Those numbers seem very high; but it's a tricky question: or should I say, what is the question?
Probably every one of us is walking around with genetic factors that give us predisposition to some, resistance to other diseases.
Half the population has an I.Q. below or equal to 100. I don't see what that has to do with surrogacy!
In terms of what is commonly understood as "birth defect" I would have put the risk in the range of 3-5 percent; but
this does not include, e.g. the 10 percent of babies with low birth weight mostly preventable with better health care.
You ought to ask the March of Dimes for their "official" figures. see P.S.
All the above is for live births ("children born"). If you include stillbirths and earlier gestational losses, the
figures are of course much higher! See enclosed.
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P.S. Some of their publications cited "malformations detectable at birth" up to 20 percent but I am sure this includes
many conditions that are not disabling (and excludes the predispositions that give problems only in later life.)