It was never a matter of if, but when, and now a fertility clinic right here in the United States has done it: Produced a designer baby. With new technology, Los Angeles’ LA Fertility Institutes goes beyond letting parents choose the sex of their newborn, but also eye and hair color of their baby boy or girl. They say they’ve already got clients growing designer fetuses inside them, and they’ll be born next year. And we all know where this could eventually lead: Allowing parents to choose their kids’ sexual orientation before biology and chance have an opportunity to step in.
It’s all done through selective pregnancy, where the fertility clinic’s doctors test a cell for certain characters, and discard it if it doesn’t live up to mom and dad’s desires. Noting that the practice is illegal in the United Kingdom, the BBC reports:
The science is based on a lab technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD.
This involves testing a cell taken from a very early embryo before it is put into the mother’s womb.
Doctors then select an embryo free from rogue genes – or in this case an embryo with the desired physical traits such as blonde hair and blue eyes – to continue the pregnancy, and discard any others.
Dr Steinberg said couples might seek to use the clinic’s services for both medical and cosmetic reasons.
For example, a couple might want to have a baby with a darker complexion to help guard against a skin cancer if they already had a child who had developed a melanoma. But others might just want a boy with blonde hair.
His clinic is offering this cosmetic selection to patients already having genetic screening for abnormal chromosome conditions in their embryos.