Baby Gender Selection Kits A Sham?

For as long as anybody can remember, pink has been in short supply in Moister family closets – it's been four generations since a girl was born on Brian Moister's side of the family.

So after having a son, Moister and his wife Veronica decided on some pre-natal tinkering in an effort to improve their chances.

As CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports, the couple is convinced a kit sold on the Internet by a company called GenSelect is what made the difference. The company claims it can turn picking the sex of your baby from a crapshoot into a slam-dunk.

"We've tallied up a 96 percent success rate," says Jill Sweazy, GenSelect's co-founder.

It's one of a growing number of gender selection products available over the Internet to prospective parents. The established medical community says they all share one thing in common.

"These are scams in the highest tradition of Americana going back to the time of PT Barnum," says fertility specialist Dr. Ralph Kazer.

While there are established and proven medical procedures for gender selection, Kazer says the Internet kits are simply playing the odds.

It's quite easy to exploit this by making and marketing these kits, because half the time, even though these kits don't do anything, the couples will be satisfied," says Kazer.

And what does Sweazy say to the physicians who say her product is nothing more than a sham?

"Opinion's opinion," she says. "You can find someone contrary to antibiotics. We were just granted our United States patent, and they don't grant patents to wives' tales."

In fact, the patent office says issuing a patent doesn't necessarily mean a product works. It mostly means it hasn't been patented before. And, since gender selection kits are essentially unregulated, consumers are pretty much on their own.

GenSelect offers a money-back guarantee, and company officials say they would welcome a large-scale trial to generate proof of what Veronica Moister says she already knows.

"We're not ashamed, and we'll tell our daughter how she was conceived," she says.

But experts say potential parents would do well to remember the doctor's diagnosis before ordering up what's supposed to be a gender selection solution.

"The next time you get pregnant it's 50-50," says Kazer.
  • Jaime Holguin

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