The uterine replicator was a Betan technological advance that allowed unborn human fetuses to be gestated in vitro, rather than in a woman's body. The invention spurred a surge in experimentation on humans, and triggered the development of Quaddies and Betan hermaphrodites. In addition, the invention of the uterine replicator allowed the Founding Fathers of Athos to realize their dream of a world without women.
Two hundred years after the development of the uterine replicator, three out of four births on Beta Colony used the technology, and it was universally used in the upper classes of the Cetagandan Empire.Quaddie and downsider cross-marriages likewise are dependent on uterine replicators.
'Gene-cleaning' is a major use of the replicator. Defects in the zygote can be looked for and eliminated prior to birth, removing any genetic problems, such as diseases or inherited traits (Like a weak heart).
Uterine Replicators on BarrayarEdit
Due to the Time of Isolation, the technology was unknown on Barrayar before the Escobar War. After the war, seventeen fetuses conceived due to the rape of prisoners were transferred to uterine replicators and given to the Barrayaran military to deal with. Among those fetuses was Elena Bothari, the daughter of Sergeant Konstantine Bothari and an Escobaran ensign named Elena Visconti.
After the original seventeen children were born and adopted out, the first Barrayaran child to be born via uterine replicator was Miles Naismith Vorkosigan. He was transferred to the replicator at five months gestation because his mother Cordelia Vorkosigan had been poisoned by soltoxin gas. The antidote to the military poison melted his bones, and treatment could only take place in vitro. He remained in the replicator another five months.
Over time, use of uterine replicators increased on Barrayar. The youngest two of Clement Koudelka's four daughters were born from replicators and sometimes displayed as successes of the technology. Over the next several decades the technology had increased uptake among the Vor and the middle classes, and thirty-two years after the technology reached Barrayar, Emperor Gregor Vorbarra let it be known that the children of him and his wife Laisa Vorbarra would be born using the technology.