Science and Technology: Mitochondrial Donation(3 parent-baby)


  • The DNA of three persons is involved in the birth of a young one.
  • This is believed to be a scientific miracle to win over the genetic disorders in a parent due to which the couple is not able to beget a child or even if a child is born, it may not live for long.
  • Recently, a Jordanian Couple begot such a child in Mexico through a third person(a woman)–> Thus, the child is a Jordanian- Mexican child.

Diagram showing structure of a cell

How it works?:

Without going into scientific details, we will have a generalist insight of how it works.

  • Suppose, the mother in a couple has the defective mitochondria.
  • Due to this, they are not able to beget a child or beget a defective child which doesn’t live for long.
  • Now, in order to beget a child, they involve yet another woman with the mitochondria in the right state.
  • The process goes like this:
    • Eggs from the mother(which is defective) and the woman are collected.
    • Woman’s(donor’s) nucleus from her egg is removed and destroyed.
    • The nucleus(which comprises the maximum portion of DNA) from mother’s egg is removed and placed in the woman’s egg.
    • Now this egg can be fertilized by the father’s sperm.


egg repair.png



Ethical Concerns

  • Genetic alterations may take place. This can lead to the production of the designer (rather than the natural ones).
  • Commercialisation of this technique of not regulated well may lead to exploitation of the donors.
  • According to Western Philosopher Kant, human beings must not be treated as means but ends in themselves. This technique uses the donor woman as means and thus, violates Kantian ethics. 
  • The religious class would also reject such techniques on the basis of being unnatural.

Health Concerns:

  • Genetic disorders may take place.
  • There are concerns of the impeccable performance of the operation, that is, without harming any individual involved.
  • There are doubts about the longevity of the children begot from such techniques.
  • There are concerns about congenital disorders in the newborns.

Way Ahead:

  • Legalizing the technique only after taking into account the concerns of all categories of persons.
  • Sufficient regulatory measures and legal safeguards to ensure that the technique is not misused and no exploitation of the donor takes place.



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