Abortion is OK but selecting the sex of a baby is not?

A COUPLE who have had their bid to choose the sex of their child rejected by VCAT say they may go overseas in their desperation for a baby girl.

The couple, who are still grieving for a baby girl they lost at birth, had appealed the Patient Review Panel's decision against their wish to select sex by IVF treatment.

The panel - an independent, hospital-based authority - ruled that under Victoria's 2008 Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act, any conflict between the welfare of the child to be born and the health of the person undergoing assisted reproduction must be resolved in favour of the child.

"They (the couple) believe having a child of the same sex as the one who died would assist their recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder, or assist their psychological health or wellbeing," the VCAT judgment read. "The tribunal was not satisfied the matters relied upon by the applicants gave paramountcy to the welfare and interests of the child to be born."

The couple, who have three children, said they may go overseas to fulfil their wish. "We expected that result. We were trying to do the right thing and do it here in Australia and it looks like they're stuck in the 1980s on the panel," the father said.

"I can understand that a woman coming off the street and asking for that, they'd say no. But this isn't about choosing the sex, it's about the chance of having a child we should have had, that we lost.

"The pressure is on for change. The legalities will eventually catch up with the science. We have to move with the times."

All IVF clinics in Australia must stay within National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines that say sex selection should not be done, except to reduce the transmission of a serious genetic condition.


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