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Australians Traveling to the U.S. for Gender Selection

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Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, December 16, 2015

With gender selection illegal in Australia since 2004, more and more Australians are traveling to the United States to choose the sex of their baby. Dr. Daniel Potter, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility, sees approximately 20 Australian couples a month, a number that has doubled in the past four years. In September, Potter traveled to Australia for a reunion with 60 families he treated.

Potter, who practices in Fullerton and Newport Beach, CA, says most couples he sees are using family balancing to have a daughter; they already have more than one son. “Patients come from other countries to do gender selection because the United States is one of the few countries where gender selection is permitted,” he says. He views it as a “reproductive freedom.”

Family balancing requires women to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic screening (PGS):

  • Fertility drugs are taken to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs
  • The eggs are retrieved and placed with sperm for fertilization
  • The resulting embryos are tested with PGS to determine which embryos have the correct number of chromosomes, and the embryos’ gender
  • The embryo of the desired gender is transferred back into the woman’s uterus
  • The woman will be monitored and two weeks later will have a pregnancy test

“For patients traveling from outside the United States for gender selection, we will do a phone or Skype consultation and we’ll arrange for them to start fertility drugs and do monitoring in the country in which they live,” Potter says. “Then they come to the United States usually for about 12 days for the egg retrieval, fertilization, PGS and embryo transfer. Patients are able to return to their home country two-to-three days after the embryo transfer and have pregnancy tests and follow ups in their home country, and we will monitor that remotely.” The cost of one cycle is approximately $15,000.

HRC Fertility has a concierge service to help traveling patients find flights, arrange ground transportation, and locate hotels.


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