Would you choose the sex of your baby?

IVF and gender selection

A change to national IVF guidelines, which could allow parents to select their baby’s sex for reasons other than medical, is currently being considered.

Fertility specialists are lobbying the National Health and Medical Research Council to let parents use IVF for their third child to balance their families with boys and girls.

Opponents of the change argue concerns about the social and cultural impacts of gender selection, referencing examples such as China and its highly criticised one child policy.

Current law regarding gender selection for non-medical reasons prohibits it in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

This has led to desperate parents sometimes deciding to undertake medical treatment overseas.

Should the laws be changed, the process of gender selection would be similar to IVF procedures. Embryos that display certain sex indicators would be selected and implanted.

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