In 2010, Craig Venter announced that he had created a self-replicating bacterium. He did this by stringing together amino acids and transplanting the synthetic gene sequence into an already living cell. While bacteria are a lot less complicated than people, the technology that made this possible may eventually permit us to create people from scratch. These would be the first humans without (biological) parents, even if they need to be raised in a womb and nurtured after birth. Synthetic biology raises fascinating philosophical questions. What would parenting mean in a world in which we can create people from widely available organic materials, plus genetic instructions? Who would use this technology? And if synthetically created children had extraordinary abilities that benefited everyone, should the ‘parents’ who create them be compensated? Even if synthetic people never materialize, the moral questions they raise may help us think about less ambitious but still transformative reproductive technologies.