Designer babies… What’s your take on this?

handsWhen I initially got to know about the designer babies concept, it took awhile for me to digest the whole thing that we will have more than 2 parents for children going forward! As a mother of 2 kids who came to me through a tedious, lengthy surgery I could somehow not sync in with this fact. I can’t miss to mention about the whole natural process that went for a beautiful period of 9 months. We are technically developing, but aren’t we going in an incorrect direction with extreme speed? It all began with cloning animals and plants, then we progressed to design our bodies in desired shapes, sizes and now we take another dangerous step of designing/creating the mankind? With the news that UK folks are going to make this process as legal soon, let’s take a look at pros and potential risks of this process.

What is the concept of Designer Babies?

This is a process where babies are created using the DNA of three people using the IVF technique. This is to avoid potentially deadly and debilitating mitochondrial diseases that can be passed from a mother to the baby. This may eventually cause muscle weakness, lack of basic energy, failure of heart functioning, and in few severe consequences death. These mitochondrial diseases are impacting one in every 6,500 new born babies.  (Mitochondria are defined as the energy sources that are passed from a mother to a baby)

So as a process, this whole concept of designing a baby goes something like this:

1) An Embryo is created from the parent and the donor.

2) The pronuclei containing the genetic information are taken out from donor and the parent.

3) After creating the healthy embryo, the same is implanted in the womb. This creation happens by addition of parent’s pronuclei and donor embryo.

How does it matter to the existing balance in mankind?

Eugenics: It’s a practice to improvise the genetic composition in population. How we are going to do that?  Through a scary process that involves increasing the number of births of babies with most wanted traits and downsizing the size of the babies with not so desired traits. This could be shocking for a layman to know and understand but THIS IS in practice. As per estimation a scary number of 90% pregnancies carrying babies with Down syndrome are BEING ABORTED. I personally feel ashamed not of the technical development that shows clearly about the baby in the womb, but of the human nature that is not letting these babies born just because they are not perfect?

While this entire process is going to help ONE Baby in 6,500, and 10 couples in UK, there are potential threats to the balanced natural process of conceiving a baby. While the news is that UK government is soon going to make this designer baby concept legal, there are already many doctors and medical researchers who are raising eyebrows against it.

“These techniques are unnecessary and unsafe and were in fact rejected by the majority of consultation responses” Dr David King, Director -Human Genetics Alert.

However, as long as this is used as a MEDICAL need but not a COSMETIC need, this can definitely give a second life for mothers like Sharon Bernardi, who lost SEVEN children because of defective mitochondria. The question here is about the bioethics! I mean, today if we can break this rule of one child and two parents for a healthy next generation, why can’t we do it for more gorgeous next generation. It would not surprise me tomorrow if parents come forward with a request saying “I want my baby with blue eyes, black hair and fair complexion. My neighbor has all of them, but I don’t. So, let her be the donor and third parent”!! We have already seen how a Bariatric surgery is being mis-used as a weight reduction weapon! Bariatric surgery is clearly meant to reduce the obese of people who have medical implications. But we recently read that a 11 yr old girl in India (Sanchita) is undergoing this surgery just because she is obese (she has become obese WITHOUT any other medical implications).

This is what I feel as a person who truly respects the nature that is created by one almighty. Anyone can differ with me, for infinite number of reasons. You can express, but be an adult. Unprofessional comments will strictly be disregarded. Thank you, for your time.

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58 thoughts on “Designer babies… What’s your take on this?

  1. This is a breakthrough with technology but it touches so much the issues of morality and human ethics of existence. I go for insemination but not this. Sorry.

  2. Humans are naturally made! We are not like clothes or shoes or bags to be called as Designer Babies. The moral of being a BEING is highly questioned here.

    1. Hello Nathalie, Thank you. I totally agree with you when you said ” we have the ability to be ” being”..” that’s write. a human can never be made. Probably it’s just too early for people to understand the extreme consequences of this invention.

  3. Why change the balance of nature?? Why are we not contented on what is natural or naturally made?? I totally can’t get it why they use the reason that out of 6500 babies born, there will always be one who is imperfect just to have this designer babies concepts. Acceptance is a human trait which a person with the highest education knows to that.

