Would you like to design your own baby?


If I asked you what you imagine when you hear the word designer? The first thing that would pop into your head may be very expensive, attractive, desired by others; right?


Well I would like to ask you the same question, however today I am asking the same question except this question is about designer babies.

No, I am not talking about children in Gucci… surprising, right?


What are designer children then? The actual definition of this is a human embryo that has been genetically modified, usually following guidelines set by the parent or scientist, to produce desirable traits. This is done using various methods, such as gene therapy or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) this is used to detect any defects in the embryo before fertilization as part of the IVF process.


Of course, following something as controversial as this topic there are a lot of opinions about this topic, so I have considered different opinions on this. Some people see this as acceptable because they want to carry on a ‘family trend’ of hair or gender. removing gene abnormalities in genes which would cause limitations to the child’s life is a positive way to use this procedure, however this may suggest that there is something wrong with a child who has a condition such as down syndrome, suggesting they do not have a place in the world.  However, at the end of the day the government have no right to control reproduction however it has been said by people who I have spoken to that planning and extensive preparation for a child removes the spontaneity and excitement of having a child. Designer babies cost a lot of money and this is before the child is even born!


One of my peers rightly suggested that having these ‘designed’ babies could cause problems with self- esteem as they may feel like they have to live up to the ‘perfect’ design that their parents created them to be. I also feel that if you are using the IVF process, you should be content with the results you get as it may be your only chance to have a child so why would you want to change your wonderful miracle!


I have considered the ethical issues of designer babies; in the eyes of the law the embryo cannot consent to having its body altered, surely it should have the right to choose what it wants for itself? It may also create a divide in the people who can afford this treatment and people who cannot afford it leaving the people who perhaps cannot afford childcare for a child with a genetic disease as opposed to people who cannot afford embryo alteration and therefore cannot look after a disabled child.


Finally, I believe that every human was made uniquely and embryos should only be altered if it is in the best interest of the child and not for superficial reasons. Childbirth is a blessing and shouldn’t be taken for granted or abused.


                                                                                By Keela Lynch