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The New Way to Make Babies
By Theodore Kinni

(Business 2.0) - Making stuff for babies is big business, and increasingly, so is making the actual babies. In The Baby Business, set for a Valentine's Day release by Harvard Business School Press, HBS professor Debora L. Spar finds a customer base willing to pay any price for healthy offspring. The U.S. market for fertility treatments, she estimates, hit $2.9 billion in 2004. Parents are also paying to make babies better: A fertility firm recently offered $100,000 for an egg donor with "college-level athletic ability." Another burgeoning field is preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which allows parents to screen for hereditary diseases. The innovation could eventually create a genetic gap between haves and have-nots. But the most pressing issue, Spar says, is sorting out the thorny legal questions in a society where designer babies may soon be as common as designer baby strollers.

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