Designer baby: Pros and Cons

What is a designer baby?

A designer baby is a human embryo which has been genetically modified, usually following guidelines set by the parent or scientist, to produce desirable traits. This is done using various methods, such as germline engineering or Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This technology is the subject of ethical debate, bringing up the concept of genetically modified “superhumans” to replace modern humans.

Designer Baby is a genetically modified baby in vitro for specially selected features, which can vary from reduced risk of disease to gender selection. Before the emergence of genetic engineering and In vitro Fertilization (IVF), baby designers were primarily the concept of science.

However, the rapid advancement of technology before and after the end of the century makes baby creators a real possibility. As a result, designer babies became an important topic in bioethic discussions, and in 2004 the term “designer baby” became an official role in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Designer babies represent a field of embryology that has not yet become a practical reality, but raises ethical concerns about whether or not it will become necessary to implement restrictions on designer babies in the future.

Relationship with PGD

The prospects for understanding a child with certain qualities are not far away. The IVF has become an increasingly common procedure for helping couples with infertility problems to get pregnant with children, and the practice of the IVF allows pre-selection of embryos before implantation.

For example, the genetic diagnosis of pre-implantation (PGD) can select life traps for different genetic traits, such as sexually transmitted diseases, before being implanted in the mother. With PGD, doctors can choose embryos that are not predisposed to certain genetic conditions.

For this reason, PGD is commonly used in medicine when parents carry genes that expose their children to serious illnesses such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. Current technological possibilities indicate that PGD is probably a method of selecting traits since scientists have not established a reliable way to select embryonic gene in vivo.


An early and famous case of sexual choice occurred in 1996 when Monique and Scott Collins consulted with doctors at the Institute of Genetics and In Vitro Fertilization in Fairfax, Virginia, for in vitro fertilization. Collins intended to imagine a girlfriend because their first two children were boys and the couple wanted a girlfriend in the family. This was one of the first PGD cases in a high ranking where the choice of embryos was not made to refer to a particular health condition, but responded to the parents’ desire to create a balanced family.

Collins’s decision to choose the “baby creator” as the birth of her child went into a national one, when it was contained in the magazine Time magazine 1999 Baby Designer. Although the Collins case included only a gender selection, he posed the selection questions for other features such as eye color, hair color, athleticism, or sizes that are not generally related. on the health of the child.

Prior to the decision of Collins on the choice of the sex of the child, the Ethics and Justice Council issued a statement in 1994 to support the use of genetic selection as a means of prevention, treatment or specific illness. Some ethical concerns of creative opponents for babies are related to the social implications of creating children with their favorite features.

The social argument against creative babies is that if this technology becomes a realistic and accessible medical practice then it would create a division between those who can afford the service and those who cannot.

So wealthy could afford the choice of desirable traits in their offspring, while those with a lower socio-economic position would not be able to access the same opportunities. As a result, economic divisions can be transformed into genetic divisions, with social differences drawn by improved individuals from undocumented individuals.

For example, the science-fantasy film Gattac explores this problem by displaying a world where only genetically modified persons can be involved in a higher level of society. Other bioethics argues that parents have the right to prenatal autonomy, which gives them the right to decide on the destiny of their children. George Annas, Harvard University’s chairman of Health, Bioethics and Human Rights, supported the idea of ​​PGD and baby creators as a consumer product open to Canadian forces.

In addition, other arguments in favor of baby design technology suggest that parents already have a high level of control over the outcomes of life of children in the form of environmental choices, which should eliminate some of the ethical problems of genetic selection. For example, parents who want to establish musical appreciation in their children can enroll them into music lessons or regularly transfer them to concerts.

These choices affect how the child matures, as the decision to select certain genes is predisposed to the child to develop in a way that the parents have predetermined it desirable.

Increased ability to control and manipulate embryos provides numerous opportunities to improve child health through prenatal diagnosis but these opportunities are associated with possible social influences that could have negative consequences in the future.

Finally, creative babies have great potential in the field of medicine and scientific research, but there are still many ethical issues that need to be resolved.

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