This New App Is Like Tinder for Making Babies

Just A Baby app
iStock.com/katrinaelena; Just A Baby

Meet "the one," get married, have a baby. That's been the traditional timeline for people who want to have a family, right? But the first two steps seem more challenging than ever for millennials (whether you blame endless online dating profiles for giving us relationship ADD or bad, modern life–driven behaviors like ghosting). In turn, app developers Paul Ryan and Gerard Edwards from Australia decided it was time for aspiring parents to have another option: a Tinder- or Bumble-esque app called Just A Baby

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Ryan tells CafeMom that the idea for the app, which launched in the US and UK on Monday after its soft launch in Australia, was inspired by his peers. "I was just seeing a lot of challenges and anxiety building in the people around me, especially as we got into our 30s," he explains, pointing to data that shows more millennials are single/never married compared to those in older generations, as well as the high divorce rate, among other discouraging stats.

"And millennials are twice as likely to come out as gay or lesbian," Ryan notes. "So, there's a whole lot of people [for whom] the traditional model was vaporizing, and it was harder and harder to get into this traditional family structure."

More from CafeMom: Couples Who Have a Baby Before Getting Married Are Actually Better Off

Ryan says that although it's "completely human" to want to become a parent, it can be daunting to come right out and say that you want to have a baby or find a partner with whom to have a family. "Everyone seems quite ashamed about it," he says. "So, why not get all of the people who are having this challenge and get them together and they can talk to one another and kinda come out as person who wants to have a baby?"

Just A Baby app screenshot
Just A Baby

And that's how Just A Baby was born.

The app looks and functions very much like Tinder, in that it is GPS-enabled (although you can search for matches globally) and free. But profiles are centered around your family planning goals, and members share what they're looking for.

For instance, one Just A Baby user was seeking an egg donor, because she's ready to have a baby with her husband, but doesn't want to pass her genetic disease onto their LO. Others are single women seeking sperm donors whom they'd actually like to get to know versus having the more impersonal, clinical experience of going to a sperm bank. Still other users include LGBTQ couples seeking surrogates or sperm donors; or hetero millennial men who want to be sperm donors ... or find a partner who's ready to have a kid. In other words, the app has attracted people from all walks of life with one common goal: to become parents. 

And as it turns out, many users are inspired to help others in ways they didn't initially anticipate. "A couple of gay guys wanted to find a surrogate or co-parent but upon seeing all these people [on the app], they were like, 'Actually, we weren't on here originally to donate sperm, but we would totally help other people out,'" Ryan explains. "Or you'll see a man and a woman who are looking for sperm, because the man has fertility problems, and they'll say, 'In return, we'd be happy to carry someone's child or donate our eggs.' That reciprocal giving is so cool." 

Just A Baby app
Just A Baby

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Not that "trading" is a prereq to making your baby dream a reality through the app. Many users are swiping around with one goal in mind -- and success stories are coming down the pike. Ryan says that while the company hasn't been officially tracking stats on their users, they've been in touch with people who've started the insemination process after going through all the proper health checks and legal channels. (Speaking of which, like dating apps, Just A Baby is meant to facilitate that initial connection; it's up to users to seek out the proper medical and legal support as they continue the process.)

Sure, the concept of finding the right sperm or egg or womb, etc., via an app is sure to raise some eyebrows, but what Ryan and Edwards aim to provide -- a human, warmer alternative to the traditional channels like a sperm bank -- could potentially fill a much-desired void, for millennials in particular. Like online dating before it, it may take a few years, but down the road, finding the father or mother of your child on an app may not only be seen as far less bizarre ... it could be perceived as positively brilliant.

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