What you can find out about your donor or donor-conceived genetic siblings

An emotional process

Finding out about your donor, and about any donor-conceived siblings you may have, can be an emotional process.

We encourage you to undertake this journey with the support of others. Discuss the content of this website with your family or friends, and seek out the advice of those who have gone through this experience themselves.

Find out where to get support and what you should consider when applying for information about your donor:

Note: Before applying for information from the HFEA, please be aware that we only hold data for people conceived after 1 August 1991 following fertility treatment at a HFEA licensed clinic.


The HFEA records information on donors and on any children conceived as a result of their donation. We have a record of all births as a result of assisted reproduction from licensed UK fertility clinics from 1 August 1991 – the date the HFEA was set up – and onwards.

Who can apply for information?

Social attitudes in regards to fertility treatment are continually evolving. Increasingly, the desire and importance for donor-conceived people to find out about their origins is being recognised.

As a donor-conceived person, if you are aged 16 and over, you are entitled to apply to the HFEA and access information we hold about your donor – and any donor-conceived siblings you may have.

The type of information we may hold about your origins depends on when you were conceived, as the information donors were required to give us has changed over the years.

What if I’m not eligible to apply?

To access information about your donor and donor-conceived siblings you have to be aged 16 and over.

If you are under 16 and feel you are ready to learn about your origins, you can ask your parent/s to request information from the HFEA on your behalf. Parents are entitled to this information because they are seen as having your best interests at heart.

Your parent/s can find out only anonymous information about your donor – including your donor’s:

  • height
  • hair colour 
  • occupation
  • goodwill message
  • pen portrait.

Your parents can also find out the number, if any, of donor-conceived siblings you have who were conceived by your same donor (this does not include the donor’s legal/natural children). They cannot find out identifying information about your donor.

When you reach 18 years, you are able to apply to receive identifying information about your donor, if it is available.

What can my donor find out about me?

Your donor is entitled to find out the number of people born as a result of their donation, their sex and year of birth.

Donors are not able to get in contact with their donor-conceived offspring – the decision to initiate contact is solely that of the donor-conceived child, once they reach 18, if they have an identifiable donor.

Page last updated: 09 May 2012

Confidentiality

We recognise that finding out information about your genetic origins is a very personal matter. The HFEA will not reveal, at any point, that you are applying to us for information about your donor. Who you tell that you are contacting us for information is up to you.

Further information

Question markIf you have any questions about applying for donor information, or would like further advice, get in touch with the HFEA.

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