A designer baby occurs when hopeful parents chose desirable qualities for embryos via genetic screening.
The embryos are then implanted into women’s uteruses via IVF.
Traits that may be selected could include choosing a daughter, a child without a risk of sickle cell disease or a son who is musically gifted.
What supporters say
Supporters argue genetically altering embryos could increase individuals’ life expectancies by only keeping their healthy genes.
DNA that increases the risk of certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, could be discarded.
Some believe selecting for traits such as intelligence may also improve people’s quality of life.
Supporters also claim parents already have an influence on their children’s personalities, such as taking them to music concerts.
They add parents should also have ‘prenatal autonomy’.
What critics say
Critics argue it is unethical for children to be genetically engineered to have certain traits, such as blue eyes, that do not benefit their health.
Such genetic screening is also still in its early stages and therefore may not be completely safe.
Parents may also not get the outcomes they were hoping for due to chemical modifications affecting genes after embryos are implanted in the uterus.
Critics also argue people’s upbringings and life experiences have a substantial impact on traits such as intelligence.
In addition, genes that control intelligence may also influence ‘negative’ traits, like anger.
Some also point out only wealthy people could likely afford such genetic screenings.
Health insurers may also reject patients who did not undergo genetic selection out of concerns they have a higher disease risk.