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FRISCO, Texas — Would you pay $100,000 to pick the gender of your baby?
That’s the price one Texas couple was happy to pay in order to ensure their third child was a girl. But the monetary cost was just the beginning — the three-year ordeal involved seven rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) for the couple, who already has two sons and no history of infertility.
What may seem extreme to some — let’s face it, most — people is completely acceptable to Rose and Vincent Costa. Particularly to Rose, who said she was willing to do whatever it took to finally get her daughter.
“You feel incomplete as a mother until you have a girl,” the 37-year-old computer database developer told the New York Post.
Rose Costa — who is four months pregnant with a daughter they’re calling Olivia — has dreamed about having a girl since she was a child. An only girl herself, she grew up with two brothers and then gave birth to two sons — 15-year-old Gabriel and 13-year-old Igor.
You feel incomplete as a mother until you have a girl.
While Costa was happy with the life she had up to this point, she still felt the hole that could only be filled by a daughter, according to Yahoo Parenting.
“I love my boys very much and wouldn’t change them for the world, but having a girl is really important to me,” she said.
Vincent Costa knew he wanted a third child, but gender wasn’t really important to him, Yahoo reported. When Rose miscarried a girl two years ago after several failed rounds of treatment, Vincent pulled her through.
“He told me that he knew how much I wanted a girl, so he supported me,” Rose Costa said. “He always kept saying, ‘Let’s try. You can do one more time.’”
While she’s finally getting her wish, Rose acknowledges that that path she and her husband chose is a controversial one. Known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis — or PGD — the treatment tests the embryos for gender and then allows parents to decide which embryos are transferred to the mother’s uterus.
In this case, the Costas only transferred female embryos. The unused embryos can be frozen, donated or destroyed.
“I know it’s something a bit controversial, but I also know a lot of people, women especially, who have this kind of desire would like to know more about this; how it works and what they could do,” Rose Costa said.
The couple also used birth control in between treatments to squash the risk of becoming pregnant with a boy, Yahoo reported.
The controversial “designer baby” procedures are banned in some European countries, as well as China and India. Critics cry foul ethics.
It's the entitlement mentality in overdrive. Children are being made to order like Prada handbags.
“It’s the entitlement mentality in overdrive,” Jennifer Lahl — founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network — told the Post. “Children are being made to order like Prada handbags.”
Despite strong opposition, more parents are opting to choose blue or pink.
Doctors like Jeffrey Steinberg fancy themselves “gender specialists.” Steinberg, who owns practices in New York and Los Angeles, told the Post about 85 percent of his IVF patients come to him specifically to choose the sex of their babies.
PGD costs about $4,000, in addition to the average IVF price tag of $15,000 to $20,000, according to the Post.
While the process was long, often disappointing and extremely expensive, Rose Costa said she has no regrets. Her sons are on board as well, something she appreciates.
“They’re older now and understand it better,” she told Yahoo Parenting. “They know it’s important for me to have a girl, so they give me all their support.”
Little Olivia Costa is expected to make her grand debut on Oct. 31.