As I write this article there is a home baby gender test available over the internet, which will determine the sex of your baby at just 6 weeks into your pregnancy.
We have decided to try for another baby, and although I'm more than happy with my one daughter I've always hoped that one day I'd have a son also. If we managed to conceive today, I could find out if that were likely to be a reality in just 6 weeks time.
The test which has been available to US residents since 2006 is now available in the UK and costs £189 with a promise of 99% accuracy. A drop of blood is needed from a finger prick test, and is then sent back to the lab. The result is sent by post, or you can get the result on-line which I guess takes the headline 6 weeks to 6 weeks and a few (4 to 6) days.
A pregnancy is usually measured from the date of the last menstrual period, the 6 weeks this baby gender test talks about is 6 weeks from conception. Add to this the time to send back your test and the 4 to 6 day wait for the result and you are talking more like 8 or 9 weeks.
Clare and I initially disagreed as to whether we would do this test. The truth will come out if we are lucky enough to conceive this year, perhaps I will change my mind. Oddly it was Clare who was for the test and I was against it. My reason is that there is so much that can go wrong in the first 3 months of pregnancy, and even after that. If I knew the sex of the foetus I would form much more of an attachment and any problem with the pregnancy would be amplified.
When we started this Bringemup.com Website we decided we would try a lot of things out (baby swimming, baby yoga, etc.) to provide information to our visitor from real parents. So perhaps we will take the test despite my misgivings.
The obvious ethical issue is that you could select the sex of your baby by terminating the pregnancy based on the results of this 6 week baby gender test.
I know it is scientifically possible to select the gender of a foetus by separating out the X and Y chromosome carrying sperm. Perhaps I'd go for this if I had 3 girls and still no boys, but that is a million miles away from culling female pregnancies which to most would seem plain wrong. Perhaps there is an argument for this if the parents carry some terrible genetic disorder that only effects one particular gender, but to cull based just on sex just doesn't sit right.
Although the idea of terminating a pregnancy based on gender alone is something I would never consider, I think Henry VIII may disagree. So I do think it will happen.
If we do strike it lucky in the next few weeks, and Clare manages to change my mind (which isn't unusual) we will post an article about our experience. If you are thinking of taking the test here is the link to the website and perhaps you would like to send us an article to post on bringemup.com about your experience with the test.