Parents in the UK may no longer be allowed to discover the sex of their baby before they give birth. Although it’s not a service that every hospital offers, many sonographers will reveal the baby’s sex at the 20-week scan, if you request it and the ultrasound results are clear.
However, new proposals put forward to the European Union (EU) could change all this, preventing medical staff in the UK to withhold this information from parents. A new resolution has been drafted to address the growing concern that babies, particularly in former Soviet states, are being “selectively” aborted because they are not the sex the parents hoped for.
The draft was brought in after it was revealed that several EU member states, particularly Armenia, Azerbaijan and Albania, had a significantly higher proportion of boys than girls born. In Georgia, the ratio is 111 boys for 100 girls born.
But the proposal could mean that all parents-to-be in the UK would be refused details of the sex of their child too, usually available at the 20-week scan. This would mean that parents would be unable to tell siblings if they’re expecting a brother or sister, or plan nursery and room sharing arrangements ahead of the birth.
Some experts, including Dr Gillian Lockwood from Midland Fertility Services, believe the change would make no difference for couples who were determined to find out. There are blood tests available on the internet, which claim to reveal the sex at 7 weeks.
The resolution will be debated by the EU council in October.