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Would you want to hand-pick the traits of your baby?

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM
  • 15 Replies

New Genetic Technology Means Parents Could 'Design' Their Ideal Baby Sooner Than You Think

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

babyThe future is officially now, because a company recently patented their technology to make it possible for parents to choose certain traits and characteristics of their babies. As in, want your baby to have blue eyes? No problem! Want a kid who grows up to be over 5"7"? They've got you covered! Hoping your child will be captain of the football team? Hope no more!

Well, it's kind of like that.

Consumer genomics company 23andMe technically has the technology available to make custom-ordered babies possible, but that's not what they're going to do with it, because, in layman's terms, it's a little too sci-fi-y for most people's taste. The technology is going to be used to help couples get a better idea about the probability that their babies would inherit a variety of traits, including mutations that may lead to certain diseases, like cancer. "The company never pursued the concepts discussed in the patent beyond our Family Traits Inheritance Calculator," 23andMe said in a statement, "Nor do we have any plans to do so."

But. This is the first patent that's, for lack of a better phrase, a designer baby maker. What's to say another company out there won't coin something similar? Would you want that?

As much of a planner that I am (seriously, huge planner over here), I could never bring myself to use technology like this to get my "dream baby." Because, as cheesy as it sounds, my dream baby is the one that comes to me naturally. Being surprised is part of the fun.

Before I found out the sex of my baby, I thought my daughter was a boy. I was convinced she'd be born bald, and she was born with a full head of dark brown hair. I was positive she'd be around 6 pounds, and she was almost 8. And every day she surprises me with a look, an interest, or something she says -- and it's awesome. She's not a mini-me or a selection of characteristics I find to be admirable or interesting. She's herself. And, to me, that's a million times better than a person I designed.

If given the opportunity, of course I would want my child to have a low risk for diseases -- what parent wouldn't? But something about messing around with genetics gets me a little nervous for other diseases and ailments to come into play since it's so unnatural.

Right now, this isn't something we need to struggle with, because, at this point, 23andMe isn't selling any designer baby makers. And let's hope it stays that way. As Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, said: "It would be so irresponsible of 23andMe to actually offer a product or service based on this patent."

Would you want to hand-pick the traits of your baby?

by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Nope. I like that my kids are a great mix of my husband & I. I like that they are their own person. Not something smooshed into a cookie cutter.
by on Oct. 4, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I would have liked to for my daughter
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by Sapphire Member on Oct. 5, 2013 at 12:34 AM

No way :)

by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 12:38 AM
1 mom liked this
No. Traits are what make you who you are personality wise. Rule out all defective genetic disorders from Diabetes to Cerebral palsy? YES.

That's one thing I would like to see gone forever.
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 7:15 AM

My initial response was, "No way."  But would I like to rule out life threatening or debilitating diseases and conditions?  Yeah.  So, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

by Amanda on Oct. 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM
1 mom liked this

Nope.  I am not messing with God;s plan.  Or Mother Nature.

by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

no way. i love how nature works that my  kids are a perfect mixture of dh & I &   then parts of them are just THEM they we dont even know where it came from! love it.. makes them unique. i'd never mess with that.. or choosing a gender  either.

by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I married a man with traits I wanted my kids to have, and my kids have those traits. I see nothing wrong with that.

by Gold Member on Oct. 5, 2013 at 4:35 PM
I can see why people do this. I don't know if I ever would myself, but screening out recessive genetic diseases can provide a lot of reassurance for people.
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM


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