Mr. and Mrs. Grey the people in my office have told me about your interest in a designer baby. I would like to tell you more about a designer baby and some of the pros and cons that this process may hold. A designer baby is “a baby whose genetic makeup has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect, or ensure that a particular gene is present.” One of the most common method of gene manipulation is in vitro fertilization. In this process, eggs are removed from the woman and combined with the men’s sperm in a lab and then transferred back into the uterus. In this method, genes are added to the sperm, egg or early embryo to create a tailor-made child, free from disease or disability. The procedure costs about $4,000, and is in addition to the $15,000 to $20,000 for IVF. First let us start with the pros, by deciding to have a designer baby you can reduce their risk of genetic diseases, reduce the risk of inherited medical conditions, have a better chance the child will succeed in life, get a better understanding of genetics, have an increased life span, give a child genes that you do not carry, and also prevent the next generation of family from getting characteristics/diseases. On the other hand the cons are important as well here is the list: there can be a possible termination of embryos, creation of a gap in society, possibility of damage to the gene pool, the baby having no choice in the matter, the genes often having more than one use, the geneticists are not perfect, the loss of individuality, other children in the family could be affected by parent's decision, and only the rich can afford this procedure. Throughout the procedure you can chose the traits that can be determined for the baby like the sex and the eye color is as far as we can do. Now designer babies came from Savior siblings which are created to donate their life saving tissue to an existing child. Most parents seek genetic counseling to assess the fact that regards the factors of family history, medical history and/or pregnancy history. There are a few different forms of reproductive technology there is vitro fertilization which we mentioned earlier, Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) in this process the man's sperm and woman's eggs are combined in lab. Eggs are then inserted in fallopian tubes; in GIFT treatments fertilization takes place in the woman's body which makes this process more of a natural process. Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) this process as a lot like GIFT. There are more but the two most common are ZIFT AND GIFT most doctors use these the most. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis also known as PGD is a procedure that is used prior to the implantation of the baby to help identify the genetic effects within embryos created through vitro fertilization to prevent certain diseases and/or disorders to be passed on to the child. Some of the factors that motivate the parents to seek specific traits for their baby is the fact that their child will most likely be happy, will succeed in life by either being physically athletic or attractive or being really smart and getting a good job. Now the question is would you choose your baby’s traits? Speaking parent to parent I would choose my baby traits to make sure they are disease free and be born healthy.
Questions for Parents
Are you sure of your decisions that you will take as parents?
Are you ready to commit to this procedure and carry through?
Did anybody inspire you to consider having a designer baby?
Why are you looking into having a designer baby?
Do you know the risk?
Is the price a problem?
Are you aware of the the time and effort that this procedure will take?
What is your ethnic background?
How would you design your baby?
Is there a disease you are trying to prevent?
"Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Benefits & Concerns." American Pregnancy Association. N.p., 02 Sept. 2016. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
Hanson, Jack. "Designer Babies Pros and Cons | Gene Therapy | Genetic Engineering." Designer Babies Pros and Cons | Gene Therapy | Genetic Engineering. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
Ridley, Jane. "We Spent $100K to Guarantee a Baby Girl." New York Post. N.p., 07 July 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.
"Designer Baby Definition." English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Oxford, n.d. Web.