Right of Reply: Nuala Scarisbrick

A trustee of LIFE, a pro-life charity responds to reports about the freezing of human eggs
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The Independent Culture
ONCE AGAIN the complacent Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has licensed a further development in the commercial manufacture of designer babies.

A London clinic has now been licensed to freeze and store, for a fee of pounds 2,800, eggs for later use in creating, by IVF, a baby at the "right" time for a woman.

So the expensive plans literally to put on ice the development of a baby until a career/ partner/ income/ lifestyle is "right" may not only fail, but damage health.

But the technology is there, it is argued, so it must be used. Babies are no longer created by raw emotions such as love, desire, awe, wonder. They are manufactured by paid technicians for large fees, frozen and stored by legal contract, and brought to life, with luck, at a time to suit the adults.

There is growing concern that the 10,000 children born in the last eight years as a result of anonymously donated eggs and sperm will suffer from identity, emotional and health problems.

The children's charity Barnardos is holding a seminar next month entitled "Are we just creating children for parents?" Certainly the situation where a child can have five parents (anonymous sperm and egg donors, commissioning couple, surrogate mother to incubate), or be born several years later than a twin sibling, or be deliberately manufactured for single parents, illustrates that the rights and needs of children are not protected by the assisted reproduction industry.

Children have a right not to be artificially manufactured, bought, sold, frozen, stored, thawed (and inspected and discarded if "defective"), and finally subjected to the rigours of IVF. But who wants to protect children's rights? Who cares, apart from pro-lifers?

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