Parents could choose the sex of their babies under new plans put forward by MPs.
The proposals, outlined in a controversial report, call for personal fertility decisions to be taken out of the hands of regulators.
Instead, couples in consultation with their doctors should generally have the last word on embryo screening and selection.
The Science and Technology Select Committee recommendation represents a shift of thinking, which moves away from putting the welfare of a potential child before the needs of its parents.
Most controversially, the proposals go some way towards the creation of socalled "designer" babies.
If accepted, they will give parents greater freedom to determine the sex of their children and ensure they are genetically sound.
Screening for genetic defects that can cause illness would still work within a legal and ethical framework.
However, the extent of screening would no longer be dictated by a regulator, but agreed between patients and doctors.
The report calls for the current regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), to be disbanded.
In its place would be a new Regulatory Agency for Fertility and Tissues, which would have much more limited powers.
Its remit would be to ensure that assisted conception clinics and research laboratories met high technical and management standards.
The broader legal and ethical issues would be left to the Government and Parliament.
Another recommendation is the setting up of a crossparty Joint Parliamentary Bioethics Committee, drawn from both Houses of Parliament, to vet new fertility legislation.
The report followed an inquiry that lasted almost a year and split the committee down the middle.