Pros and Cons of Having a Designer Baby

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Have you ever wished for your baby to have specific features from both their parents? Like for example, your eyes and your partner’s nose, or maybe your teeth and your partner’s height? Most of the parents spend the major part of the pregnancy period imagining how their baby would look like and be, and wishing that they have the best of everything. Thanks to technology, selected individuals have access to certain procedures that can help them achieve their dreams. This process creates what we call ‘designer babies’. In this article, we will discuss everything about designer babies, pros and cons of having them and most importantly, the ethical aspect of it. Read on to find out everything you wanted to know about designer babies.

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In this article:

What is a Designer Baby?
Designer Babies Pros and Cons
Ethical Issues Related to a Designer Baby

All You Need to Know About Designer Babies

What is a Designer Baby?

A designer baby is created through a genetic screening or genetic modification process. Genetic modification is a process in which a certain technology or a set of technologies helps modify the genetic makeup of cells. In some cases, the embryo is first screened before it is implanted in the body, or other gene therapy techniques help create the desired type of characteristics in the baby.

designer babies crispr

Designer Babies Pros and Cons

There can be a thousand pros of having designer babies according to certain people. But then again, at Parenting Healthy Babies, we always aim to present objective and scientifically accurate facts in front of you. Here are the top three pros and certainly understandable cons of having a designer baby:

Pros

Can Increase Overall Life Expectancy

If you use genetic alteration to create a designer baby, it could increase your baby’s overall life expectancy. Once most of the medical issues are taken care of and eliminated from your baby’s genes, it will automatically enhance your baby’s overall health and help to increase the life rate as well.

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Reduces Chances of Various Genetic Disorders

By using the genetic modification technique to create a designer baby, you can reduce the chances of various genetic disorders in your baby.

Some very prominent genetic disorders that will have a lesser chance of impacting your baby are Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Huntington’s Disease, etc.

Reduces Chances of Inherited Diseases

Genetic modification can also reduce your baby’s chances of being affected by various inherited diseases. Some such conditions are obesity, diabetes, anemia, cancer and more.

Cons

Ethical and Moral Aspects

During the process of genetic modification that is involved in creating a designer baby, you choose only those cells that you know will be the ‘good’ ones and remove those that will be the ‘bad’ ones. This is highly subjective and can’t be fixed by select few people. In many cases, parents go for a designer baby only to use the stem cells. When the designer baby is created, the parents extract the cells and put the baby up for adoption. We are not commenting on the choice to put babies up for adoption, but this just makes the whole process of pregnancy commercialized and removes the parent-child bond from it.

Violation of Your Baby’s Rights

When you create a designer baby, you change the life and mind of a living human being without the person’s permission. You will alter your baby’s mental, emotional and physical makeup for life. It is a process in which your baby will be used as a tool or a scientific experiment, instead of being treated more like a human being.

Not an Error-Free Process

The process of genetic modification to create designer babies is still in its nascent stage, which means that it is still in its experimental phase and needs more time to progress. In case there is some error while carrying out the process of creating a designer baby, it could also lead to an accidental miscarriage. As the process is still going through a lot of experiments and changes, it is not yet fully understood what type of implications it may have in your baby’s future genetic disposition.

Can Create a Marked Gap in Society, Leading to Classes

When you create a designer baby, your baby will have marked differences as compared to those babies who are born in an absolute natural disposition. While it is one of the main reasons why so many people want to go for a designer baby, it can create a big divide in society.

Ethical Issues Related to a Designer Baby

Some scientists and sociologists feel that creating designer babies can be a disaster that is waiting to take on big and terrifying proportions. In times to come, creating a race of designer or non-designer babies could lead to the designer babies, who are created by modifying the genes, turn into a superior race and look down upon those born without any genetic modification. Instead of letting the human brain and body develop through various mutations and natural selection processes that happen as a part of the natural growth of the unborn baby, science and technology will take over all aspects.

Therefore to conclude, designer babies, are still a nascent concept that has not yet been developed enough to be completely foolproof. Also, countries like India, China, and UK have made it illegal, so you can see the cons outweigh the pros. If you and your partner indeed want to become parents, then learn to accept your baby the way they are.

References

https://jme.bmj.com/content/30/6/e5

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)61538-X/fulltext

https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000224

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy Babies and Empowered Women!!

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