Both my wife and I agree that we would like to have a little girl. I have recently learned about "pre-implantation genetic diagnosis" or PGD, a procedure in which parents who are undergoing IVF can screen embryos for certain characteristics (such as genetic diseases and gender). Is it okay for us to do this? We really do want to make sure that our next child is a girl...


Here is an information sheet produced by the PUAH Institute, an organization devoted to helping couples suffering infertility conceive in halachically approved ways.

Basically, if you are already using PGD due to genetic concerns, the rabbinic authorities with which Puah consults consider gender selection to be permissible. On the other hand, to use PGD for gender selection alone raises a host of yet-unanswered issues. In such matters, each case must be dealt with individually, on its own terms.

The distinction is that in the case of fertility, we have the Torah's express permission to use the methods at our disposal to heal. In the case of gender selection, however, this is not so.

Puah is a very helpful agency. I would advise making contact with them for further advice.

Please let me know if this helps—and let me wish you much mazal and nachas from all your children, whatever gender they may be!

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman