Should I use a 'Tinder-style' app to have a baby?

A new style app, 'Just A Baby' has launched in the UK and US following a soft launch in Australia. It brings together prospective parents, co-parents, egg and sperm donors and surrogates.

Just A Baby app follows the launch of the UK's first sperm donor app by the London Sperm Bank last year. These new apps aim to deliver on-demand services and activities through their online platforms. The on-demand economy is developing and diversifying, following growth in areas like transportation (Uber), food and groceries (Mysupermarket) and music (Spotify). Almost half of on-demand consumers are millennials aged 18-34, with a further 30% aged 35-54. These apps appeal to the technologically conversant millennial generation.

Just A Baby app was designed by two Australians. It seeks to personalize non-traditional family building and cater for the needs of millennials. The app's aim is to create a vibrant community of people looking to build families. The app is GPS-enabled so users can find people in their local or chosen area.

The creators of Just A Baby app hope it will appeal to millennials who may not want to settle down with a partner as readily as previous generations. They say the app is designed to help people have a baby, regardless of their relationship status and situation in life.

Users fill out a profile stating what they can offer. Just A Baby is different from a dating app in that it does not encourage users to give details of their race or body type. With potential candidates in your local area just a swipe-away, it brings a whole new dimension to having a baby. 

However, users of on-demand platforms like Just A Baby should not be lulled into a false sense of security. Having a baby is a life changing decision. It creates wide-ranging emotional, financial, practical, medical and legal issues. Modern family building and assisted conception raise complex legal issues. It can have unintended outcomes which can leave parents without legal status for their child. It can confer unwanted legal status on others and create legal uncertainty.

Just A Baby app does not provide specialist fertility, parenting and family law services but does recommend users should follow legal and medical channels. Users are then left to make their own arrangements and decisions on these crucial aspects.

Without a firm legal footing, the risks increase. Tensions and mismatched expectations can arise which can develop into unforeseen and unwanted disputes. Specialist legal advice can put in place a legal and practical framework to minimise these risks. This includes preparation of parenting, known donor and co-parenting agreements. Each family building journey is unique and needs tailored advice.

Modern families and those formed through assisted conception, surrogacy, egg and sperm donation, known donation and co-parenting arrangements represent more legally complex and difficult cases to resolve when unforeseen problems crop up and life does not go to plan.

It is therefore crucial that modern families have a strong legal foundation.  This requires an understanding and expert assessment of the legal issues, implications and outcomes in the short, medium and longer term in each case. Life has its ups and downs and this impacts on family life. Specialist fertility, parenting and family law advice helps navigate potential and unexpected changes and maximises protection and peace of mind for your much wanted family.

If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail or find out more about UK fertility, family and parenting law, contact Louisa Ghevaert by email or by telephone +44 (0)207 7886382.