A designer baby is a baby who has been artificially made using in-vitro fertilization. The term “designer baby” was taken from “Designer clothing” which describes the disapproving implication of the transformation of babies. Liberal technophiles, Libertarians, and transhumanists are the people who support it.
So how do “Designer Babies” work?
Overall designer babies are a new type of test tube babies where IVF takes place by fertilizing male and female gametes in a small petri dish and the embryo is transferred back to the mother’s uterus.
Now this baby is genetically modified during this process with the use of a third “parent” who will be the donor for mitochondria inserted into the embryo. These mitochondria hold the genes of the “third parent” and will, therefore, be incorporated into the embryo to achieve the desired effect. Here are few steps which help in creating the designer babies:
1. First, an Embryo with In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is created
2. Removal of a single cell from that embryo within the first 5 days of creation
3. Genetically testing the cell
4. The parents then decide whether to discard the embryo and implant it in the mother’s womb
Although there are some positive things that can be obtained from the use of genetic engineering used on unborn babies, but it is often wondered that if parents will have the “right” reasons to genetically modify their baby, or if reasoning will become more superficial.
Here are some of the cons associated with the genetic engineering of babies:
- “Designer” babies would most likely be better looking, smarter, etc. This might create “classes” between designer and non-designer babies.
- The technology used is not 100% safe yet. It is only in the experimental stages at this point.
- People might use this technology for superficial purposes like purposely seeking out a blonde haired, green eyed baby for appearance concerns only.
- This technology is so new, it is unknown whether genetically modifying the babies will effect on the gene pool. This may cause difficulties later on throughout the baby’s family tree.
- A baby cannot consent to have it’s body altered; therefore some do not believe it’s right as parents do not “own” their children.
- Genes often have more than one use. For example, a gene that controls intelligence could also control anger management. You could end up with a genius, but very angry, child.
- Geneticists are not perfect people and cannot 100% properly evaluate every gene. It is more than likely mistakes will be made.
- Individuality will be slighted. Because most people will seek out good-looking, intelligent babies with other optimum characteristics, everyone will be relatively similar.
- this procedure is not cheap and there is no guarantee that the result will be 100 percent success.
It helps in installing a better understanding of genetics for biologists and genealogist.
Increases in human lifespan up to 30 years.
Prevents genetic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Disease, down syndrome, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and many others.
Reduces risk of inherited medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many more.Allows parents to give their child a healthy life.Genetically engineering babies is an option, not a requirement for all parents. For those that disagree with it, they don’t have to engineer their child.
Children are already engineered by parents in many ways. Prenatal supplements, education, religion, and morals are all ways parents control their child.
Eliminates mitochondrial disorders.
Parents set their own limits for genetically engineering their baby.
Allows prospective parents to give the child genes that they do not carry.
With all scientific and technological advancements, there is ethical disparagement, the ethical viewpoints should not cease the advancement of technology.
Although not all the kinks in this newly developing technology are fixed, with more clinical trials and experimentation, it has the potential to be very promising.
Also Read – Pros and Cons of Having a Designer Baby