Genetic Engineering: U.S. Company Now Offers Look-Alike Celebrity Sperm

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Genetic Engineering: U.S. Company Now Offers Look-Alike Celebrity Sperm

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 28
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to have a baby whose genes come from someone who looks like a celebrity can now have their wish fulfilled. That’s thanks to a company that is coming under fire for offering sperm from people who may resemble your favorite celebrity.

A California-based fertility company called Cryobank is offering prospective parents a range of celebrity look-a-like sperm donors.

The firm, which will soon open an office in New York, allows customers to search through a database according to characteristics such as ethnicity and eye color without revealing donors’ photographs.

But its consultation services that have staff assuring customers that their child will be born with genes form someone looking like David Beckham or Brad Pitt are proving popular.

"Have you ever wondered if your favorite donor looks like anyone famous? You know how tall he is and his hair and eye color, but wouldn’t it be great to have an idea of what he really look like? Now you can find out with a click of your mouse," the company’s website says.

Scott Browne, a spokesman for Cryobank, told BioNews, "The intention is not to suggest the child will look like one of the celebrities. It’s just to personalize the donor."

"I think in their heads they know the medical history is most important, but ultimately we’re all interested in what someone looks like. It’s what we do when we’re dating or meet someone. I didn’t ask my wife her medical history before I decided to marry her," he added.

Potential sperm donors are require to give medical background but also undergo an analysis which helps determine which celebrity they most closely resemble.

"’There’s a lot that goes into it," he told BioNews. "It’s not just sitting in a room deciding who looks like Ben Affleck, what sounded really easy got complicated when we realized that people see people in completely different ways."

"So we’re very concerned about misleading clients. One rule we made was that a donor never gets just one celeb. And one of our representatives can always get on the phone and explain," he added.

Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith says he has concerns about genetic engineering and the look-alike process could easily be assigned to that category.

"The biotech agenda has never been about stem cell research. That is only a stage," he says.

"The ultimate agenda is Brave New World, e.g. genetic engineering, reproductive cloning, post humanism, and anything goes," he adds. "This has been hidden for political reasons, but with the hated Bush’s stem cell funding restrictions now defunct, we are beginning to see some truth in advertising."

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