By Peta Hellard
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GAY couples from Western Australia are heading to the United States to order designer babies for up to $133,000 each.
IVF pioneer Jeffrey Steinberg said an increasing number of gay Australians were visiting his Californian fertility centre to start a family and sidestep Australian law which prohibits surrogacy.
"We see about two or three gay couples from Australia each month and that's about a five-fold increase over the last two years,'' he told The Sunday Times.
"We get some from Perth. They come from all across Australia.''
Dr Steinberg said 75-80 percent of gay couples who came to him wanted to choose the sex of their baby using the controversial IVF procedure and embryo screening known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
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This is a little surprising. We would have thought that Australia would be a little easy-going about surrogacy. And we would have thought that Hawaii would be a better destination for: A) IVF and B) quasi-ethical gender preference techniques. The term ‘designer baby’ may be thrown around too much. Tom Ford isn’t creating your baby. Nor is Dr. Frankenstein. They are using a technique that increases the chance for the baby to be one gender or the other. Fine, fine, it walks a fine line. It’s interesting that 65-70 percent of males choose a male child. We know that everyone wants a ‘real’ baby, but why don’t more couples in Australia (and elsewhere) go for adoption or figure out a way to impregnate one of these horny New Zealanders. It could be fodder for a remake of the Will Arnett-Will Forte vehicle The Brothers Solomon.