A US fertility clinic has launched a “Donor Look-A-Like” scheme which allows women to search for sperm donors who they claim resemble celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Will Smith.
But the initiative has been criticised by pro-life groups who say it is “another step down the road to the illusion of designer children”.
The “Donor Look-A-Like” scheme is being offered by California Cryobank, a 30 year old fertility business.
The controversial scheme has drawn criticism from the LA Times who described it as “just silly”, adding, “If you aspire to celebrity lookalike children, perhaps you’re not quite ready to be a parent”.
Scott Brown, Communications Director for California Cryobank, defended the scheme, insisting, “this is not a designer baby factory.”
He added: “We want to humanise the experience because we can’t show what the donor actually looks like”.
The service has however significantly boosted sales.
In addition to using the “Donor Look-A-Like” service, potential mothers can search by hair color and texture, eye color, height, weight, ancestry, level of education, area of education, and religion.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics currently offer embyros screened to have specific characteristics, such as blue eyes or blond hair. Others offer gender selection and screening for cancer tendencies.
Dr David Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, warned: “It is past time that we put limits on the ‘anything goes’ absolute right to reproduction where those born and unborn pay the price of their parent’s whims.”
A recent study on donor-conceived children entitled, My Daddy’s Name Is Donor, found that such children were more likely to suffer from social problems than children raised by their own biological parents.