Dozens of British women a year are flying to the United States and paying thousands of pounds to select the sex of their baby, it has emerged.
As gender selection is banned in the UK, couples desperate to balance their family by adding a boy or girl are flying to New York or Los Angeles.
Earlier this year The Telegraph discovered that doctors were granting women illegal abortions based on the sex of their children. It led to Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, launching an inquiry.
Doctors at fertility clinics check the women's fertilised eggs and then implant an embryo into them - after checking that the child will have the required gender.
Patients from other parts of Europe are also jetting to the States to ensure the sex of their baby.
One doctor offering the service, British-trained Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, says he currently helps around 40 British couples a year. Altogether he has assisted 400 British women since he began offering the service a few years ago.
Dr Steinberg, whose main clinic is in New York: "New York is only a seven or eight-hour flight from most of Europe, so it works very well for those from Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the Middle East."
Dr Steinberg offers a technique called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
A welcome message on his website says: "If you want to be certain your next child will be the gender you are hoping for, no other method comes close to the reliability of PGD.
"While traditional sperm-screening techniques have a success rate of 60 to 70 percent, only PGD offers virtually 100 percent accuracy."
The website adds: "Unlike many programmes offering sex selection only to very limited couples with known genetic disorders in the family, we make sex selection available to all patients.
"Parents have come to us from nearly every nation on the planet -- we have assisted patients from 147 different nations -- seeking to balance their families or assure themselves that a pregnancy will result in only the gender outcome they desire."
Gender selection is banned in Britain under the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. British law only allows gender testing where there is a family history of serious physical or mental medical conditions which are gender related.
(Read byCJ Henderson. CJ Henderson is a journalist at the China Daily Website.)