(CBS) You don't have to be beautiful to birth a beautiful baby. At least that's the thinking behind a new virtual sperm and egg bank launched by BeautifulPeople.com, an online dating service for good-looking people.
The "fertility introduction service" aims to link wanna-be parents - handsome or homely - with good-looking sperm and egg donors who have registered with the site. The goal? Create a kid whose good looks stop traffic.
"Every parent would like their child to be blessed with many fine attributes, attractiveness being one of the most sought after," the site's managing director, Greg Hodge, said in a written statement. "For a site with members who resemble Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie you can imagine the demand."
But Dr. David King, of the watchdog group Human Genetics Alert, calls the service's emphasis on good looks part of an ugly trend.
"It's the symptom of a very dangerous tendency in our society, a eugenic tendency I think," he told the Wall Street Journal.
"I think the outcome, if we allow that to go forward, will be very dangerous for our society."
The site is not yet turning a profit but claims to have 600,000 members from 190 countries. And you don't have to be good-looking yourself to use the virtual sperm and egg bank. Aspiring donors have to be judged "beautiful" by other
members of the site's virtual community, but anyone can go to the site for a look-see - and a chance to chat with the beautiful people in a bulletin-board like forum.
"Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people," site founder Robert Hintze told the Vancouver Sun. "But everyone - including ugly people - would like to bring good-looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish with our attractive gene pool."
Hintze's plain-spokeness, as well as his policies, make some people angry. Last winter the site banished 5,000 members after gaining weight. "Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded," Hintze told mashable.com.
This isn't the first sperm bank for special interests. But in the past, people who went in for this sort of thing favored brains over beauty. Notorious eugenicist Robert K. Graham started the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank for Nobel Prize winners. By 1999 the bank was shuttered, but his "genius sperm" had already sired 200 children.
Maybe us regular people are on are way out.