  4. Thanks for sharing this info but i go for the natural method. If prevention is the main purpose, let us start with putting effort on making mothers healthy which is more realistic and cost effective.

  5. designing babies is simply removing the human factor…why can’t they see that these imperfections are what really makes us the unique beings that we are…what’s next? will these “gods” start seeing our emotions as weaknesses/diseases and work on desensitizing us too?

  6. This is an absolute fact that however much we upgrade in terms of technology and science, few things are at their best when are done in natural process. Unless we appreciate that fact, the threat will remain behind every technical step-up that happens.

  7. I came across this “designer-babies” thingy when I was teaching in Manila. I thought that it was a modern concept that could never be a reality. But upon reading this, I got surprised that there are already plans of legalizing the concept in the UK. Perhaps, there are so many of the technicalities that are still beyond my comprehension but I feel that it’s an elusive reality and soon, more governments might follow suit.

  8. ….Then after a designer baby is born, his/her own mother might regret her chosen “design” and wish she could have decided on a better one! Ugh! What has the world come to?!

  9. The concept of designer babies, in my opinion, goes against the law of nature itself. Here, man is practically meddling with the balance and intricacies of how humans are designed. There is a purpose why we humans cannot design ourselves–because we CAN NOT, as simple as that.

  10. Good post. A very informative one. Though with this new technology, it scares me of the fact that genetically babies could be made…

  11. Considering it an educative article.. I often hear about such as just part of sci-fi movies but so surprised that this is how medical technology is moving forward. Soon, cloning would be legal as well.

  12. SHOCKED! Being an engineer by profession, I would appreciate new technologies for infrastructures and constructions but doing “the changes” with technology for a high bred new generation of babies is still a big question on my part if asked for my opinion.

  13. This is an informative one alright. Science is taking us into a new step but would surely be a debatable one questioning our morals and beliefs as human beings.

  14. This issue is a fact we all have to face. People in science just kept on going with what they think can help mankind. Designer babies is a forthcoming from how we have seen and watched from movies and as well as read in books and newspapers. Never thought that this could be possible as what it seems it is now.

  15. Surprising how we are really getting somewhere with Medical Technology. Thanks for posting this! This information though is somehow disturbing with issues raised with regard to our fundamental principles concerning our moral obligations.

  16. well, i believe people now a days are becoming particular. There must be a good reason why they came up with this design, but i think it’s better for us to follow the great law. God and nature first made us what we are, let the sky be our limit as a sign of respect….

  17. genetic advancement…soon we won’t get to say that we are created in the image and likeness of God…and this means we don’t trust His will…so scary!!!

  18. hmmmm… interesting… amazing how people are getting through with science. Japan had been racing fast with machine technology which is a good one for me being here. But to have babies designed is somehow still a jaw-dropper idea for me. And being a mother myself, I would prefer having it naturally. The joy of having your own from the magic of the One up above.

    1. Hello Ariel, Thank you for your time on this. While the pleasure of course is in being blessed with own baby, if there are any circumstances of opposite, we must go for another natural option that is adoption but nothing against nature.

  19. This issue is an eyebrow raiser! I know that as we go further to the future, changes are made, Inventions are created and technology improves. I respect that idea and kudos to the people who do it. Medical technology goes with the flow of change specially those that concerns certain diseases. But having designer babies is like “mutating” in a way man would want to. We are created unique in many ways possible that not a single identical finger print can be found. We are who we are physically in how nature had come to make us. Acceptance and respect to one’s being are the keys to what is given and made naturally. Let science change the rest of the world but not mind the very art God has made – us, humans!

    1. Thank you. This is certainly such an agreeable point !! we all know that only sky is the limit for talent and inventions but we must not forget that we can never challenge our roots !!

  20. This concept is quite frightening. I would not like to see humanity going down this road. It could lead to all sorts of complications.

  21. I agree with the comment above. I have an issue with a child having three parents. Legally how would this work? When the child grows up, does he/she get told that he/she has two biological fathers?

  22. I have been trying to fall pregnant for years and I have considered artificial insemination. I would not however consider a designer baby – it just seems wrong to me.

  23. When one adopts, one does have a say regarding the type of child one chooses. What is the difference here? in addition to the unnecessary cut that mother and donor has to go through ?

