Monday, January 08, 2007

Designer Babies for Sale

WorldNetDaily reported today about a Texas fertility clinic's announcement "that it would match sperm and egg donors to meet criteria for babies demanded by customers."

The proposal has been made by the Abraham Center of Life in Texas, an in-vitro fertilization clinic that said the donors would be screened and confirmed so that the features parents desire are present in a baby.

The specific plan offered by the clinic advertises that the women donors all will have post-high school degrees, and the men who donate must have advanced degrees. But the nature of such medical procedures also requires that multiple eggs be fertilized – to make sure one has the "right" features – and the rest then are destroyed.

"I hope we have the gumption to have laws passed that will prohibit this," Dr. Gene Rudd, the associate executive director for the Christian Medical Association, told WND. "But one we've gone so far, how can you justify not going just a little bit further … down that ethical abyss."

Rudd said the concept of "improving" a population by "controlled breeding" has been exhibited before in history, and Americans perhaps should review the outcomes there before moving forward with the plan again.

Rudd noted that a famous doctor who attended the Nuremberg trials after World War II noted that "all the atrocities in Germany had their roots in a change of attitude within the medical community – that there were lives not worthy to be lived."

There are times when the news gets distressing, even for me. There are times when the attitudes of our society and the direction those attitudes are headed make the future here on earth look bleak. With the devaluing of human life that permeates our world, this is one of those times, and this story is just one small piece of the picture.

To demand the perfection of our children is to tell the imperfect ones that they are worth less. We defeated Hitler and his eugenics during the 1940s, but each generation develops new technologies that give it the capacity to resurrect eugenics with a new spin. Now it's as a means of offering a "service" to couples who are willing to pay. But the meaning is clear: Some people are more equal than others.

To keep my sanity, maybe I'll see if that old episode of Saturday Night Live is out on the internet somewhere. The one with the designer-baby clinic, where the parents were pressured into ordering their baby with wheels instead of feet.

Then again, maybe it's not so funny anymore.


Anonymous said...

This kind of story is so difficult to read. It's sad beyond words that there are people so willing to have the "perfect" baby that they willingly destroy countless other perfectly wonderful human lives.

I wonder if it ever occurs to these people that some of the most highly regarded thinkers and inventers and the like where born of parents with far less than ideal educational backgrounds. I wonder if they will be satisfied with their children if they look perfect, yet a few years down the line are found to have a learning disability, despite their "best-laid plans". Will physical "perfection" be enough for these people?

I've been reading in Genesis about Abraham and God's promise that he and Sarah would have an heir...and how they believed God, but tried to "help" Him out. The result was Ishmael, who did become an heir of Abraham and through whom God did make a nation. The problem is that this was not God's plan for Abraham and Sarah. He was still faithful, but their actions combined with their "I-know-better-than-God-how-to-accomplish-His-plan" attitude resulted in the formation of an Arab nation that has, since its beginnings, been enemies of the Jewish nation (Abraham's heir).

I wish more people realized that their actions today have far-reaching consequences, sometimes unintended consequences and possibly very deadly consequences.

There's so much more that needs to be said, so much more on my mind about this and so many ways that this hits home for me, but I'll stop there. I just wish people could see beyond themselves.

CG said...

A woman in my church has a son with Down Syndrome. He died last year due to heart problems. But he was so extremely loving and this love set the tone for their family dynamics. They weren't in search of high accomplishments, but in appreciating the good experiences they had together. I find myself envious of them. What shallow thinkers we are when we search only for perfection.

SkyePuppy said...


I completely understand the envy. Some of the best times were when my kids were little, and we walked slowly and looked at all the things they saw close to the ground. A child's wonder or delight far surpasses any of the things most adults think are important.