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Design YOUR baby... Custom-Made Babies Delievered..

Posted by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 7:11 AM
  • 18 Replies

What do you think about this?

Custom-made babies delivered: Fertility clinic doctor's design-a-kid offer creates uproar

BY Gina Salamone

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009, 3:06 AM

Boy or girl? Blond or brunette? Blue eyes or brown? Fertility doc thinks he can deliver. Photo Illustration by Isaac Lopez/News

Boy or girl? Blond or brunette? Blue eyes or brown? Fertility doc thinks he can deliver.

Dr. Jeff Steinberg has already let thousands decide their kids' gender. Now he says that within the next six months, the Manhattan and L.A. offices of his Fertility Institutes will let would-be moms and dads pick whether junior has blue or brown eyes or black or blond hair.

"In the process of doing gender selection ... we've also uncovered the technology [to] characterize things like eye and hair color," said Steinberg, 54.

The idea of a Build-A-Bear style baby was slammed Monday by bioethicists and right-to-life groups - and Pope Benedict has warned against it for years.

The Pope railed against the "obsessive search for the perfect child" just two weekends ago. "A new mentality is creeping in that tends to justify a different consideration of life and personal dignity," he said.

Steinberg countered that reproductive technologies aren't about to go away.

"Genetic health is the wave of the future," he said. "It's already happening and it's not going to go away. It's going to expand. So if they've got major problems with it, they need to sit down and really examine their own consciences because there's nothing that's going to stop it."

Custom-made kids will be achieved through preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, the procedure used to weed out problem embryos and to allow parents to choose a gender.

In letting parents decide what traits their kids have, doctors will examine the genetic makeup of embryos created in the lab and implant the ones that have the best chance of giving mom and dad what they want.

Some doctors question Steinberg's ability to give parents their pick of traits.

"He's the only one offering this because you can't yet do it," said Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Technology. "Nobody can do this right now."

Dr. William Kearns, head of the Shady Grove Center for Preimplantation Genetics in Rockville, Md., disagrees. His research has identified genes relating to northern European skin, hair and eye pigmentation, but he won't use it to let parents design their kids.

Steinberg, one of the doctors who helped produce the first test-tube baby, admits the technology isn't 100% - and says for now the best results are with couples of Scandinavian heritage, whose gene pools are the least diluted.

"Say you made seven embryos, and one of them has got the highest chance of green eyes, and that chance is 80%. It's not perfect science because eye and hair color are not perfect genetics," said Steinberg, who opened an office on E. 40th St. two months ago.

There are no laws in New York that address how PGD testing can be used. Opponents say there should be.

Lori Kehoe, executive director of the New York State Right to Life Committee, is upset that the embryos deemed undesirable will be destroyed.

She said it is "sickening to flush a member of the human family down the drain" because they are not considered perfect.

Prof. Alexander Capron, bioethicist and professor of law and medicine at the University of Southern California, called Steinberg's procedure problematic. "The notion of unconditional love and support - which is assumed to be what parents owe their children - is totally undermined here," he said.

"You're saying I want to order up just what I want and that's what I'll love."

One New York doctor even likened it to the pursuit of a master race.

"We're crossing the line into eugenics, the theory of trying to give people enhanced characteristics - genetic engineering to make sort of the superman or superwoman," said Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, director of ethics at New York Medical College and St. Vincent's Hospital.

With Nancy Dillon in Los Angeles and Nicole Lyn Pesce in New York

by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 7:11 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 7:52 AM

This is so creepy!

by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 8:46 AM

I guess the stim cell advocates just love this!   More little embryos deemed "trash" they can kill for research.  No one likes to discuss the "inferiors", we just see them as a commodity.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Wow this is unfrikkin believable people are sick in the head for even wanting this to occur! I am truly sicken

by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Things have worked just fine for the last 10 thousand years with God deciding what children will look like.  It think it is stupid, immoral and just plain wierd to design your own baby.  It's not Build a Bear!  Come on people this is sick!

by New Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:34 AM

SAD!  Very, very SAD!  I think God has done just fine in choosing the way my 4 kids look!  Wouldn't trade them off for all the "perfect" kids in the world!  And really, who is to say what is the "perfect" look for a child??  I have a brown hair, hazel eyed son, a red headed (well when she isn't changing it up!LOL) green eyed daughter, a blonde hair, blue eyed son and a strawberry blonde, blue eyed boy.   Daddy has dark brown hair and coffee brown eyes, I'm a strawberry blonde with blue eyes.  So what should we have picked for our perfect child??  EXACTLY what God gave us!  4 healthy, beautfiul children that's what! 

by Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:34 AM

weird me and my SO were just having a conversation about this topic a few days ago.I think the only time parents should be allowed to pick gender or whatever is if a gender specific abnormality exists.If you have a family history of hemophilia for example and know that there is a very high chance that any sons you have are going to be born with the disease i think you should be allowed to choose to have only female embryos implanted.Or other sex linked disorders that result in a diminished quality of life for the child.I also think  screening of embryos should be allowed for older women whose risk of a child born with downs syndrome is increased.I think they should be allowed to screen thier embryos for the extra chromosome and implant those that test negative for it.but i do not think it is alright to design your childs eye color and height hair color.that is messing with nature just a little too much even for my taste.besides what happens if the child comes out with the wrong color eyes?do they get to take it back to the doctor because they were promised something else.or if they keep it is that child going to feel the parents disappointment in having a brown eyed son instead of a blue eyed one?

by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:41 AM

     I have been watching this as well, and find it more than a little disturbing. This brings to my mind the Nazi's and their quest for the superior race.

   Those who can't get behind our troops should feel free to stand in front of them!!!!!

by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

throwing up

by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 10:01 AM

This science could be perfectly developed, and I still wouldn't use it. I'm all for IVF, but this is ridiculous.

by Gold Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 12:32 PM

NO!  Absolutely NOT!


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