Model Danielle Lloyd has sparked a debate over her decision to head to Cyprus to seek gender selection treatment to ensure her next child is a girl.
The treatment is a form of IVF that ensures only embryos of the desired gender are implanted.
The treatment is only used in the UK in the case of certain genetic conditions – using it to select gender is illegal.
The 33-year-old recently welcomed her fourth son – her first with fiancé, Michael O’Neill. The father of her three older sons is Danielle’s ex-husband, Jamie O’Hara.
Speaking to Fabulous magazine, Danielle said she’s planning to head to Cyprus next year to have the £15,000 treatment.
The former Miss Great Britain has spoken about her intentions before – telling OK! Magazine she wanted her fifth child to be a girl, earlier this year.
When asked if she would consider gender selection she said, “I think so. I’ve always dreamt of having a little girl.
“If we did have another one I’d like it quite soon. I wouldn’t want to be pregnant at 40 and it’s nice for the kids to be close in age.”
She said she was already thinking of having another child: “When you’re in labour you think, never again, but just a few days later you’re thinking about having more!
“Having Ronnie has made me and Michael more of a unit, more complete as a family, and I think another baby, a little girl especially, would only cement that more.”
She clarified more after the interview, saying, “It’s always been my dream to have a girl but I’d be fine with the four boys.
“Michael wants another baby, but I wouldn’t risk another boy. He’s looked at gender selection, so we could do that.”
Her controversial choice was discussed on this morning’s Loose Women, with some viewers expressing their outrage – many claiming that being able to conceive naturally should be good enough.
The show ran a poll asking if you should be able to choose your baby’s gender, with 84% of responders saying no.
“NO, WE SHOULD BE GREATFUL(sic) THAT WE CAN HAVE CHILDREN, MANY PEOPLE DON’T GET THIS OPPORTUNITY IN LIFE,” one viewer responded.
“No, Be Grateful for what you have been given! Many women don’t get this opportunity in life,” said another.
“No we should not,many are unable to have children, I had trouble myself but I was blessed with two children, having a child is one of the greatest gifts, we should not be allowed to choose the gender just like that,” one fan tweeted.
But there were a couple of fans sympathetic to Danielle’s situation.
One supporter responded “If Danielle wants gender selection, so she should. She has four boys, a good mum, who can afford to have another child. If a little girl is longed for then why not? Every child is a blessing, and this should be judged on individual circumstances. #medicalinterventionamazing!”
“At the end of the day if you can afford to pay for gender selection, especially when you already have 4 children of the same sex, why not, it’s harming no-one. I am sure she’s not the first person to have this but the first to speak openly otherwise the clinics would not exist,” said another.
The panelists expressed sympathy for Danielle’s yearning to have a daughter, but questioned her decision to take matters into her own hands.
Nadia Sawalha said the procedure is “illegal here for a really good reason,” while guest panellist Rebekah Vardy said it “isn’t something I’d want to do,” emphasising how many people struggle to conceive in the first place.
But Danielle held fast to her decision, giving a prepared statement on the show defending her choice – and suggesting it’s more common than people realise.
“I’m not sure why anyone would deny us this,” she said. “I’ve always wanted a girl, I totally appreciate the fact that some women aren’t lucky enough to have children and might think I’m selfish.
“Michael and I will go abroad for gender selection, I don’t doubt that many celebrities do it, but not many people say it.”