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Support and intermediary service

On this page:

What is the support and intermediary service?
Who can access this service?
Am I eligible for HFEA-funded sessions?
What can I expect?

 


What is the support and intermediary service?

This service provides support and intermediary services for people affected by post-donation issues, where treatment has been carried out at a UK licensed clinic.

If you are a donor, or a donor-conceived person aged 16 or over (where treatment was provided at a UK-licensed clinic), you are entitled to some HFEA-funded sessions. For further information please see the section about eligibility.

The service is provided by PAC-UK on behalf of the HFEA. PAC-UK provides:

  • information and professional support to anyone affected by post donation issues, in cases where a donor-conceived person is seeking (or considering seeking) information about a donor or donor-conceived genetic sibling from our Register;
  • intermediary services to facilitate contact between an identifiable donor and a donor-conceived person or between donor-conceived siblings linked via Donor Sibling Link (DSL);
  • information and professional support for donors who donated or whose sperm, eggs or embryos were used in treatment between 1 August 1991 and 31 March 2005 (when donors were automatically considered anonymous) and who are considering re-registering to become an identifiable donor;
  • signposting to other services should PAC-UK’s services not be appropriate.

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Who can access this service?

Anyone affected by these donation issues can access the service, as long as the donation or treatment took place at a UK-licensed clinic after August 1991. As well as donors and donor conceived people, this could include family members (such as parents, spouses and non donor-conceived children) or friends who feel that these issues are having an impact on them.

If the donation or treatment took place before August 1991, you should contact the Donor Conceived Register.

We fund sessions for eligible individuals only - see the section below "Am I eligible for HFEA-funded sessions?"

 If you think you might be eligible for HFEA-funded services, please complete the application form or contact us at: openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk or on 020 7291 8200.

Application to confirm eligibility for free access to the support service (PDF 352 KB)

If you are not eligible for HFEA-funded services, please contact PAC-UK’s advice line. They will be able to offer services which you pay for.

PAC-UK advice line opening hours

London office

Telephone: 020 7284 5879

Opening hours:
Monday 10am-4pm
Tuesday 10am-4pm
Wednesday 2pm-7.30pm
Thursday 2pm-7.30pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Leeds office

Telephone: 0113 230 2100

Opening hours
Monday 10am-1pm
Tuesday 10am-1pm
Wednesday 4pm-7pm
Thursday 10pm-1pm
Friday 10am-1pm

Or you can e-mail them via their website

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Am I eligible for HFEA-funded sessions?

If you are a donor, or a donor-conceived person aged 16 or over (where treatment was provided at a UK-licensed clinic), you are entitled to some HFEA-funded sessions.

If you are a donor, this will apply if:

  • you are considering re-registering to be an identifiable donor
  • you are aware that a donor-conceived person has applied for your identifying information.

If you are a donor-conceived person, this will apply if:

  • you are 16 or over and have applied for non-identifying information about your donor/donor-conceived genetic siblings;
  • you are 18 or over and have applied, or are considering applying, for identifying information about your donor or donor-conceived sibling(s) linked via the HFEA’s Donor Sibling Link (DSL);
  • your donor has re-registered and you are considering making contact with him or her;
  • you have been linked with your donor-conceived genetic sibling(s) (via DSL) and are considering making contact with them.

Self-funded services

If you do not fall under any of these categories but wish to access the service (for example, if you are a relative, a partner or close friend who has been affected by these issues), you will need to be pay for the service yourself, or receive funding from elsewhere.

Please contact the PAC-UK advice line for details. 

PAC-UK advice line opening hours

London office

Telephone: 020 7284 5879

Opening hours:
Monday 10am-4pm
Tuesday 10am-4pm
Wednesday 2pm-7.30pm
Thursday 2pm-7.30pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Leeds office

Telephone: 0113 230 2100

Opening hours
Monday 10am-1pm
Tuesday 10am-1pm
Wednesday 4pm-7pm
Thursday 10pm-1pm
Friday 10am-1pm

Or you can e-mail them via their website

For more information, you can contact the clinic where you were treated, or the Donor Conception Network.

Individuals who are eligible for HFEA-funded services could, if they wish, decide to invite you to attend some of their HFEA-funded sessions with them.

Session allocation

If you are a donor, who donated after 1 August 1991 but before 1 April 2005, and are considering re-registering, we will fund a maximum of two contact sessions to discuss the implications of this decision.

If you are a donor-conceived person (aged 16 or over) seeking non-identifying information from the Register, we will fund a maximum of two contact sessions to discuss the implications of this decision.

If you are a donor or a donor-conceived person having intermediary services (ie, which might result in contact between yourselves), we will fund:

  • two contact sessions, separate from any meeting with your donor or donor-conceived offspring;
  • if desired, one further session with both of you present if you both agree to a face-to-face meeting.

Similarly, if you are donor-conceived siblings (linked via DSL) having intermediary services (ie, which might result in contact between yourselves), we will fund:

  • two contact sessions each, separate from any meeting with your donor-conceived sibling;
  • if desired, one further session with both individuals present if you both agree to a face-to-face meeting.

This means that a maximum of five funded sessions are available for each intermediary case.

There may be situations where a number of people have been born to different families as a result of donation from the same donor. The same allocation of funded services will be available every time a different donor-conceived person seeks identifying information about him/ her.

The same applies to donor-conceived people who have been linked with more than one donor-conceived sibling or more than one sperm or egg provider where the donor-conceived person was born following double donation (i.e. both sperm and egg donation) or embryo donation.

If you think you might be eligible for HFEA-funded services, please contact us at: openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk  or on 020 7291 8200.

If you are not eligible for HFEA-funded services, please contact PAC-UK’s advice line. They will be able to offer services which you pay for. 

PAC-UK advice line opening hours

London office

Telephone: 020 7284 5879

Opening hours:
Monday 10am-4pm
Tuesday 10am-4pm
Wednesday 2pm-7.30pm
Thursday 2pm-7.30pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Leeds office

Telephone: 0113 230 2100

Opening hours
Monday 10am-1pm
Tuesday 10am-1pm
Wednesday 4pm-7pm
Thursday 10pm-1pm
Friday 10am-1pm

Or you can e-mail them via their website

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What can I expect?

The service gives you an opportunity to explore issues with a specialist support worker, through:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • telephone contact
  • other methods of communication, such as email and Skype.

Before you take up any sessions, we strongly recommend that you read the leaflets below, to prepare you for some of the issues that could come up in a session and give you the opportunity to think about them beforehand.

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Page last updated: 09 September 2015