Should couples have the right to choose the gender of their child?

Should couples have the right to choose the gender of their child?

A leading Sydney in vitro fertilisation specialist has backed a couple's request to be allowed to choose the sex of their next baby.

Professor Mark Bowman said Sydney IVF clinic received several inquiries a week about the procedure, with ''maybe a handful a month'' going overseas for treatment.

He was responding to reports yesterday that a Victorian couple had aborted twin boys conceived by IVF in their quest to have a girl. They have three boys, and a baby daughter died in unknown circumstances.

Since 2005, couples are only allowed to select for sex in limited circumstances, for example if there is a serious risk of genetic disease.

Professor Bowman said couples should have the right to choose.

''It is a fairly bureaucratic system that decides that they can't have appropriate and competent treatment to help them get pregnant again with a girl. This is a decision they can make themselves, choose to undertake the treatment themselves and self-fund … I think it is sad to be denied appropriate and compassionate care.'