The first gay couple in the UK to be recognized as parents on a birth certificate have come to America to ensure they have a girl.  Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow went to a U.S. IVF clinic and have hired a surrogate mother at the cost of £65,000 to “balance” their family with another girl.  They have to travel to the Brave New United States because, like in most sensible countries, sex selection is illegal in the UK.  From The Daily Mail:

Britain’s first gay fathers have have spent £65,000 travelling to the U.S. so they can undergo IVF treatment which will ensure their next child is a girl.

Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, from Chelmsford, Essex, hit the headlines 12 years ago when they they became they became the first same-sex couple to be legally recognised in the UK.

They have used a surrogate mother and egg donors to father four boys and a girl, spending more than £1 million in the process, but they are now desperate for another daughter and have looked to overseas fertility specialists so they can choose the baby’s sex.

It is currently illegal to use IVF in the UK for sex selection purposes other than for medical reasons.

Two weeks ago, three embryos were implanted in a surrogate mother in California that the pair chose to provide their new baby.

Personally, I think dressing your kids in lederhosen and a dirndl to recreate the Von Trapps in a family photo might just be considered child abuse.

But seriously, I am not sure what disturbs me more: the fact that these two men probably created a bunch of little human lives and just threw out the ones that were boys in their quest for a girl, or the fact that they have intentionally created children to have 2 fathers and no mother, or the way they talk about their children as if the kids are fun toys, or even pets, to spend money on:

The millionaire dad added: “We can’t wait to spoil our new daughters. I want to buy them pink Prada dresses and babygros.

‘We will recycle too. We are going to use Saffron’s old wicker crib from Harrods, which cost £5,000, and divide one of the £100,000 diamond necklaces she does not wear any more into individual pieces for the babies.

‘And we want to decorate the nursery as a rainforest!’

…Whichever way they achieve their dream of a new daughter, they have promised to spoil the newcomer.

He said: “Saffron’s clothes come from every designer from Gucci and Karen Millen and she has 500 pairs of shoes.

‘We spent £50,000 having her room designed like a swanky London flat with a 39-inch plasma TV and furniture from Harrods. The boys are not as bothered about clothes, but we get them the latest iPads and laptops.

Oh well, if you recycle the crib and those diamond necklaces and decorate the nursery as a rain forest then by all means do whatever it takes to have a girl!  Because, after all, boys don’t like clothes.

This is the problem with the notion of “family balancing.”  It is flat out gender discrimination disguised in shiny “It’s for the family” wrapping paper.

Here is a newsflash: children are not accessories to “complete” your “family outfit.”

Every time I hear some one defending IVF and PGD or abortion so they can “balance” their family, I want to scream the phrase every toddler knows by heart, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!”  Wise words that many adults would do well to take to heart.

Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly