Get support & advice

A donor-conceived person talking with a friendThousands of people in the UK have been born with the help of donated eggs, sperm or embryos.

If you are donor conceived you are entitled to approach the HFEA to find information about where you came from and if you have any siblings also conceived by donation. Accessing information about your donor, or donor-conceived genetic siblings can raise unexpected feelings.  

 

Think through the implications

If you do decide to seek information about your donor, think through how having this information might affect you.

What do you expect to receive from the HFEA? - Will you be disappointed, for example, if your donor has left very little information?

There is also a small chance that the donor you thought was anonymous has chosen to now be identifiable. If so, would you consider getting in contact with your donor?

Have you got expectations about the number of donor-conceived genetic siblings you have? 10 different families are able to use the same donor and have as many children as they like, so it is possible that you could have over 20 donor-conceived genetic siblings. It is also possible that you have none.    

We recommend talking these issues through with family and friends. If you’re not comfortable discussing these issues with those around you, there is professional support readily available.

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Professional support for donor-conceived people

To ensure that you have properly thought through the implications of seeking donor information from the HFEA, we strongly recommend that you receive counselling, or similar support.

For advice about counselling services in the UK, contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. They can find counselling services in your area.

Your local GP may also be able to refer you to a counsellor.

You may also want to contact the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). BICA aims to promote high quality, accessible counselling services.

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Other places to go for support

The Donor Conception Network
The Donor Conception Network (DCN) is a self-help network of over 1,000 families created with the help of donated eggs, sperm or embryos; couples and individuals seeking to found a family this way; and adults conceived using a donor. The DCN also has a young persons group which you may find helpful.

Donor Conceived Register
The Donor Conceived Register was set up on 1 April 2013 to replace the UK DonorLink(UKDL) and facilitates contact between donors and their donor-conceived children conceived before 1 August 1991.

Those affected by donation before 1 August 1991 are able to sign up to a contact register.

The Counselling Directory
The Counselling Directory lists counsellors and psychotherapists who are registered with a recognised professional body or can provide proof of their qualifications and insurance cover.

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Further information

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Page last updated: 18 April 2013

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