Tuesday, March 3, 2009

build-a-baby workshop

A fertility clinic with offices in LA and NYC is about to begin offering its clients the ability to choose their baby's gender, hair color, and eye color.

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. 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. [snip]

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."

The Fertility Institute admits the procedure isn't 100% accurate yet and results are best for parents whose gene pools aren't "diluted" with other races. Right-to-lifers are going ballistic in advance because there's no law against the selective destruction of embryos who do not meet the requested traits.




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