Aggregated News

AUSTRALIAN parents who want to choose the gender of their children have been locked into expensive overseas treatments after a push by local fertility specialists to green-light the controversial technique has stalled.

The first comprehensive poll of the nation's attitudes towards gender selection shows only one in five people support the technique.

The findings reveal the public is significantly out of step with the opinions of the country's leading IVF doctors, who almost universally believe the option should be available to all parents.

One of the country's leading IVF experts, Professor Gab Kovacs, who initiated the polling, said it appeared the nation simply had too many ethical reservations about gender selection and were afraid it would create a slippery slope to designer babies.

The poll by Roy Morgan Research found Australians overwhelmingly supported IVF but the vast majority were opposed to gender selection, even for family balancing.

"I thought the community would support it. I thought it would have been about 50-50 (for and against family balancing)," said Prof Kovacs, the international medical director of Monash IVF.

But after the...