July 27, 2010
Website Offers Beautiful Baby Hookup
A popular dating website exclusively for beautiful people has branched out and is now providing a fertility forum that is designed to ease the worry of having an ugly baby.
The project was launched in June, just after BeautifulPeople.com booted out 5,000 people who gained weight and were deemed too ugly to remain members.
According to managing director Greg Hodge, a good-looking Brit, the Fertility Forum is "like any charitable work," and is presented as a solution for parents who worry about having ugly children.
He told AFP that it is "a noble cause for those going through the difficult experience of failing to conceive. He said that the site gains no payment for directing donors and recipients to professional clinics.
BeautifulPeople.com was founded in 2002 in Denmark and now has expanded to 190 countries.
Those who wish to join the site must submit a photo for approval by their peers.
"It's completely democratic -- if you secure enough positive votes, you are accepted; if not, you are shown the door," said Hodge, who manages the website from Los Angeles.
Even ugly people are allowed to subscribe to the new forum, giving them the ability to browse for attractive sperm and egg donors to ultimately improve the gene pool.
The attractive members are able to post if they want to donate their sperm or eggs to an unattractive person or couple that wants a baby.
"Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people," explained BeautifulPeople.com founder Robert Hintze.
"But everyone -- including ugly people -- would like to bring good-looking children in to the world, and we can't be selfish with our attractive gene pool."
Hodge said when unveiling the forum in June that there was obviously a massive demand for attractive donors.
"Every parent would like their child to be blessed with many fine attributes, attractiveness being one of the most sought after. For a site with members who resemble Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, you can imagine the demand."
Hodge sidestepped questions during an interview at a Beverly Hills cafe about ugly people and portrayed the initiative as a worthy cause to help those with fertility problems.
"We remain impartial, we're a vehicle of information that eventual donors and recipients can get, but without any link to any fertility clinic," he told AFP.
Egg donor Lisa Bluemel told AFP that she initially joined BeautifulPeople.com to meet people and broaden her network.
The Fertility Forum caught her attention because she had a friend that was not able to conceive. "I know the anguish she has gone through," she said.
Bluemel said her decision to donate eggs was nothing to do with the money and was not superficial or narcissistic in the slightest.
"It's a deeply emotional decision and I have given it much thought, giving a couple the gift of a new life and helping in the creation of a loving family is perhaps the most special gift of all."
"It's not about just seeking beautiful babies," she added. "Naturally intelligence, health is the most important, but why can't you try to secure all the best attributes? Who would not do that for their child?"
Richard Paulson, a fertility expert at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California who practiced reproductive medicine for 25 years, said there was no guarantee of having a beautiful baby.
"Making a decision about one's future partner, whether it is a marriage partner, or partner for reproduction, on the basis of information posted on a website would be naive at best," he told AFP.
"I do not consider these types of websites to be dangerous, or threatening, but rather, simply amusing."
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