The Government has launched a public consultation seeking views and opinions on proposals to change the law to allow 'three parent' babies.
It is hoped that the technique will help parents to conceive a healthy child in circumstances which previously this would not have been possible.
'Three parent' techniques have been devised to prevent the transmission of so-called 'mitochondrial diseases' from a mother to her child.
Mitochondria are present in most of our cells and provide them with energy to survive and function. Children only inherit mitochondria from their mother, leaving them susceptible to diseases if maternal mitochondria are faulty.
In their mild form, mitochondrial diseases have few symptoms, but in severe cases can lead to incessant tiredness, blindness and heart failure.
The new techniques allow healthy mitochondria from a donor to be used either in an egg or an embryo from the conceiving couple. The resulting embryo will have the genetic make-up of the mother and father, but will inherit its mitochondria from a third 'parent'.
The new technique is challenging ethically because mitochondria have their own genetic make-up and the child would therefore be carrying genes from three humans. This new genetic make-up would then be passed on to future offspring.
Professor Lisa Jardine is the chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority which has commissioned the consultation.
"It is genetic modification of the egg; that is uncharted territory. Once we have genetic modification we have to be sure we are damn happy," she told the BBC.
The issue has been discussed previously by other bodies, notably the Nuffield Council on Bioethics which concluded that the technique was sound ethically. However, opponents believe that this costly therapy is unnecessary and moves us another step closer to a 'designer baby' scenario in which parents could select desirable attributes for their offspring.
It is thought that we could still be several years away from the technique becoming a plausible treatment for UK parents.