New Zealand parents involved in IVF programs could soon be allowed to choose the sex of their child if the government follows the advice of its Bioethics Council.
The council, a ministerial advisory committee, on Thursday handed the government a key report which said individuals were in the best position to make decisions about sex selection.
But the stance has drawn fire from the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Centre, which said parenthood was not about "ordering" children to meet specifications.
The report - titled Who Gets Born? - says the gender of embryos created outside the mother's body under programs such as IVF should be chosen by parents, allowing them to gender-balance their families, The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.
The council's recommendations relate specifically to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, when embryos are created outside the womb so they can be tested for likely inherited genetic conditions.
Under laws introduced in 2004, sex selection is banned in New Zealand except where it is part of treatment for a genetic disorder or disease.
It is also banned in Australia and the United Kingdom, but is allowed in the United States.
Read it all here.