Swipe right for a baby? Tinder style app for egg and sperm donors launched

Bioethics   |   SPUC   |   May 24, 2017   |   4:34PM   |   London, England

A Tinder style app which matches sperm and egg donors and surrogate mothers with those wanting a baby has launched in the UK.

“Just a baby” markets itself as a “brand new way to make a baby”, and was “created to meet the need for alternative conception pathways”. Aimed at singles, same sex couples, those with fertility issues and other people in non-traditional circumstances, the app allows people to swipe left and right to decide if people seem like potential matches to be a father or mother to their baby.

Developed by two Australians — Paul Ryan and Gerard Edwards — Just A Baby launched in the U.K. and U.S. on Monday, following a soft launch in Sydney.

It “helps users find surrogates, partners, co-parents, sperm or egg donors” or offer those services to others. Experts have raised concerns that the app doesn’t provide any of the medical or legal services recommended when such arrangements are made.

Children products of manufacturing process

Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC commented, “There was a time when people looked for a spouse to commit to for life, through an institution geared towards the love and nurture of each other and the children who would then be received as gifts via an act celebrating their union.  Now we have ‘users’ being encouraged to find in strangers, not spouses so much as surrogates and sperm or egg donors. Thus are children reduced to products of a manufacturing process, and the life-long relationship built around their interests and those of their parents reduced to an instrumental link simply reflecting a wish to have a baby.

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Already with IVF we have seen the mass destruction outside the body of human embryos bereft of natural defenders and subject to ‘quality-control’ and experimentation. With egg or sperm donation and surrogacy we see the degradation of pregnancy and an injustice done to a child who may never be nurtured by one of his or her biological parents. For the inventors of this app, it really is ‘Just a Baby'”.