Indian-origin doctor in UK, Dr Kamal Ahuja, who is the Scientific director of the London Sperm Bank, has recently developed a new mobile app for women, wherein they will be able to select the right sperm donor online as father of their child. The Sunday Times quotes her as saying, “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. ”
London Sperm Bank Donors nicknamed the app as ‘order a daddy’. This first-of-its-kind app in the world will facilitate women in ordering sperm online just as easily as shopping online. Through this app, women will be allowed to browse for the perfect donors by going through desired physical characteristics such as hair and eye colour, height, and also can filter applicants according to categories like educational level, occupation or even via their descriptive personality and create an online wish-list.
Every sperm donor has to make a payment of 950 pounds via the app, and send the sample, which is then delivered to the fertility clinic where the woman is being treated. About half of Britain’s IVF clinics, including private and the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) institutions, are already registered to use the service. The app is legal and meets the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), Britain’s IVF regulator.
The other side to the story is that many campaigners have criticized the step, including Josephine Quintaville of Comment on Reproductive ethics, who told The Times: ‘It’s digital dads. This is the ultimate denigration of fatherhood. How much further can we go in the trivialisation of parenthood? This is reproduction via the mobile phone.”
We understand Dr Ahuja’s concern about women making the decision of having their child, however, neither the doctor nor the launch event mentioned any details about the anonymity of the users. If it is much like an online dating app, then sharing detailed information is necessary. And as such women who browse the app will be at risk of identity theft, which is not a good sign.
I sincerely think that such women who cannot conceive should have the options that science can provide, but a sensitive issue like this should not be an open book online.
Feature Image Credit: The Telegraph
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