Most infants will be 'designer babies' in as little as 20 years, a professor claims.
Within 20-to-40 years, hopeful mothers will be able to chose the embryos implanted into their wombs based on their preferences for sex, intelligence, musical ability or disease risk, according to Professor Henry Greely from Standard University, who works in bioethics.
Professor Greely, who wrote 'The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction', said: 'The majority of babies of people who have good health coverage will be conceived this way.'
A designer baby is an embryo that is genetically engineered for specifically selected traits before being implanted into a woman via IVF.
Although initially a sci-fi concept, preimplantation genetic diagnosis already routinely determines if embroyos are at risk of diseases such as cystic fibrosis in the UK and US. Designer babies are illegal in the UK.
While The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs supports genetic selection if it benefits a child's wellbeing, critics argue choosing 'preferred' traits that do not boost health is unethical.