By Hilary White
IVFSAN ANTONIO, August 8, 2006 ( – The day many ethicists have long feared and predicted has arrived as a US “embryo bank” has begun to create and sell embryos with specific genetic characteristics, matching them to clients’ preferences.
  Many ethicists have long complained that the use of IVF technology with preimplantation genetic diagnosis, combined with recent breakthroughs in understanding of human genetics, will lead to a nightmare “Brave New World” in which babies are made to order in labs and sold as commodities.
  The Daily Mail reports that made-to-order embryos are being offered, at a cost of about $10,000, at an exclusive private IVF facility, the Abraham Center of Life in San Antonio Texas. Couples are offered the chance to buy embryos screened for hair and eye colour along with other characteristics and have them implanted.
  The facility creates the embryos entirely in the lab with donated sperm and ova, boasting that sperm “donors” all hold PhD’s. Demand is high and there is a waitlist for white, blue eyed, blonde haired babies.

Centre director Jennalee Ryan responded to religious objections saying, “Jesus was not conceived in the normal way either. I don’t lose any sleep over what we are doing.”

“We are helping couples and putting good genes back into the universe,” she said.


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