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£18,000 buys you surrogate ‘cyberbaby’

Web organisation hits new low with '2d kids'

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April Fool Well, it had to happen. After the highly distasteful internet auction of twins last year and the temptation for unscrupulous chancers to exploit the web's potential audience in the search of profit, an outfit calling itself "The National Society for Social Change" (NATSOC) is offering busy executives the chance to procure a "2d kid".

For around £18,000 a year, NATSOC will use a client's sperm fused with an egg of his choice to produce a child which is then farmed out to "surrogate" parents. The proud father then follows the kid's progress online, hence the term "2d kid".

NATSOC calls this a "low commitment, high reward cyber relationship", and obviously believes that this will tempt time-starved suits who want the luxury of passing on their DNA without the hassles which are part and parcel of actually raising children.

There is, mercifully, some potentially bad news for UK-based NATSOC. A spokesman for the government department which closely monitors surrogacy and formulates legislation to control the use of donated human sperm and eggs told us: "We haven't yet heard of this organisation, but from what you say they are breaking at least three current laws. We'll be following this up immediately."

Child welfare charities have, unsurprisingly, responded with horror: "This just beggars belief," said a spokeswoman from the Institute of Child Developmental Studies. "Children need a loving environment, preferably with their natural parents. They are not a commodity which can be bought and sold for profit. I assume that the authorities intend to act."

We hope so. Sadly, it's a damning indictment of our modern, connected world that there are no depths to which companies will not sink in order to try and make a quick buck online. Just how NATSOC intends to line its pockets you can see for yourselves here. It makes depressing viewing. ®

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