2009: Designing Your Baby?
The latest controversial fertility procedure to stir up news is about designing your child prior to conception. The Melbourne Herald Sun featured an article about 14 Australian couples seeking out this designer baby idea in Los Angeles. California-based fertility expert and physician Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg is allowing infertile couples to choose the sex of their child and cosmetic features such as hair and eye color. Dr. Steinberg told the Herald Sun that they initially began this genetic advancement to help albino children, "We started out trying to help these albino children and in the process we're learning how to predict eye color." The controversial side, Dr Steinberg agrees, is that parents can now be told the likely hair and eye color of a future child as they make a decision on which of their fertilized embryos will go to pregnancy." While many are seeking Dr. Steinberg out for cosmetic improvements on their children, the vast majority of his work revolves around children with genetic illnesses not gender and hair color. He sees roughly 800 patients each year and has 3 clinics nationwide. As exciting of a breakthrough as this may be, the tests and procedures cost upwards of $20,000 to simply diagnose, and over hundreds of thousands for proper treatment.