Designer Babies: Shopping for your Perfect Child

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Designer Babies: Shopping for your perfect child
The birth of a baby. One of the most pure, innocent and natural events in life. The excitement of gender. Is it a boy? Girl? Does it matter? Most parents will treasure their creation no matter their appearance or abilities. However for some people, the knowledge that their offspring is a product of them is not enough. With advances in genetic research, technology is now being developed that could allow specific genes to be selected to create a child with desired traits. Genetically modified embryos are being branded “Designer Babies,” but are these modifications safe to humanity or are we tampering with the moral guidelines?
The process of making the “perfect” child involves IVF or in vitro fertilization. You have probably heard of IVF before as nowadays it is a fairly common procedure that helps couples struggling to conceive due to infertility. The egg is taken from the woman and fertilized by sperm outside of the body. The zygote or fertilized egg then develops for 2-6 days before being inserted back into the uterus where the pregnancy continues. Although the concept of a ‘test tube baby’ is not everyone’s cup of tea, most understand that to these parents IVF is often a last resort and the very possibility of having a child is more than they could have imagined. However having a designer baby is one step further.
The selection of admirable traits is possible as when the gametes or sex cells are outside the body, the DNA within these cells that determine the characteristics of the child can be laid out in a karyotype. This is called PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis which gives a complete picture of what the offspring will be like; from the gender and height to hair and ...

... middle of paper ... ‘ideal’ child. “This is the designer baby service; can I take your order?”

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