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AUSTRALIAN couples are flocking to a US fertility clinic that allows them to chose not only the sex of their child, but "cosmetic" features such as hair and eye colour.

California-based Dr Jeffrey Steinberg says he has spoken to 14 Australian couples this month, as the latest controversial advances in the field of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) come online.

"It's an advance of the technology and whenever there's an advance you can see the good side of it and the bad side of it," says Dr Steinberg, of The Fertility Institutes.

"The good side of it is there are children born with albinism, they are unable to make eye pigment, they are vulnerable to ultra-violet light and a good number of them end up blind.

"We started out trying to help these albino children and in the process we're learning how to predict eye colour."

The controversial side, Dr Steinberg agrees, is that parents can now be told the likely hair and eye colour of a future child as they make a decision on which of their fertilised embryos will...