Parents should be allowed to choose babys sex, say MPs

Slippery slope to designer babies or just a harmless way to help couples get the family they want?

Parents should be allowed to choose the sex of their unborn child, a group of influential MPs will recommend this week.

A report by the all-party Commons science and technology committee will say parents having fertility treatment should have the right to decide the sex of the embryo to be implanted.

A member of the committee told The Telegraph: "There is very little evidence that allowing parents to choose the sex of their child would have any imbalancing effect on society.

"That might be the case in, for instance, China, but we have seen no evidence that it would here and unless someone comes up with that evidence we don't see why parents' choice should be restricted."

It is understood that leading members of the committee feel far too many decisions have been taken by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the Government watchdog in charge of regulating fertility treatment.

"We need a scientific debate, based on the evidence," the MP said. "It is no way to run such an important part of people's lives by relying on Government regulation and taking cases through the courts.

"We have been looking at how burning subjects can be regulated by listening to professionals and ethicists, but without taking sides.

"We should not be so judgmental and we should consider much more what parents and clinicians think."

The report, Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law, is due out on Thursday and committee members have admitted it will be "radical".

One said: "We have asked 'why' and 'why not' and where necessary, recommended changes in the law."

Another said: "There has been a lot of emotional and religious involvement which may not be appropriate. There must be evidence for these arguments.

"There has not been enough evidence-gathering, and far too much emotional response - science and medicine need to become a bigger part.

"There is an argument that physical characteristics are in any case chosen when you choose your partner."

The report maintains that "parents rather than the state must be assumed to be the right decision-makers for their families".

But the committee is split over the recommendations with a minority of MPs arguing that the report has not taken enough account of ethical considerations.

Dr Ian Gibson, the Norwich North Labour MP who heads the committee, told The Telegraph: "This is the result of a lot of work. We have heard a number of exaggerated versions and believe we have taken a balanced attitude in the report."

Lord Winston, professor at the department for reproductive medicine at Hammersmith Hospital, London, said: "In vitro fertilisation is too complicated, too expensive and too involved for parents just wanting to choose the sex of their baby."

Another of the controversial elements is the committee's contention that parents undergoing fertility treatment should be allowed to choose "disease-free" embryos.

The MPs also suggest that scientists should be allowed to implant human embryos into animals for research.

"Beyond animal welfare arguments, it is not clear why this should be any more unacceptable than flushing the embryo down the sink, which is its likely alternative fate."

The report also proposes that rules banning human reproductive cloning should be looked at again.

Julia Millington, from the Pro-Life Alliance, said the criteria for obtaining IVF treatment were already too relaxed and made the acquisition of a human life similar to a "couture product".

She said: "It is worrying where you encourage a society that creates children with certain characteristics because it will inevitably lead down the road of choosing other characteristics.

"We are in danger of eliminating the boundaries."

MP's recommend allowing couples to choose babies sex


Trying to play God again. No doubt it'll be favoured by the trendies.
All the Asians will have boys so as to save on the dowery.


Fatty BBC claims to be pregnant. Wonder if her offspring will recieve her pie gene?
Utter shite... What next... choice of hair colour. Beam me up Scotty!


Kit Reviewer
pompadour said:
Utter shite... What next... choice of hair colour. Beam me up Scotty!
Very good point.
Now perhaps we can rid the planet of Gwas.
Biscuits_AB said:
Trying to play God again. No doubt it'll be favoured by the trendies
Look on the bright side - might cut down on the numbers of gay and lesbian? Surely no parent would want one of those?

(Now going into hiding for a week or two)
I can only see a point to this if the parents are carrying genes that could cause problems in children of a particular sex. I can't remember specific conditions where this happens but I do remember hearing that there are some.
Doesn't take much imagination to suss out the consequences.. just look at China.. they had a repressive one family one kid policy.. most ' opted ' to make sure it was male.. now the country has a whackload of young men with no prospect of marriage because of a severe shortage of females.. [guess they'll all have to turn gay, then...]

serious result is a major economic problem...

on a nother note, if cloning/designer gene pool dipping is allowed.I can see thay day when, if not the state, then a large segment of society will be dabbling in eugenics every bit as bad as ol [ him again ] Hitler envisioned.. after all which parents wouldn't want their kid to grow up big, tall, handsome, healthy.. more want the 'boy ' to look like Superman than Woody Allen..that's a given...reminds me of that less than steller movie - Gattica - and a host of other B-film scenarios...

and wait until some nutbar of a tip pot dioctator starts designing soldiers for the fatherland [ Turkmenistan's President for Life? - if you can pass a law to change the names of the days and months to those of your family, you can do anything ]...

Freedom of Choice, indeed...

Doctor: And how would you like your child?
Mother-to-be: oh,.. blue eyes of course, and blond wavy hair, and just a touch of mathematical ability, but not nerdy, you know.. sort of an athlete, but not obsessive about his body, and then, maybe an appreciation for art
Father-to-be: A ten inch dick...

glad I won't be around to see the collapse of civilization
I can see there being a shortage of Asian girls before very long, look at China's One Child policy, they reckon that in some places males outnumber females by 20-30%.

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