What would you say if you discovered that your parents chose to birth and raise you over any of your other siblings because they believed your genes to be superior?
That’s exactly what Pennsylvania couple Malcolm and Simone Collins did for their third child, Titan Invictus, who, as an embryo, was selected for implantation based on the results of a preimplantation genetic test (PGT).
The specific brand of polygenic screening that the Collinses bought attached physical scores to certain portions of the embryo’s DNA which reportedly predict the likelihood a child has of contracting diseases and illnesses like cystic fibrosis, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia, and depression. A composite numeric score projecting the overall health of the embryo was also provided.
“We already had all of our embryos that we needed to have seven kids. We had 26 embryos, good to go. But we did a whole new round just to be able to do this because it’s so much additional information,” Simone explained in a recent interview with Vice News.
You read that right. This family manufactured 26 lives, only to undergo yet another round of physically draining IVF, and then paid thousands more dollars so they could handpick the child with their preferred genetic makeup. As VICE noted, that could include optimizing “traits like intelligence.”
The Collinses didn’t just settle for the “simple report” they received from biotech company Genomic Prediction. Instead, they filled out their own data sheets with calculations that they believed would lead them to the best outcome — er, child.
“The Titan here, who turned out to be the one we selected, had the best score from our own internal, like, additional data calculations and Genomic Prediction’s best,” Simone cheerfully explained.
“Oh my gosh, hey Titan. You’re number one!” the Vice interviewer replied.
The Collinses didn’t edit any of their child’s genes, a technological process that, despite knowingly “wreak[ing] chromosomal mayhem,” has become cheaper, easier, and more popular for potential parents to use to fulfill their designer baby dreams. They did, however, pit their child and her microscopic siblings against each other in a biological battle that belittled their future children’s very souls and being. And they did that just a few years after the first baby chosen by her parents after undergoing PGT testing with polygenic screening as an embryo was born.
Genetic testing is often marketed to parents as a tool that will help them give their kids “the best chance at life.” The less-acknowledged consequence of these unreliable screenings is that they provide parents with justification for depriving their already created children of life altogether, based on the physical qualities their unborn child may or may not possess.
The Collinses claim they plan to “keep on having kids at a similar cadence until this no longer proves biologically possible.” At first glance, that objective seems commendable since more than 1 million embryos have little to no future outside of freezers.
Considering Simone’s age, however, the Collinses’ nearly three dozen babies stuck in cryo tanks will only be born if they commit to several multiples pregnancies, something that hurts the embryos’ and mother’s chance of survival, or opt for renting another woman’s womb. Those embryos that do not get implanted in Simone or a surrogate will eventually be ditched or handed over to researchers who will destroy them.
Pandora’s Box Is Open
Simone and Malcolm operate by a strange list of rules, like refusing to name their daughters “strictly female names because data shows that it has a lot of negative outcomes” and committing to advancing a global natalist agenda. “According to [the couple’s] calculations,” Business Insider reported, “as long as each of their descendants can commit to having at least eight children for just 11 generations, the Collins bloodline will eventually outnumber the current human population.”
Media outlets, which dubbed the Collinses the “’elite’ breeding couple,” either try to write off the couple’s obsession with breeding as a product of their “terminally online” presence or accuse them of advancing the “alt-right” agenda.
The Collinses reject allegations that their use of genetic testing equates to eugenicism. Yet, there’s no denying that they are using, enabling, and promoting technology that replaces the inherent value of life with a placeholder that’s based on generated numbers and, when desired, is made expendable.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same rationale used by infamous eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, whose legacy lives on through those who promote abortions based on the baby’s sex or race, or the assumption that the baby’s “quality of life” might not be worth living for.
Humans are not commodities to be discarded or manipulated. That’s why several states have already banned the murder of children based on pre-birth diagnostics, which have an exceptionally high error rate.
Embryos, similarly, are not experiments to be tinkered with — especially by the people who ordered their creation. Yet, the same laws protecting babies in utero from discrimination don’t apply to preimplantation genetic testing on embryos.
Many European countries bar or at least regulate genetic testing. In the U.S., however, as long as someone can pay to sift through and possibly even tinker with their child’s DNA, they are allowed to do it. In fact, researchers are already pondering how they can expand the technology’s reach so that it’s not “only available to couples who can afford” it.
Innovation That Injures
The Collins family is proudly among the rich who believe science and technology will help mend falling birth rates and help humans create capabilities beyond their current physical and mental limitations.
“The reason why you see Silicon Valley people disproportionately being drawn to this is they’re obsessed with data enough, and wealthy enough, to be looking at things — and who also have enough wealth and power that they’re not afraid of being cancelled,” Malcolm told The Telegraph in April.
In other words, as one media outlet noted, “the evolutionary logic associated with transhumanism is an important theme in their plans.”
The problem with attempting to “solve” Americans’ increasing infertility with reproductive technologies that reduce humans to their capabilities is that it monetizes and multiplies irreversible depravity.
Children created via assisted reproductive technologies are often distanced or completely deprived of their mother and father in harmful ways. Even those who will be raised by their married biological parents like Malcolm and Simone must live with the knowledge that the only reason they were not sentenced to stagnant tenure on ice was because of their genetic traits.
That’s not “progress” that so many in the multimillion-dollar fertility industry brag about. In fact, it’s merely a reversion to the kind of reasoning that has led to the deaths of millions of humans — born and unborn — across the globe.