Op-Ed

The Chinese want boys, and the Canadians want girls. If they have enough money, they come to the United States to choose the sex of their babies.

Well-off foreign couples are getting around laws banning sex selection in their home countries by coming to this country, where it's legal, for medical procedures that can give them the boy, or girl, they want.

"Some people spend $50,000 to $70,000 for a BMW car and think nothing of it, but this is a life that's going to be with us forever," said Robert, an Australian who asked that his last name not be used to protect the family's privacy.

He and his wife, Joanna, have two boys. Now they want a girl. Australia allows sex selection of embryos only to avoid an inherited disease.

The United States' lack of regulation means a growing global market for a few fertility clinics. These businesses advertise in airline magazines or post Web sites aimed at luring clients worldwide.

Opponents said this amounts to medical tourism for designer babies and should alarm lawmakers.

But one doctor...