Made by Design
Mr. and Mrs. Lowe sat anxiously in the small cluttered doctor’s office. They sat side by side in a red plush couch, waiting silently for the genealogist to enter. The desk in front of them was covered with books, loose paper, and family portraits. Plopped in the middle was a high-tech laptop. Mrs. Lowe gave her husband’s hand a tight squeeze and looked around at the posters on the wall. One had a picture of five perfectly beautiful babies smiling at each other. It read, “Neogenealogy: Creating a society of healthier, happier people.” Another had a picture of five-years-olds dressed up as various professions, a doctor, firefighter, scientist, judge. In bold writing it said, “Neogenealogy: Choose your child’s future”. Mrs. Lowe couldn’t help but shake her head in disgust. “I don’t know about this Dan, are we sure this is what we want to do?” She leaned towards the exit. Her husband sighed and rubbed his wrinkled forehead.
“Honey, I know you are nervous, but there is nothing to worry about. Don’t you want the best for your child? Our child?” He gently stroked her round stomach.
“I know, I know. I just… Whatever happened to letting nature do its job? Look at us; we didn’t grow up with all this “Genetic-engineering” bullshit and we turned out fine! I don’t know if I like it.” Mrs. Lowe began rubbing the bridge of her nose, just like she always did when she was panicking.
Her husband tried to not get upset, “Listen, Its going to be…” There was knock on the door. He whispered, “It’s going to be fine. Please don’t mess this up for us.” There was another knock. Mr. Lowe said, “Come on in” and they put on their best smiles as the doctor entered the room.
Dr. Warner showed his big white teeth and greeted the couple, and then took his seat at the desk. “Mr. and Mrs. Lowe, I’m so glad you decided to come. I know this was a tough decision, but I assure you it is the right one” The doctor started typing on his computer, pausing to ask, “How are you feeling Mrs. Lowe?” and, “How about you Mr. Lowe? How is business at the bookstore?” They made small talk for a few minutes, and then Dr. Warner sat back in his chair and crossed his arms. “Tell me, what is your dream child? What do you imagine it looking like? Acting like?”
Mr. Lowe was the first to speak, “I always wanted a boy, with my brown hair and his mother’s beautiful green eyes. Tall too, I want my son to be at least 5’ 11’’ when fully grown. Of course he has to be athletic too…” Dr. Warner quickly typed into his computer, filling in information as it pour out of Mr. Lowe.
“Also”, he continued, “I want my son to be smart, take after his father and be a bookworm. I would really like for him to grow up to be a lawyer. Can you guys do that?”
Dr. Warner chuckled, “We can equip it with all the traits of a good lawyer, what it does with them is up to it. What else?” Mr. Lowe continued to go on about his dream son. A good smile, curly hair, no freckles, small nose, big eyes, ect. Mrs. Lowe was quite surprised with her husband’s specific demands.
“I see you have been thinking about this for a while now.” She said to her husband, she felt somewhat betrayed. When their best friends had their unborn child “designed” two years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Lowe both hated that idea. The child was perfect, born with soft black hair and big, bright blue eyes. She was crawling at 4 months, walking at 8 months, talking at 10 months. Their friends seemed to be the happiest parents in the world, but Mrs. Lowe knew something was wrong. The child never cried or whined, she was always smiling and laughing, it just wasn’t normal. She never spilled her milk or drew outside the lines. Mrs. Lowe felt uncomfortable near her, like she was some kind of alien. Mr. Lowe and Mrs. Lowe had both agreed that they would not have their children like this. They talked for hours about how they wanted a child with faults and personality, like a normal human. But slowly Mr. Lowe began changing his mind. He would pay special attention to the ads on TV, with their catchy slogans and beautiful actors. The procedure of creating your child became more and more popular, and not doing so was seen as selfish. “Don’t leave something as important as your child to luck, choose a better future” the slogan repeated itself in Mrs. Lowe’s mind as she sat in the office.
“And what about you Mrs. Lowe?” the doctor addressed her now, “What kind of child do you envision?”
“To be honest Doctor, I don’t think this was a good idea, I’m not comfortable playing God. I want my child to be just like he is now.” She grabbed her purse.
Mr. Lowe grabbed her arm and whispered, “Please, please don’t do this.”
The doctor spoke up, “Don’t worry Mr. Lowe, it is very common for mothers to have second thoughts.” He smiled at Mrs. Lowe, “Now I know this is all very new to you, so allow me to explain.”
“For years we could tell if child would be born with a physical or mental disability, but we couldn’t do anything about it. Now we can! Mrs. Lowe I urge you to rethink, there are only good things that can come out of this. We are not changing your child Mrs. Lowe, we are simply improving it. From 2015-2023 crime has dropped, medical expensive have decreased, technology is advancing at an incredible rate. Its amazing Mrs. Lowe! I don’t understand Mrs. Lowe, it is a painless procedure. What are you scared of?”
“Doctor, I will tell you what im scared of. Im scared of a world that tries so hard to remove impurities; it will do it at the expense of individualism. You, doctor want to live in a world of perfect people, but how can there be more than one perfect? If I am perfect, then how can you be perfect unless you are the same as me? Call me crazy, but I believe in a little something called free choice. Should someone be rewarded for making the right choice, when it is the choice they are programmed to do? I want my child to pick his nose and make a mess. I want a real child. I’m leaving, come on Dan.” Mrs. Lowe walked to the door and turned the knob. It rattled but didn’t open.
She turned around; her husband still sat on the chair covering his head with his face. The doctor spoke, “Im sorry Mrs. Lowe. I tried to make this easy for you. I can’t let you leave. Its my job to insure every child born will be a productive member of society. Without this procedure, who knows, your child may grow up to be a murderer. It’s too dangerous Mrs. Lowe.”
Mrs. Lowe stood in shock, she looked at her husband. “Dan what is he talking about? You can’t let them do this! It’s my baby!” Tears began rolling down her cheeks and she began banging on the door. A few minutes later two big men in white scrubs came in and lead Mrs. Lowe out of the room kicking and screaming.
When all was quiet in the doctor’s office, Mr. Lowe stood up and shook the doctor’s hand. “Don’t worry Mr. Lowe” Dr. Warner said, “This is a very normal thing. It’s a painless procedure; she will learn to love the child. They always do.”