AUSTRALIA - A couple so desperate for a baby girl that they terminated twin boys are fighting to choose the gender of their next child.

The couple, who have three sons and still grieve for a daughter they lost soon after birth, are going to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to win the right to select gender by IVF.

The Patient Review Panel recently rejected the couple's bid to choose the sex of their next child using IVF. They have gone to the tribunal in a bid to have that decision overturned.

VCAT ruled it has the power to review the Patient Review Panel decision and will hear the couple's case in March.

The couple recently terminated twin boys conceived through IVF. They said it had been a traumatic decision to make but they could not continue to have unlimited numbers of children.

If their test case fails, they say they will go to the US to conceive a girl.

The couple, who cannot be identified, conceived their three boys naturally.

The woman, who is in her 30s, says she loves her sons but would do anything to have a daughter too.

Her husband said: "After what we have been through we are due for a bit of luck.

"We want to be given the opportunity to have a girl."

The woman admits she has become obsessed with having a daughter and claims it has become vital to her psychological health.

Victoria's Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 bans sex selection unless it is necessary to avoid the risk of transmitting a genetic abnormality or genetic disease.

All IVF clinics in Australia must stay within National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines that say gender selection should not be done except to reduce the transmission of a serious genetic condition.

Australian IVF pioneer Gab Kovacs, who is not involved in the case, said he could not understand why the couple should be banned from having a girl.

"I can't see how it could harm anyone," he said. "Who is this going to harm if this couple have their desire fulfilled?"

But Gene Ethics director Bob Phelps did not believe the couple should be allowed to choose. He suggested they could adopt.