New UK service brings donor selection to the privacy of users’ homes.
Britons using in vitro fertilization (IVF) to try and conceive a child just received a very modern option courtesy of London Sperm Bank.
As reported by The Next Web, nicknamed “Order a Daddy,” the London Sperm Bank Donors app now allows registered users to browse sperm donor profiles.
After selecting preferred donor characteristics such as race, hair color, skin tone, eye color, height, and weight, it’s then possible to choose possible candidates and receive more detailed information on personality and medical history.
Donors are kept confidential and anonymous. Searches will not bring up any pictures, just “Donor” followed by a unique number.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, the scientific director of the London Sperm Bank, Dr. Kamal Ahuja, addressed the idea behind the sperm delivery app: “You make all the transactions online, like you do anything else these days. This allows a woman who wants to get a sperm donor 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.”
‘Digital dads’ controversy
Others, though, feel the development of the app demeans the role of the father in procreation. “”How much further can we go in the trivialisation of parenthood?” the Director of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, Josephine Quintavalle told The Times. “This is reproduction via the mobile phone. It’s digital dads… this is the ultimate denigration of fatherhood.”
In response, London Sperm Bank released a statement: “Ordering sperm from an online catalogue or an app does not trivialise treatment, and every step meets the requirements of the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority).”
While the app is free (on iOS and Android), and only for UK residents, those interested in receiving a donation have to pay a £950 fee.Then the desired sperm is shipped to a fertility clinic of clients’ choosing.
While there are those who see “Order a Daddy” as a negative development, for people struggling to conceive it could very well be a big step forward.
In fact—using a joke that simply too good to pass up—you might even say it’s an idea whose time has come.
Image source: London Sperm Bank app