The health of some special Teens is under study amidst controversy because the kids have more than two parents. Conception in vitro at a fertility lab apparently included genes from at least three parents. This appears to disturb some folks. The kids are now 15 and the fertility mavens are interested in comparing them to standard,-two parent progeny for obvious reasons. We are interested too and thought you might be also.
Our interest isn’t scientific, though or at least, not biologically so. We’ll leave that to the eggheads. Our curiosity is directed at the societal, legal, economic and governmental effects of this new sort of procreation. We haven’t heard anything along those lines from the fertility folk; they’re just assembling their human babies without worrying over any of that, so we’re worrying a little for them. Waving test tubes around without thinking too much about what’s in them seems a neat way to acquire those ‘unintended consequences’ we hear of, usually after it’s too late.
We’be already had all sorts of discussion over whether designer babies are a good idea when we obviously cant manage the design we already have. So we won’t dwell on that. We’ll consider a few other things.
Do we want anyone who wishes to play Dr. Frankenstein? Or do we prefer that the government require say, licensing and supervision? We’re informed that a camel is a horse designed by a committee; do we want humans produced under bureaucratic regulation?
Should this form of parenting be available to those who can pay or is it owed to everyone at public expense?
Should all the less successful results be offed or allowed to persist through Obamacare? What should be done with one of these when a latent defect appears at say, age 8?
Will all three parents be liable for child support? How will custody be decided when that is needed? The teens reported here mostly have 3 or so parents; should there be a limit on that number?
Proceeding onward, what if some fertility lab wants to establish a business of assembling, surrogate-mothering and selling these industrially built kids? If that’s allowed, what will the lab do when it has too much inventory? What will happen if China uses the idea to produce millions of warriors?
There are lots more lovely possibilities here and note: None of this is sci-fi; we’re already looking at the health of existing 15 year olds. It’s happening.
Another question: If government steps in, you get two things for sure: babies designed to satisfy politicians … and a black market in babies that don’t meet the government standards. That last will give rise to enforcement machinery, right? What will happen to unauthorized kids gathered up by government agents in enforcement raids? Or found in the homes of unregistered parents?
The list could go on and on as the fertility folk blithely implant and play with genes. We think that this field will be both unstoppable and a lot of fun, particularly for those sensitive to black humor. It might not be so much fun though, to be a kid.
See you on the “Island of Dr. Moreau !