London Sperm Bank Donors has released an app that allows British women to choose a sperm donor to father their child, filtering characteristics such as height, ethnicity and hair color.
The new app allows women to browse sperm donors online, placing an order through a fertility clinic.
The company said that the app aimed to “address the acute shortage of sperm donated in the UK.”
How Does the App Work?
The app allows women to search through potential fathers, creating a wish list of attributes and characteristics. As soon as a potential match appears they are alerted by a notification.
Once the client has selected a donor, a payment of £950 ($1230) is made through the app.
The sample is given to the fertility specialist where the woman is having treatment.
The donors come from an array of males with various professions including: doctors, lawyers, teachers and actors.
Quick and Easy Service
Dr Kamal Ahuja, scientific director of the London Sperm Bank said to the Sunday Times that finding a donor will be as easy as ordering from big supermarket websites like Marks & Spencer or Tesco.
He said, “You make all the transactions online, like you do anything else these days.”
He added that ordering a sperm donor online allowed women “to gain control in the privacy of her own home and to choose and decide in her own time.”
“We think this is the first of its kind in the world.”
What is The London Sperm Bank (LSB)?
Set up in 1976 by Dr Louis Hughes and later joining with the London Women’s Clinic sperm bank in 2010, LSB aims to address the shortage of donated sperm in the UK.
Their website notes that it is supported by “a wide range of altruistic men,” and the organization is “proud that we are now the largest provider of donor sperm in the UK.”
Criticism for “Dial-A-Dad” App
The app has met the criteria set by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulate in vitro fertilization (IVF).
About half of UK private and NHS IVF clinics have registered with the app.
However the app has received criticism from those who have called the service a “dial-a-dad” app.
Josephine Quintavalle from Comment on Reproductive Ethics group told The Sunday Times:
“How much further can we go in the trivialization of parenthood? This is reproduction via the mobile phone. It’s digital dads. Choose Daddy. This is the ultimate denigration of fatherhood.”
What do you think about a sperm donor app? Is it liberating or unethical?