About The Offspring
Like you, before going ahead with treatment, recipients have the opportunity to talk with a clinic counsellor about the implications of receiving donated embryos and what it might mean to them individually and as couples, now and in the future. They will also probably explore what it could mean to their friends and family. Above all, there will probably be a lot of ‘what ifs’ surrounding what it might mean to any children born as a result.
As well as this type of counselling, many families join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals.
Like all aspects of family life, how any family handles the subject of donor conception is unique to that family. While all donors now have to be identifiable, there is no law that says all donor-conceived people must know of their genetic origins. Some families are very open with their children about their genetic heritage while other families don’t tell at all.
What does this mean for you?
It’s impossible to predict how any donor-conceived offspring will react to being donor conceived but you need to be open to the possibility of being sought out when the donor conceived person reaches 18.
There may be children out there born from your donation who:
- do not know that they are donor conceived
- know that they are donor conceived but do not intend to ask for information about you and any other children born following your IVF treatment (their full siblings)
- know that they are donor conceived and do intend to ask for information about you and their full siblings
- know that they are donor conceived and have changing views at different points in their life about whether they will ask for information about you and their full siblings.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will keep the details you provided at the time of your donation on a confidential register. When a person conceived with your donated sperm contacts the HFEA for details about you at 16, they will be given non-identifying information. At 18, they will be given your name, last known address and NHS number.
We hope that the HFEA will let you know if any donor-conceived person asks for information about you, and that you and the donor-conceived person will be offered independent guidance and support, particularly around issues about contact.
In The Media
Over the last ten years there’s been an increase in egg and sperm donors coming forward in the UK. This didn’t happen by accident. Media coverage, in whatever way, shape or form, has an important role to play. The more media inches, the more awareness, the more donors come forward.
It is as simple as that.
National Fertility Awareness Week is 30 October – 5 November.read more
Donor stories needed for article for the Sun on Sunday on sperm donation…read more
10 Years since the Ending of Donor Anonymity. What now?read more