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Designing Babies: How Technology Is Changing the Ways We Create Children 2019

19 December 2022

Since the first 'test-tube baby' was born more than 40 years ago, in vitro fertilisation and other assisted reproductive technologies have grown remarkably. It is estimated that 20% US couples use infertility services to help them conceive, and this number continues to grow. Such technologies allow thousands of people, including gay and lesbian couples and single parents, to have offspring. Couples can now transfer or


avoid passing on certain genes to their children, including genes related to chronic diseases and, probably soon, also height and eye colour. Parents-to-be even routinely choose the sex of their future child and whether they want twins. The possibilities of this rapidly evolving technology are astounding - especially in the United States, where the procedures are virtually unregulated As these possibilities are increasingly exploited, prospective parents, physicians and policymakers face complex and critical questions about the use or possible misuse of assisted reproductive technology. This book poses these questions by examining the ethical, social and political issues surrounding reproductive technology. Based on in-depth interviews, it explores how individuals and couples face dilemmas about whether, when and how to use these technologies. It presents the full range of key issues, from the economic pressures faced by patients to the moral and social challenges they face in making decisions that will profoundly shape the lives of their offspring. In doing so, he reveals the wider social and biological implications of controlling genetics.