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Sikh News Uk Couple 'abandoned Ivf Twins Because They Were Girls


Nov 4, 2007
Reports that a British couple abandoned twin girls after IVF treatment in India because they were the wrong gender have been disputed by an NHS trust.

The Sun reported that the mother, 59, and father, 72, who are Indian-born British citizens, travelled to India for fertility treatment that would not have been allowed in the UK because of their age.

The babies were born by Caesarean section in Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital a fortnight ago after which - the newspaper reported - the parents, who have not been named, told medical staff that they were of "the wrong sex".

The Sun said that the husband then asked medics how long it would be before his wife was fit enough to fly back to India for more IVF treatment in the hope of getting a boy to continue the family name.

But today NHS West Midlands, the strategic health authority involved, disputed the report. In a statement it confirmed the details of the twins' birth and the fact that they had been transferred to a Birmingham hospital closer to their parents' home.

"The parents are visiting their daughters whilst they are being cared for in hospital and are attentive to their needs," the statement said.

"For patient confidentiality reasons, the identity of the family and the babies are not being disclosed. The identity of the hospital is also not being disclosed.

"We are not aware of a referral to social services."

A spokeswoman for the authority refused to give any further details or to say how regularly the parents had been visiting the babies since their birth. The Sun had reported that the parents had not visited them at all.

A spokeswoman for New Cross Hospital said: "We can confirm a pair of twins were born at New Cross Hospital. They were healthy and well. They were born here because the maternity (facility) where the parents were living was busy, so a few days later they were transferred to a Birmingham hospital, where the parents were living."

Both Birmingham Council’s social services department and West Midlands Police said that they were not involved.

Countries such as India are known to display a cultural preference for sons. An investigation by the BBC Asian Network last year showed that between 1990 and 2005 almost 1,500 fewer girls were born to Indian mothers in England and Wales than would have been expected for that group.

John Paul Maytum, spokesman for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which licenses and monitors IVF clinics, said that treatment in the UK was regulated to ensure babies’ welfare.

He said: "Under UK law, before anybody is given treatment, there’s a requirement that the doctor must take account of the welfare of any children born. You’re making sure that the children will go into a safe and loving environment. If the doctor has any doubts about that then they shouldn’t give treatment - that’s part of the British system."

He added that sex selection of embryos for social reasons was illegal in the UK, and surveys showed that 80 per cent of people were opposed to the practice.

IVF treatment on the NHS is subject to guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which recommend a mother judged eligible should be offered up to three cycles of IVF if she is between 23 and 39-years-old at the time of treatment.

Source: IVF twins - NHS trust disputes claims - Times Online
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