The London Sperm Bank has moved into the 21st century, releasing a new Tinder-style app that allows women to search for and choose potential sperm donors by filtering through characteristics they want, and swiping right on the donors they would like to consider.
The new London Sperm Bank Donors app, available on both iOS and Android, offers a wide range of criteria that users can choose from including height, weight, eye colour, skin tone, ethnicity, nationality, religion, personality type and interests. And if you can't find the right donor match immediately, the mobile app will send you an alert whenever a new donor that matches your criteria is added to the database.
The app is free to download and use, however the selected sperm sample is only sent to the woman's fertility specialist once a payment of £950 ($1,237) is made through the app.
And of course, there is the perennial criticism that enabling women to be so selective about what sort of sperm donor they want is essentially permitting designer babies, whereby parents are no long happy with the baby they produce naturally, and want to find a way to guarantee certain physical features and levels of intelligence at the point of conception.
However, it's all legal, and every single donor listed on the app has had to be vetted by the British Andrology society, the British Fertility Society and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), to ensure the sperm being donated is healthy and suitable for freezing, as well as being free from genetic conditions, infections or diseases.
The London Sperm Bank is the UK's largest provider of donor sperm and at any given time, has approximately 10,000 vials of sperm available. This enables fertility clinic to offer about 1,000 treatment cycles per year, which is still far less than demand for donor sperm in the UK, so the sperm bank is always keen to accept new donors.
Men can apply to become sperm donors if they are aged between 18 and 41 and are healthy and fit, with no family history of genetic conditions and who haven't had unprotected sex with multiple partners in the last six months, or unprotected sex in areas known to have a large number of Aids cases.
Donors are paid £35 in order to cover any out-of-pocket expenses they may have incurred per clinic visit, and their anonymity is ensured. However, any donor-conceived children have the right to request identifying information about the donor once they reach the age of 18.