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April 14th, 2019: New Shepard, Texas

Lauri and Mona sat in the waiting room of the local Fertility Institute ready to make the biggest decision of their lives, and all either could do was hold onto the other's hands in the cold and crowded waiting room, watching countless other perspective parents come and go. Some looked elated, others simply looked just as anxious as they did.

"Lauri and Mona Flores," an older nurse called out, "Dr. Chella will see you now."

Mona was the first to rise, still clutching her wife's hand as if to pull her up with her. The two had talked about this for more than three years; first with idle, "have you ever thought about"s, then moving into more serious, "do you think we're ready"s, and finally the dry, but easily most crucial, "can we afford it?"s.

The hall was decorated with OLED displays each cycling though images of how the process is done, while other simply showed happy clients with their new children.

They reached the room that held Dr. Raj Chella, one of the chief fertility specialists. He was a relatively short man with dark mocha skin and a receding hairline. He spoke with a faint accent, showing that he was at least a second generation citizen.

"Well, Ms. and Mrs. Flores, are you finally ready?"

The two looked at eachother, and Lauri offered Mona a reassuring smile, "Yes Dr. Chella," Mona answered, "I think we are."

"Excellent," Chella responded, "Now comes the fun part... well, not as fun as the old fashioned way, but still pretty cool."

The gentlemen led them to a glass table and had them sit at the opposite end of himself. He held his thumb down on a power symbol, engraved in the left corner on his side, and an image of a child came up, resembling both Mona and Lauri. Beside the image was a list of traits; eye color, skin tone, gender/sexuality, etc.

"Now, obviously you want the basics, health, intelligence, strength etc. Now its really just down to the little details."

Lauri leaned eagerly over the screen and perused the selection of features from both Mona and her own genome. "We've given it a lot of thought and we both want it to be a girl."

"Wonderful, have you decided on sexuality?"

Mona spoke up first, "Can't we just leave that to chance, I really wouldn't feel right about that."

"I'm afraid not, Ms. Flores, the embryos are incredibly hearty, if we gave your partner two you'd just wind up with twins."

Mona didn't want to decide for her child who'd she eventually come to love. As a Texas native, born to two devoutly Catholic parents, she was still uncomfortable talking to her parents about her own sexuality, she didn't know how they'd act towards their grandchild.

Lauri spoke again, "Why don't we just select "Random, and let the computer decide, that way it will still be a surprise."

Mona sighed and held her wife's hand again, "alright, that's fine."

They spent the next half hour selecting traits. Choosing Mona's caramel skin, but Lauri's green eyes. Mona's wavy hair, but Lauri's red color. Mona's father's height, but Lauri's mother's build. When it was all done they looked at the gene projection of what their full grown child would one day look like and both began to cry after hitting "COMPLETE."

Chella stood up and moved over to shake their hands, "Congrats, I'm sure she'll turn out to be a lovely woman someday."

He bent over to sign his name on the Attending Physician line, and the information was off to the lab where the DNA they donated would be used to build their child's embryo that they both agreed Lauri would carry to term.

They left the Institute holding eachother tight, both overjoyed at the thought of the new life they would soon be able to call their own.
I've been thinking about genetic engineering and Designer babies lately for some reason, mostly out of fear that my best friend and his wife will soon create a real life Khan Noonien Singh once they get the chance.

I am personally in favor of designer children, though I know it would be difficult for some people to not leave some things to chance. Though I do believe it is unavoidable, given that you can already screen for diseases and pick gender and eye color (at a huge cost).

I have no personal interest in having kids anytime soon, but the idea of genetically selecting from the best traits of two parents regardless of gender is very interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. What do you think?
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TheElevatedDeviant Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012
I think that Genetically designing children should be one of two options, the other being do it the normal way and see what happens.
YNot1989 Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Watch Gattica.
TheElevatedDeviant Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2012
obLIZZIEous Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011   Photographer
i have mixed oppinions about genetic designed children....but...i do believe that it would be..ideal if you have...certain traits that you wish your children wouldn't or..if you have certain ones in mind that you'd wish for your baby to have. medically it could have major benefits ...and i would be concerned about side effects or...if things could even turn out. i would LOVE to learn more about this. and i like that i am young enough that i have plenty of time to consider all these things. thank you for putting this story out, it brought some things to my attention. if you have any other information or points of view to share please post!!!
Mattystereo Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011
To be honest, this unnerves me a little bit (the designer babies, not the homosexuality)... but I can't fight the future. So I might as well embrace it!

I also want future generations to have hands for feet and larger frontal lobes, so I can't say that I don't want any alteration or control of human genetics... :D
tamtamgod Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think I do agree with designing to a certain degree, such as simply making sure they aren't born with any disabilities, but choosing their appearance is going too far I think. Just chuck the two parents' genes in a blender and see what mush comes out =P

There would have to be limitations on who has access to this sort of technology, though. The parent may have serious psychological issues that would project on the child, like a Twihard wanting a Rob Pattinson look-alike baby (for example) >_< It would be really creepy if some sort of Oedipus/Electra complex was developed towards their own baby...

I do support the same sex marriage- and child-idea btw :) It was nice to see someone do something like this
King-Of-Saturn Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so heartwarming. I honestly don't see very much wrong with "designer babies" (Unless you specifically created one to have disabilities).
SpartanNinja141 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011
I, for on, support this idea. When it becomes affordable, it can eliminate any genetic diseases or deformities the baby may have. Doing so could also prevent things such as obesity, at least in some, due to their body structure. And I do agree with you, the current world is bland. Allowing this wouls allow some of our own unique, individual traits to prevail.
Nederbird Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011
I must admit, while I like to consider myself a liberal, I'm quite a bit unsure about this. On one hand, I'm all for it if it is about eliminating diseases, serious disorders, deformations and the like that could have a real debilitating effect on one's life. On the other hand, selecting traits in that manner is in my honest opinion, simply wrong, for a multitude of reasons.