  24. I worry about the money aspect. Would rich people be able to make smarter / prettier babies because they can afford them. Doctors could charge different rates for different levels of IQ, looks and so on.

    1. Hi Benny, Thank you for the comment. This is what we mean by, when we say this whole process is going to disturb the natural balance of mixture in different kinds of people.

  25. Once man starting cloning animals, I suppose one would assume that this would be a natural progression, right or wrong. The human mind would want to explore this.

  26. I see some merit here. If a Mother has a history of giving birth to children who are ill or weak for example, why could she not decide to have child that she knows won’t have these problems? It could save the family so much stress and expense in later years.

    1. Hello Timker .. Thank you for your time on this. Yes, as I mentioned above, as long as this is used for that ONE child in 6,500 children it is appreciable. But will it stop here? with the unending thirst we have for betterment, tomorrow, this may become a true DESIGNER of babies in sense of looks… which may turn dangerous eventually.

  27. That’s highly informative blog Ananya Thanks … Has this been tried with animals yet? We could create a man-made nightmare of deformed children!

  28. I have been thinking about this article, thanks for making me understand the other angle of this revolutionary step in medical science. it is really quite a concerning topic. I think that if I were to go the route of insemination, I may want to choose how my child would look if I had the option. It somehow does not seem right, but I would consider it.

  29. I agree with the comment above. Artificial insemination costs a huge amount of money. I would want the best if I could afford it. Why should I risk having a Downs Syndrome child if I could avoid it?

    1. That’s when the TRUST plays part. God and science are two different edges. Being different doesn’t harm but being intruding does. Just because science doesn’t trust in god, we can not invent something to question/ amend almighty’s creation. Creation of human requires the unlimited amount of caliber that only god has. No number of scientists or no amount of scientific knowledge could even reach to that extent. If a mother is unable to produce a healthy baby and she opts for something like this, probably it’s ok. But not when when is not able to produce a beautiful baby or fair baby : )

  30. This is like playing God. It is most certainly wrong. We cannot allow scientists to go down this road. Next thing people will be persecuted because they are inferior and were not ‘designer’ babies.

  31. All people in rich first world countries will be beautiful and clever and the rest of the world will be going backwards with disease and deformation. The gap will just widen up.

  32. I think that if this process is used properly it could be a good thing. For example, to help prevent sick or deformed babies from being born. The problem is, how does one control it, and who controls it? Money always talks the most.

  33. I think in generations to come, it may be better for the world if people were all clever and stunning looking – can you imagine such a thing? A perfect world!

  34. This is an interesting article. I personally don’t think this will ever happen. It’s just a pie in the sky.

  35. Well let’s hope so! I don’t want to live in a world where my grandchildren are designer made. It is a terrible thought.

  36. This is a well constructed article on a difficult topic. I would like to hear more about this from the Author regarding further developments in this field.

  37. This opens up all sorts of interesting options for parents. My family are all obese – Could I consider a child who doesn’t suffer from this problem. I know the difficulties involved here.

  38. I cannot have children and have considered adopting. I would take any child given to me, I don’t see why less beautiful children should not be given an equal chance.

    1. Exactly .. This is the essence of the natural creation of god. We all have few imperfections and that where no one is superior to the other. But tomorrow, using this technology if babies are formed in so termed PERFECT looks, there will be a visible imbalance. We never know where it leads next.

  39. I remember GATACA when reading this. It’s a movie starred by Ethan Hawke in which he is the ” normal one ” and his brother the ” designer baby”. I guess this is a medical breakthrough, meant to prolong human lifespan. But then I am conservative in my view. This…the issue of designer babies…and letting it happen is an abomination..a defiance to nature. It is like creating superhuman, minimizing risk and maximizing life but actually sacrificing the ENJOYMENT of life, its ups and downs, joy and melancholy, deprivation and abundance. I think the irony of life is what really defines our very own existence and what made us appreciate what we have. Why break the law of nature.

    1. Exactly Karen, that’s the whole point here! There is never an end to ” wanting more” and as a result any revolutionary product or medical aid is invented for betterment of mankind, has always been ruined after being extremely used. Thank you for your time and comment !!!

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