoid it getting hereditary diseases, and that there is no waiting period for donor eggs.

Søren Ziebe, the head of the Rigshospitalet Fertility Clinic, expressed his outrage in Jyllands-Posten:

"This is the first time that I have seen these kinds of deals for Danes, and I find it reprehensible that people would gender sort, simply because they have a desire for a specific gender," he said.

"Moreover, the technique that the clinic uses to sort sperm is undocumented and no-one knows the possible long-term effects.”

Growing popularity
But according to company director Atef El-Kher, several Danish couples have already approached KirurgiRejser in response to the ad, and another 200 Danes have already found their way to the Cypriot clinic in the last four to five years – some of whom were there for the gender selection treatment.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority lawyer Frank Wendelbo-Madsen says the agency will investigate the legality of the ads.