Under a sweeping review of Australia’s IVF laws, parents could soon choose their baby’s sex.
Fertility specialists are lobbying the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to allow parents to use IVF to choose the gender of their third child to balance their family.
Professor Ian Olver, chairman of the NHMRC review panel, said parents would not be able to use IVF to choose the gender of their first child unless it was to avoid certain genetic diseases.
The new plans would also exclude parents choosing the gender of their baby for any cultural or racial reason.
“We wouldn’t want to promote any gender bias so that people select the sex of their first child,’’ Professor Olver said.
“I don’t think there would be an appetite for anything that emphasised one gender over another and allowed people, for cultural or racial reasons, to pick one gender.’’
Professor Olver told the Herald Sun, some Australian couples were using IVF clinics in the US and Asia to avoid the current ban on IVF gender-selection in Australia.
Professor Olver said the new rules would allow families to choose the sex of a baby if they already had two or more children of the same gender.
“There’s a difference between that and being able to choose your first child because you want a boy … there are cultures where that sort of thing happens,’’ he said.