New HFEA recommendations on sex selection

16 May 2005

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announced today its recommendations to the Government on gender selection (see press release). These were produced as the result of a review process lasting for a year, which took into consideration both expert opinion and research on factors related to sex selection including scientific and ethical issues. An HFEA public consultation also formed part of the review input, and found that 80% of people in the UK did not want sex selection techniques to be made available for non-medical reasons. The HFEA report proposes that current policy, which permits sex selection only where it is necessary to avoid the birth of children with serious sex-linked disorders, should continue.

The report further recommends that sex selection involving a technique known as sperm sorting should be regulated; at present this form of gender selection is not regulated in the UK, but the HFEA public consultation found

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