As you scroll through dating apps you start to spot trends, like fishing photos or mentions of The Office. Often a potential match has a photo with a child, and their bio says something akin to, “That’s just my nephew.” Or niece, or cousin, or whatever small relative one feels compelled to show suitors.
If you’re only looking for hookups, it’s somewhat justifiable to make it clear that you’re not a parent. Children change the dating game entirely. While users may want future partners to see how good they are with children — hence the nephew photos — it’s likely just to relate back to their sex appeal.
But many people, including single parents and people who want to be parents, aren’t on dating apps to hookup. For those who want to find a co-parent, the search can be difficult.
That’s why, amid the deluge of both broad and niche dating apps, three dads — Diko Daghlian, Chas McFeely, and Rene Van De Zande — founded , an app for people with kids or who want kids.
“Despite the popularity of dating apps, the reality is that talking about the desire for children or existing children from previous relationships remains a fraught topic that is tough to broach when potential couples are meeting for the first time or in early days of dating,” said McFeely in a press release.
There are over in the United States, and half of people aged 20 to 45 — but it’s not exactly what you want to open a Tinder conversation with. Heybaby wants to take away the apprehension involved in trying to find a partner with similar life plans.
The app will be available first in San Francisco, where the team is based, but it will expand eventually to everywhere in the United States. It’s also only for now (sorry, Android users).
When a user signs up for heybaby, they answer questions about their family and what they want in the future, such as if they already have kids and if they want more. There will also be questions about lifestyle, such as work life and travel preferences, in hopes to find a good match on multiple levels.
“The key factors that determine whether a couple has not just short-term attraction but actual long-term compatibility are money, kids and religion,” said Van De Zande in a press release. “While we’ve seen more specialized apps enter the market for people looking for serious relationships, they don’t address some of these crucial topics.”
Van De Zande continued, “The worst thing for someone who has kids or wants them is to enter a relationship, only to find out they don’t share a vision of the future with their prospective partner.”
Daghlian agreed, commenting in the press release, “It’s important to us that heybaby doesn’t just ask whether you have or want kids, but also connects people who will have compatible approaches to parenting.”
The team designed heybaby to not just match potential couples but also potential parents, according to Daghlian. “As much as we’re looking to create love between two people,” he said, “we’re also looking to create happy and healthy families for life.”