A new application available in Apple’s App Store allows women and gay couples looking for sperm donors to find their perfect match without having to leave the comfort of their home. The app, titled “Just A Baby,” is “a Mobile App which just connects you with people who just want a baby,” according to the product’s description in the App Store. Users must be at least 17 years old to download the app.
The Sun (New York, N.Y.) reports the app was developed by Australians Paul Ryan and Gerard Edwards. Ryan and Edwards reportedly told the Australian Daily Telegraph they designed the application because “it was just evident that there were increasing pressures against the traditional models of raising a child and on traditional families.”
Ryan told the Telegraph the rise in the number of same-sex relationships played an integral role in choosing to develop the application.
“There’s a lot more acceptance now around same-sex relationships, empowerment of women, people putting off having kids until later,” Ryan told the Telegraph.
There are no data showing clearly how many same-sex marriages currently exist in the United States, but the Department of the Treasury published a report in 2016 that estimated using tax records there were 183,280 same-sex marriages in the United States in 2014, about one-third of one percent of all marriages, according to a report by the New York Times. However, the data used in that study are from a period prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), when the Court mandated all states allow same-sex marriages.
The United States doesn’t keep track of the number of sperm donors in the country or the number of people born as a result of a sperm donation. The most recent notable government study on the topic, published in 1988, estimated there were at that time 30,000 children born with a sperm-donor parent.
The app not only helps users connect, it’s also designed to streamline the entire sperm-donor process.
According to the app’s website, “Just A Baby” “puts power in your hands to meet biological conception partners. And, once you’ve found your ideal conception partner, we can help you connect with legal, family counselling and fertility services, so you can begin your journey with confidence. Just download the Just a Baby app, start swiping and start a family – your way. Be part of the change.”
The application is not only meant to act as a way for users to find disinterested sperm donors; the designers claim users could use the application to build real families.
Although there’s nothing illegal about the application, it does raise important legal concerns about the binding nature of any agreements struck using the application without a lawyer. The Sun reports legal experts suggest users interested in finding sperm donors using “Just A Baby” seek professional legal advice first.