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Three-Parent Babies: The Way of the Future?

Test tube babies
Update (2/25/15): Parliament passed the bill on Tuesday, 2/24, making Britain the first country to officially embrace this three-parent IVF technique.

Early last year, we blogged about a fairly new and controversial IVF technique called the mitochondrial transfer procedure. The IVF technique allows a mother's egg and father's sperm to be fertilized along with another donor woman's genes, essentially giving a baby genes from three parents.

The "three-parent" IVF technique benefited babies predisposed to genetic disorders because the donor's genes (contained in donated mitochondria) could "cancel" out any defected genes. But naysayers were concerned about the ethics of gene manipulation and the morals of "customizing" a baby to fit certain specifications. (Think: Gattaca)

Despite the concerns, Britain became the first country to begin legalizing the IVF procedure. The House of Commons voted 382 to 128 to approve a bill that would make "three-parent" babies official in the U.K. A similar procedure was also created in the U.S. over a decade ago, and a few benefited from having three-parent genes. But the procedure was eventually banned, reports The Washington Post

Later this month, Parliament will vote on the bill. If it passes again, the IVF technique will be legal in Britain starting in October.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

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Photo: Test tubes indicating boy or girl babies via Shutterstock