Does it seem like you’re constantly being bombarded with new baby pictures—posted by your friends and family—on your Facebook News Feed? It’s possible that at least some of these babies have been genetically engineered. About 40,000 babies born in the U.S. each year are conceived via assisted reproduction. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), the profiling of embryos or eggs prior to implantation in order to screen for specific genetic conditions, has been used since the 1990s. Three-fourths of U.S. fertility clinics surveyed in 2006 offered PGD. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that still legally allows PGD for prenatal sex selection, which is illegal for use for non-medical purposes in Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Embryo screening was first used as early as 1990 to avoid having children with cystic fibrosis. In 2008, the first baby guaranteed to not have the breast cancer gene was born. “Cosmetic Medicine” babies have been engineered by the selection of physical traits through PGD. Want a son with brown eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion? How about a pale, blonde, green-eyed daughter? No problem—the cost for the process will be about $18,000.
How do people feel about designer babies? About eight percent say it should be banned, while 15 percent say parents should have free choice. Some 30 percent believe it’s immoral, and one in three people believe it’s justified to prevent a health condition.
How do you personally feel about designer babies? Please share in the comments, and check out the infographic below by CheapNurseDegrees.com to learn more about the future of baby making.