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03 May

In his spacious, oak-paneled office down the hall, Steinberg is surrounded by photos of his own naturally conceived children. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that still legally allows PGD for prenatal sex selection.

His clinic is the world leader for this gender selection technique, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The procedure was designed in the early 1990s to screen embryos for chromosome-linked diseases.

The average cost of a gender selection procedure at high-profile clinics is about ,000, and an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 procedures are performed every year.

Fertility doctors foresee an explosion in sex-selection procedures on the horizon, as couples become accustomed to the idea that they can pay to beget children of the gender they prefer.

Business quadrupled when Steinberg started advertising PGD for gender selection.

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Simpson was inseminated with the slower sperm that same day.

But then the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a nonprofit organization that attempts to set standards in the industry, came out against prenatal sex selection for nonmedical reasons in 1994.

The group said the practice would promote gender discrimination and was an inappropriate use of medical resources. In 2009, Steinberg came under a worldwide media firestorm when he announced on his website that couples could also choose their baby’s eye and hair color, in addition to gender.

It is illegal for use for nonmedical reasons in Canada, the U. Steinberg’s gender-selection patients are typically around 30 years old, educated, married, middle to upper class.

They also typically have a couple of children already, unlike the women in his waiting room undergoing in vitro fertilization and hoping to conceive any child at all. A 2006 survey by Johns Hopkins University found that 42 percent of fertility clinics offered PGD for gender selection.