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Sunday, 4 March, 2001, 16:28 GMT
IVF treatment fails baby choice couple
Mastertons graphic
Nicole and her parents
A Scottish couple's efforts to have a baby girl by undergoing specialist fertility treatment are reported to have failed.

Alan and Louise Masterton of Monifieth, near Dundee, spent 6,000, at a clinic in Rome, Italy, on in vitro fertilisation and pre-gender diagnosis treatment to help them have another girl.

They wanted another girl after they lost their three-year-old daughter Nicole in July 1999 after she died from severe injuries suffered in a bonfire accident at the family home in May.

The couple, both 42, have four sons and last year they said they wanted to use European Convention on Human Rights legislation to gain permission to have special treatment in the UK.

Alan Masterton
Alan Masterton: "Not seeking to replace Nicole"
However, the couple were forced to seek help overseas and after treatment, in Italy, in July they only succeeded in creating a male embryo.

That embryo has been frozen and will be donated to an infertile couple.

Mrs Masterton told the Scottish Mail on Sunday she was "devastated" by the failure.

She said: "It was a chance that we had to take but one we cannot afford to try again.

"We were devastated after living in hope for three days that the fertilised embryo could have been a girl."

Her husband also spoke of their frustration that they could not undergo the treatment in the UK.

Mr Masterton said: "It is outrageous that, despite this treatment being available in Britain, we had to travel abroad.

'Heal our family'

"We could only do that once, yet for the same money we could have had three treatments here."

Mr Masterton also rejected criticism of their focus on having another girl.

He said: "We are against so-called designer children and we are not seeking to replicate Nicole.

"What we are seeking to do is heal our family and return the female element to it."

The couple had been trying for a daughter for 15 years before Nicole was born and Mrs Masterton was sterilised after the birth.

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See also:

23 Oct 00 | Scotland
The Mastertons webcast: transcript
18 Oct 00 | Scotland
Couple angered by baby ruling
04 Oct 00 | Scotland
Baby sex choice battle
13 Mar 00 | Scotland
Baby sex choice couple speak out
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