Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Designer Babies

The term designer babies is used in the media to describe babies whose genes are chosen rather than having genes that are created by chance. Scientists like to call this process IntroVitro Fertilization. It's a process that some parents have used to create babies with the wanted medical and cosmetic characteristics.

When having a baby it is possible for the child to suffer from a genetic disorder. Some genetic disorders that could be passed on through genetics are Huntington's Chorea, Cystic Fibrosis, and Muscular Dystrophy. All of these possible disorders are either life long or incurable. With the different risks of having a baby, it doesn't act as a surprise that there is a future in modifying or selecting children's genes for desirable characteristics.

The procedure that some parents have been using to protect their children from said risks is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. In this process both parents are tested for a known genetic abnormality. After doing so the parents make sure the genes they choose to transplant will not pass on the disease they might have.

There is also the process of gene therapy. Although this has not been in use for a long time, the idea of being able to correct a disorder has had a major interest in people. The process of gene therapy is a procedure by which defective genes are replaced with normal genes to cure genetic disorders. Since the techniques in use are some what new, the risks are unpredictable. Even if
that is true scientists are working and researching ways to make gene therapy a safe practice.

Whether it be good or bad, I feel like these practices should be researched more. Gene therapy and PGD are not meant to harm people. It should be researched further because it could potentially better the chances of giving a child a life without the struggles of a genetic disorder. For example a four year old girl had inherited a disorder that affected her immune system that resulted in an enzyme deficiency. She was given a genetically modified virus which caused the cells to begin producing the required enzyme which ultimately saved her life.

It's clear to see that Designer babies has been on debate. Some people think it is a good thing and others think it a bad thing. The idea of designer babies and the benefits it could have gives people a reason for the research to continue.

Choosing the characteristics that you want your child to have is a choice entirely made by yourself. Designer babies, in my opinion gives me mixed feelings. From it came gene therapy which could help lessen the chances of a child getting a genetic disorder. Personally if it helps better the life of your child I feel that is an acceptable for making a designer baby. If you modify the genes of the child just to make the child look or think a certain way then that's when I believe using this practice is wrong.


Ritter, Bob, Christine Adam-Carr, and Douglas Fraser.Biology 11. Toronto,ON: Nelson Thomson Learning, 2002. p.185. Print.




  1. Even though "designer babies" may seem like a cool idea, I think it could ultimately ruin relationships between families. If parents were to try and create the perfect child, they would have nothing to be excited for. I agree that this shouldn't be tried in the future because its not something that society would benefit from. In then end, besides less genetically passed down diseases, I think it would do more harm than good.

  2. I am also having mixed feelings about the "designer babies". I think that if used for medical reasons, it is okay to do so. In fact, I think it's a good thing if it is used in that way. If it is possible for the parents to prevent any future sufffering for the child, would they not do so? I thik most parents would want to, even if it isn't with this procedure in which they'd like to do it.

    However, once this technology begins to be used for cosmetic reasons, like changing your baby's appearance, that's when I start to disagree. I think that is shallowness to the highest degree. Who wants to grow older knowing that their parents didn't want them to look any other way, and that their parents designed their looks? I definitely wouldn't.

  3. Hey Harriet!

    I really liked you're blog because it showed that designer babies has it's advantages and disadvantages. Although it may save lives, I still feel that we shouldn't do it. As humans, even if we just use these techonologies to make sure that our babies do not have and diseases, there would be a high chance of us abusing it.

    I also feel that designer babies ruins the meaning of having a baby. There will no longer be any anticipation of how the baby will look like, what they can do, and much more. It can even cause problem in the family, where the child may feel like a bought product and have a total identity crisis. I know I would!

  4. I liked your blog because you had some facts which i didn't have or I had no idea about. People creating inventions like these think it is a smart idea but there missing the point of having a baby. Like you said "designer babies ruins the meaning of having a baby"