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Cloning For Infertile Couples?

Cloning is a popular topic these days in science and medicine. We already have Dolly, the world's first cloned animal. CBS News Health Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports scientists are now fast approaching the day that human cloning will be possible.

For couples who desperately want children, but can't conceive because of infertility, human cloning could be the way for them to have a family. But several states have already banned human cloning because there are ethical questions about cloning humans.


It is estimated there are 12 million infertile Americans. The majority cannot be helped by any current method of assisted reproduction to have a baby that is biologically theirs. Some say cloning would be a cure for infertility.

Anne and Bob tried in vitro fertilization to conceive a child. Anne miscarried and they were devastated. Doctors then told them they would "never" have their own children.

"It's worse than losing a child. It's loosing all your children," Bob said. "It's realizing that you can't ever have children and that's a horrible thought."

They have thought about adoption, but they can't let go of the desire to have children that are theirs "biologically."

"I would like to be able to consider cloning as an option if it technically works," Bob said.

But in California where Anne and Bob live, even if they could, actually cloning a child would be illegal. Last January the state banned cloning saying it raised such profound medical, ethical and social questions more evaluation would be needed before a policy could be developed.

Cloning is a question ethicists and scientists are debating. Some say a clone would suffer psychologically because it would know in great detail many things about its life. It would know pretty much what it would look like, what kind of genetic diseases it would suffer and maybe it's intellectual capabilities. Some feel that knowledge would be difficult for an individual to handle.