Build- A – Baby

In today’s society, everyone is in constant competition for wanting to be the best. What if there was a way to make your offspring the best?  Last year during my A.P. Psychology class, my teacher brought up the subject of designer babies. She explained to us that designer babies refers to the process in which parents can pick and choose traits or eliminate certain traits in their embryos. For those of you who do not know what an embryo is, it is the very first step of development for an unborn offspring. Immediately when she introduced this topic it stirred a very heated debate in my class. Is it ethical to eliminate or add certain traits to an embryo? Some students said yes and some said no. I personally did not like this technological advancement. In my eyes it was unethical because you should not be able to alter how your child will look, its gender, or even their level of intelligence. Those with enough money to have designer babies are already at an advantage over those who do not have as much money, it seems unfair that they would have yet another advantage in life. What traits can you actually pick and choose for your embryo?

The article I used for my information was,”Designer Babies: The Truth Behind Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis” by Ali Venosa for Medical Daily. After reading the article I found out that there were many common misconceptions behind the mechanisms for alternating genes in the embryo. In my eyes the most shocking thing that I believed about  preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) better known as designer babies is that you could easily decide what you wanted your child to look like and their intelligence level. To me this would eliminate diversity among society. Life would be boring if everyone had the same hair color, eye color, skin color and intelligence. After reading this article, this fact was debunked, you cannot decide your child’s physical appearance to the level that I thought you could. The only thing that doctor’s are capable of right now is deciding the gender and eye color of your child. My only concern about this is not regarding to eye color but to gender selection. In places like China where boys are much more desirable than females, this type of technology could throw the balance off between the sexes. This poses as a problem for reproduction in the future if one gender greatly outnumbers the other.

The more and more I read the article, the more I understood the importance of having the designer baby technology. Let’s say your family has a very long history of a certain disease, thanks to this technology, you can take out that gene in the embryo so that your child has little to no risk of developing that disease. Doctor’s can check your embryo for more than 100 abnormalities that could affect the quality of your child’s life. The most common removal of genes if for diseases like Tay-Sachs, Huntington’s, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell disease. This technology also allows doctor’s to check the number of chromosomes which would lead to the prevention of Down’s syndrome. If people are given the opportunity to better their child’s life and lower the risk of them developing a disease or being born with a disability, I personally would jump at it.

This whole study is really just a matter of ethics and what you personally believe after being presented with the facts of what the technology can and cannot do. In Andrew’s lecture from October 13th 2016, he presented the question: Are cancer trials ethical? Andrew told us that one group would be the control and would not receive treatment while the other group would be receiving treatment. Our class ruled this as ethical because the parents gave their consent on the study. Taking this into consideration as well as the benefits that I found out from the article, I now believe that designer babies are ethical. I am curious on everyone elses thoughts.



Venosa, Ali. “Designer Babies: Fact Vs. Fiction.” Medical Daily. N.p., 25 Mar. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

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5 thoughts on “Build- A – Baby

  1. Corbin Kennedy Miller

    I personally think that to a certain extent, the technology used in order to choose certain aspects of your child’s genes isn’t totally wrong. If both parents can mutually agree on a certain gender, than it is their choice, and we should allow them to carry out their wishes if it is what they feel is best for them. There are also certain genetic disorders or issues that might cause the parents to consider selecting the gender, such as if a certain disease ran in the family but it only affected one gender. That being said, i think it should only go as far as selecting the gender, anything further than that becomes a moral grey area, at least in my view.

  2. Lydia A Chelli

    When I began reading this post I was thinking about how this advance could be benefit society. Initially, when you stated this was unethical, I disagreed because it would not put another person in harm if another baby has a better physical appearance than he/she, which is very difficult to predict. When I recall the lecture we had in which we talked about the pediatric cancer trials, it would be more of an ethics dispute because children could live, die, or remain the same as a result of the experiment.

    As I continued reading, I enjoyed your conclusion and presentation of the facts, and ultimately your new opinion on the subject. I now agree with you that this should be considered an advance because it can prevent the risk of diseases that have been passed down through generations.

  3. Maura Katherine Maguire

    This post really intrigued me and is something I really feel strongly about. Last year in high school I took Anatomy and we discussed this topic a lot. I think this is wrong and frankly messes with the laws of genetics. I don’t think it should be allowed to mutilate your baby and pick it’s traits before it is born. I believe birth is something so beautiful and natural and no one should mess with this process. This process is extremely unethical and should not be promoted. Great post, but I really do not agree with the idea of designer babies.

  4. Patrick James Mcgovern

    Thank you for this, it’s a very pressing and unique issue.

    I personally agree with you and think not only that it would be boring but it would be kinda creepy. It sounds like some sort of dystopian novel honestly, where one form of human being is consistently produced in an effort to get rid of others.

    However, something I think is more realistic and terrible is the possibility of this process and idea becoming a corporate, business, money-making model that winds up causing other issues for other people. Do you think this is the kind of thing that could be taken advantage of? This is especially scary when you consider the opportunity gap that would most likely ruin the hope of any diversity in the build a baby concept.

    Here’s an interesting article that goes into all the possible questions and angle of this aspect of modern familty life:

  5. Abigail Edwards

    I personally think that this technological advancement isn’t one to be celebrated. Like you said, gender can be chosen by the parents. I don’t think that this should be allowed not only for the reasons that you stated but the whole concept overall is messing with the natural order of life. Reproduction is a beautiful, natural occurrence, it shouldn’t be altered for something as trivial as gender. On the other hand, this can be very helpful when it comes to combatting disease. My question is, are there any risk with this procedure? If so what are they and do they out weigh the benefits?


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