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These days, there seems to be an app for making everything quicker and easier, from takeaway food delivery to sleep and calorie-tracking and, of course, finding a date.
Now, in an Australian-first, there’s an app to make it quicker and easier for people undergoing IVF to find a potential sperm donor and fulfil their parenthood dream.
‘Tinder for sperm donors’
Created by national fertility provider City Fertility, Addam app is free and allows users to swipe through one of the country’s largest sperm donor databases in real-time.
To help narrow down search results and find their preferred donor ‘match,’ users can filter for attributes such as eye colour, height, ethnicity and education.
If that sounds a little bit like Tinder or Bumble then, well, you’d be right.
“Yes, I’ve heard it called ‘Tinder for sperm donors’, you swipe left, you swipe right,” Dr Devora Lieberman, Medical Director, City Fertility NSW, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
But, as Dr Lieberman explains, that’s where the similarities between the two apps end.
Unlike on Tinder where it’s all about shirtless snaps and posing with puppies, you won’t come across any sperm donor’s photos or identifying information on Addam app for privacy reasons.
And in terms of the all-important ‘match,’ things also happen a little differently. Once a hopeful parent has made a shortlist of their sperm donor choices the next step is to submit an application and meet with a fertility specialist to discuss treatment options.
Dr Lieberman tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the Addam app currently has a catalogue of over 100 registered sperm donors, with more being added in real-time once they clear the lengthy vetting process.
This process of screening and testing, as well as the minimal financial reward, can deter men from donating their sperm.
“Donors need to be screened medically, they need blood tests, urine tests, gene screening and counselling so it can be a bit involved,” Dr Lieberman explains.
“And, in terms of compensation, we can legally only compensate for their time so all up a donor might expect to get between $500 to $800,” she adds.
For those reasons, a dedicated donor team at City Fertility has spent the last few years recruiting and retaining donors.
“It’s made a big difference for us because other clinics will have up to a year-long wait for donors,” Dr Lieberman says.
Having an established and ever-growing pool of donors on the app is beneficial for parents-to-be as it increases their choice and reduces both wait time and potential for disappointment if their preferred donor isn’t available.
“We’re not going to put you on the list and make you wait for eight months to find out that the one donor available to you is not someone you’d want to have as your donor,” Dr Lieberman says.
Dr Lieberman reports that the app has received positive feedback since launching in late January.
“The response has been really great, people are finding it very easy to navigate and I think they appreciate being able to have that information in real-time,” she says.
She also hopes that the buzz around the app helps normalise the conversation around men being sperm donors and encourage more to donate.
According to Sperm Donors Australia, which partnered with City Fertility to develop the Addam app, there is an increasing demand for donor sperm in Australia but nowhere near enough donors.
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