Asians Using Clinics to Choose Sex of Their Child

Published on
September 26, 2009

The yearning for a male child in some Asian cultures -- Indian, Korean and Chinese in particular – runs deep. A male child is perceived as someone who will be a breadwinner when he grows up and take care of his parents in their old age, someone who will also continue the family line. In India, a girl child is viewed as a net loss to the family, mostly because when she is given away in marriage, she is expected to bring with her a dowry, a practice that still persists, despite the fact that it was banned in that country many years ago.

My story will focus on how when it comes to planning a family, many immigrants from South Asia bring with them these beliefs to the United States. That has resulted in a global market for fertility clinics. These clinics advertise in a number of ethnic publications in the U.S., as well as in airline magazines.

As a National Health Journalism Fellow, I plan to research this subject, focusing on the South Asian community.