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A United States online dating and community website has launched a virtual sperm and egg bank for people who want beautiful babies.

 

Beautifulpeople.com is a website with a difference – it only accepts members its other members think are attractive enough to join.

 

But its new Beautiful Baby Service is now offering its members who cannot have children the opportunity to be matched with potential donors.

 

The service has been extended to non-members and is based around a forum where users register and talk about what they want their children to look like.

 

A number of members who are already registered on the forum are married or in a relationship where, for different reasons, an external donor is required

 

Also many men have been able to register to help infertile couples or single women to conceive healthy, attractive offspring.

 

The website’s owners say every parent would want to have attractive children given the choice.

 

Founder Robert Hintze said: “Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people.

 

“But everyone – including ugly people – would like to bring good looking children in to the world, and we can’t be selfish with our attractive gene pool.”

 

Parissa Mobasher is one of the “beautiful people”. She said: “I think it’s wonderful to also know that if you find somebody physically attractive then you’re giving that child an extra bonus in life.

 

“You’re giving them that extra edge so as a parent I think you owe it to your child to be able to do the best for it before it’s born, during the time it’s being born and when it’s born.”

 

But Dr David King from watchdog group Human Genetics Alert thinks the scheme is at best ethically questionable.

 

“It’s the symptom of a very dangerous tendency in our society, a eugenic tendency I think, that says we can take control of everything to do with reproduction and have it exactly the way we want it.

 

“I think the outcome of it, if we allow that to go forward, will be very dangerous for our society.”

 

The website’s bosses say they haven’t created the sperm and egg bank for financial gains, but as a response to demand from users.

 

Beautifulpeople.com was launched in 2002 and says it has over 600,000 members in 190 countries.