The primary reasons why I'm against it is because I believe that: a) it'll give the genetically engineered person a ridiculously unfair advantage over the unengineered ones; b) looking at how people seem to think and how susceptible they are to trends, we'd end up with a horribly bland population, where "being normal" would be emphasized over variety even on the genetic level and c)... okay, this isn't really an argument, but I simply find it immoral.

So in short, I'm for eliminating seriously debilitating dysfunctions, but I'm firmly against designer humans. While one might argue that it is in fact, evolution sped up, I myself feel that it's too artificial to be anything but disruptive to what I feel is "the natural order of things", if that makes any sense. I believe that one get what one gets (in my case, Asperger's Syndrome) and that one then has to work with what one has.
YNot1989 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I understand your opinion, but a little context on my end.

a.) Who cares? Genetically endowed people already have a major advantage over those who aren't, its called natural selection. Those unfortunate enough to be born to parents unwilling to endow their children with the best of themselves will be left with two choices.
1.) Prepare for a life of menial labor until you're replaced by a robot.
2.) Enhance yourself with whatever is available at the time

b.) I partly disagree. We already have a fairly bland population already, even in a country as diverse as mine pretty much everyone doesn't come to carve their own identity until they reach puberty, and even then most are basically clones of whoever Disney, Hot Topic, or Fox tells them to emulate.

c.) Morality is entirely subjective, so yes it isn't an argument.

I will leave you with this, "we are as of gods, and might as well get good at it," and making nature our bitch is a good start.
Nederbird Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011
I still feel that I must disagree.

a) If you ask me, it's called natural selection because it is just that, natural, not artificial. Moreover, when or even if designer babies become available it will most probably also start out as ridiculously expensive, like all new technology is, which means that only the filthy rich will be able to use it anyway (at least in the beginning and like with space tourism, I'm guessing it's going to be quite a long beginning). This of course means that the gap between rich and poor would become ten if not a hundred times wider than it already is.

b) My point exactly. People are bland enough as it is. Should this kind of technology ever become affordable to the average man and gain popularity (which I believe it would), then people will become even blander than they are today. That may be hard to believe, but like with North Korea, people thought it couldn't get any worse than with Kim Il-Sung at the helm, but then it actually did when his son came and took over. If sheep-like people would get to use this technology, we would not only have to deal with wannabee-celebrities, but actually see celebrity look-alikes everywhere we go.

c) Aye, I shouldn't have brought that up in the first place. XD

There was a time when I actually did condone Transhumanism, but not much anymore. While I am for almost every sort of progress made my science and while I do approve of anything that can make our lives easier and/or advance us as a species, designer humans is where I draw the line. My position it is up to nature to decide what you start out with, but from then on, you're free to do with yourself whatever you want. Anything else, in my opinion, would be to infringe on every person's right to self-determination.

In the end however, I do condone eugenics to wipe out harmful and life-debilitating diseases and dysfunctions, but that's as far as I'm willing to support it.
YNot1989 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
a.) Why is "natural" instantly better than what is man made? Personally I think there's no stopping designer babies. Hell we already can screen for diseases, eye color, hair color, and gender. It won't be long before it gets really detailed. And yes, I admit that only the rich will be able to afford the technology at first, as is the present case. But that is only because only a very small number of people understand the techniques. Right now the technology is for genetic diseases and basic cosmetics, by the time its used for what I described, I suspect costs will significantly drop.

b.) I think we're arguing over nothing here, we essentially agree anyway.

c.) ;)

Again, see point a.)
Nederbird Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
To be perfectly honest, I'm mostly worried about the consequences that might come with. If you wonder why I think natural is better than artificial, then take a look at industry, at fast-food and at pesticides. Even though all those have benefited mankind greatly, they've all has some awful backside. In my mind, the artificial distorts and disrupts every time man meddles with nature

What worries me the most, however, would be the disparity between the idiots who chose to have children engineered to be intelligent and those children. If I take a look at all the people who had more or less miserable childhoods, on all the people committing suicide, on all the criminals in the country if not the world. While the factors may be many, I believe the main cause is bad parenting plus a bad environment. Now if the kids growing up in bad environment would turn out bad themselves, but intelligent along with it, I wouldn't want to imagine what society would look like.
HowlsInTheDistance Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm... Personally, I think there are enough sad and lonely children in need of a home in orphanages. I feel like a gay couple is like the perfect chance for one of these children to finally find a good home, you know? I mean, is it right to pretend they don't exist, just so one can fulfill their selfish desire to pass on their genetic legacy?

Besides that, I'm also not really down with designer babies because it seems too much like eugenics to me... No one can be born superior to any other person, but that's what the concept of designer babies seems to suggest to me... Like they can create a "superior" human through science. Screw that... I don't give a damn what my DNA looks like, I am who I am, and that's good enough for me.

Anyway, that's my two cents.
YNot1989 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I understand where you're coming from about orphanages, but its human nature to want to see your genetic line be passed on.

As for Eugenics, you're wrong; don't forget you are the product of modern natural selection. A human alive today is statistically more intelligent than even someone who was alive 100 years ago. Designer Babies are just speeding up the process by allowing two people to pick the best of themselves to be passed on. I know I'm going to get called a Nazi for saying this, but while perfection is more or less impossible, there is nothing wrong with trying to create a healthier, smarter, and ultimately better human.
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