Parents will be able to choose the sex of their baby under new legislation

Parents will be able to choose the sex of their baby under new legislation

PROPOSED new legislation will allow parents to choose the sex of their baby in future.

A parents right to decide the gender of their baby will be part of the first law regulating fertility treatments and will permit couples to only implant a healthy embryo in the womb.

The technique is known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

The law will be brought in an attempt to limit the passing on of serious inherited diseases.

Up until now, fertility clinics and treatments have not been subject to any regulation. The new legislation will allow for the setting up of an overall watchdog called the Assisted Human Regulatory Authority.

Other proposals within the new legislation include the allowing of surplus embryos to be used for research, providing the consent of parents.


Women will be allowed to be assessed for fertility treatment up to the age of 47 years. There will be no age restriction for men.

According to, Department of Health chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan spoke about the new initiative before the Oireachtas Health Committee yesterday: “Sex selection would only be permitted where there is a significant risk of a child being born with a serious genetic disease.”

Dr Holohan also stated that the level of State subsidy for people undergoing treatments – which currently cost thousands of euro a cycle and must be paid for privately – had yet to be determined.

Surrogacy will be permitted but no money can change hands.