A Texas company has started producing batches of ready-made embryos that single women and infertile couples can order after reviewing detailed information about the race, education, appearance, personality and other characteristics of the egg and sperm donors.
The Abraham Center of Life LLC of San Antonio, the first commercial dealer making embryos in advance for unspecified recipients, was created to help make it easier and more affordable for clients to have babies that match their preferences, according to its founder.
"We're just trying to help people have babies," said Jennalee Ryan, who arranged for an egg donor to start medical treatments to produce a second batch of embryos this week. "For me, that's what this is all about: helping make babies."
But the embryo brokerage, which calls itself "the world's first human embryo bank," raises alarm among some fertility experts and bioethicists, who say the service marks another disturbing step toward commercialization of human reproduction and "designer babies."
"We're increasingly treating children like commodities," said Mark A. Rothstein, a bioethicist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. "It's like you're...