Opinion: ‘Designing’ babies same as playing God

Celebrity Chrissy Teigen recently revealed she was pregnant with her first child with husband John Legend. Even more recently, she told the public that she chose to have a girl, according to CNN.

Read that again. She chose to have a girl. 

You’d think this means she ate a lot of acidic foods (an old wives’ tale says if you eat foods high in acid you’ll conceive a female baby) and other fun rituals. But no, there is actually a way for a couple to choose the sex of their fetus. They can even “pick” out which eye and hair color it will have — it’s like they’re shopping in a department store. 

It’s really amazing. Medicine and science has come such a long way from using sticks as scalpels. Teigen got pregnant via IVF (in vitro fertilization), which is an alternative for couples struggling to have a baby the natural way. 

Medicine and science are advancing rapidly every day and give people opportunities for healthier, longer lives, which I support 100 percent. However, I think we have to be careful about genetic manipulation, also known as “designer babies.” 

Of course, it is Teigen’s right to have a girl if she chooses. Sexes were presented to her in a petri dish, and they mutually chose to have a baby girl. What I don’t agree with is changing the eye color, hair color and other natural things that develop as a baby grows and matures in the womb.  

In other words, we have to be careful not to play God. 

I don’t know about you, but if my mother had told me that she designed me a certain way, I’d feel, in a way, sad. I have brown hair and brown eyes. It has taken me a long time to love those features. I also have a broad nose and full lips. My earlobes are detached and my forehead is about four fingers “tall,” and my mother loves me for who I am. 

So let’s say a mother really likes the look of dark hair and fair eyes, but her baby is naturally born with light hair and blue eyes. Would this be a disappointment, especially if she found out afterward of the idea of manipulation? What if, as the child grew, it felt “different,” like it was supposed to look another way? There are many implications to this science that need to be asked, investigated and scrutinized. 

I support just about any measure taken to insure the health and life of a fetus, but I don’t know how I feel about changing the physical characteristics of a baby just so it can look like your favorite handbag. 

Let’s not get carried away. Let’s let our babies be who they may.