"I'd Rather Have a Girl." Is Gender Preference Ok?

Family Matters on 11.09.12
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My husband and I are "in talks" about having a baby. This would be our first child together; Trey has two kids from his first marriage, and I have a daughter from mine. We're still not sure about the logistics- whether we would adopt or try biology. But one thing I know for sure, if I could choose the child's gender, I'd want a girl. 

When I tell people this, they laugh nervously or seem shocked, like I've broken the mom code. Of course if I had a boy, I would fall hopelessly in love with him too. But given the choice, I'd prefer a girl. For hundreds of years, all over the globe, mothers have prayed for boys. In some parts of India today, women pay for illegal gender testing and then abort baby girls. Even in the United States, a Gallup poll two years ago, showed more moms hoped for boys than girls.

I like the idea of resisting the cultural preference for boys, and I also just love women and girls. Not to mention the obvious fact that I am one. My preference doesn't stem from a desire to dress her in tights and dresses; I despise pink hair bows. I've had an incredibly special experience raising my daughter, and I share such a strong bond with my mother that I can't imagine wanting anything different. Growing up as a sister to three brothers, I pined for a sister close to my age.

On an adoption application, gender is a box to check. Preference girl. Preference boy. No preference. Trey claims he doesn't have a preference, and he'd rather not indicate a choice at all. Of course if we conceived the old fashioned way, we wouldn't have control over the gender of the baby. When I was pregnant with my daughter, Maia, the lab technician first told me I was having a boy. At the time, I was so angry about my (ex)husband's cheating, I couldn't imagine a little man with a penis coming out of me. So the news that my baby was, in fact, a girl made me rejoice.

But now, seven years later, I can see that raising my stepson, Chet, is a wonderful experience. I love him more than I ever imagined possible, and he gives me confidence in my ability to raise boys. He and Maia are close despite their five year age gap, and I credit Chet for drawing Maia out of her pink princessy phase. Still, the feeling is there in my gut. If I could choose the sex of my baby, I'd choose a girl. I wonder if we go forward with adoption, should I resist and check "no preference" or embrace my desire for another baby girl?   

Photo: jdsmith1021/Creative Commons

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