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embryo-iconEmbryo Donor

Embryo Donation FAQs

I have an embryo/some embryos in the freezer which I would like to donate to medical research, how can I go about doing this?

Ask your clinic or the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for more information on who can help you, where they are and what type of medical research is carried out.

What types of medical research are conducted on embryos and why?

Ask the clinic or the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for more information on who can help you, where they are and what type of medical research is carried out.

I have an embryo/several embryos in the freezer which I would like to donate to people trying for a family, what’s the procedure?

Clinics will usually only accept three or more embryos as the success rate for freeze/thaw is about 50%. If you only have one or two embryos then it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to donate them. You will need to contact your clinic in the first instance as you will need to be screened and counselled accordingly (as donors now, not recipients) before the embryos can be donated.

Will I be paid for donating my embryos?

If you have frozen embryos in clinic storage which you then decide to donate you can receive compensation of up to £35 for each subsequent clinic visit. This sum is to cover any financial losses in connection with your donation. If you have higher expenses then there is scope to claim more. Some clinics may reimburse your embryo storage costs.

The embryos were created using my eggs and donor sperm, do I need the sperm donor’s consent?

This will depend on how the consent form was completed at the time of the original treatment. Your clinic can advise you accordingly.

The embryos were created using my partner’s sperm and donor eggs, do I need the egg donor’s consent?

This will depend on how the consent form was completed at the time of the original treatment. Your clinic can advise you accordingly.

The embryos were created using donor eggs and donor sperm, do I need the donors’ consent?

This will depend on how the consent form was completed at the time of the original treatment. Your clinic can advise you accordingly.

Is there a maximum amount of time embryos can be frozen for?

Embryos can be frozen for 10 years and clinics will contact those with embryos in storage at least once a year.

Are there any male or female age limits at the time the embryos were made which affects whether we can donate our embryos?

Usually the female donor has to be aged between 18 and 35, and the male donor has to be aged between 18 and 40 – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s Exceptional Circumstances guidelines may be used at the clinic’s discretion to waive this.

How can I go about finding a recipient?

Contact a clinic in the first instance as they may have potential recipients. We can help by contacting other clinics to check availability and demand.

Can I impose any conditions on my donation?

Yes. Most donors’ conditions are connected to issues around religion and culture. In the case of known donation, the donation is conditional upon it being used by a particular recipient.

The embryos were created during fertility treatment with my husband/wife/partner and they have now died. Can I still donate the embryos?

This will depend on how the consent form was completed at the time of the original treatment. Your clinic can advise you accordingly.

The embryos were created during fertility treatment with my husband/wife and we are now separated/divorced. Can I still donate the embryos?

Clinics recommend that all parties are consulted for an up-to-date situation as the circumstances have changed from when the consent form was originally completed. If necessary, the clinic ethics committee will be consulted and/or legal advice sought.

The embryos were created with the help of a donor (sperm or egg). The donor has died, can I still donate the embryos?

This will depend on how the consent form was completed at the time of the original treatment. Your clinic can advise you accordingly.

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.

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