HFEA welcomes the removal of donor anonymity

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority welcomes the Government's decision to remove anonymity for those donating sperm, eggs and embryos in the future.

Suzi Leather, HFEA Chair said:

"We consider that sharing information about origins with our children is part of responsible parenting.  Although it is right to respect the guarantees of anonymity that have been given to donors in the past, it also seems to me wrong that the state has information about someone's origins which they want and cannot have. Secrecy in adoption has been discredited and secrecy in assisted reproduction will come to be too.

"It is the decision which donor-conceived people as well as the HFEA and many other organisations wanted. In years to come there will be very many people who will be profoundly grateful to the Government for taking the steps which will allow them to know who their biological parents are."


Notes to editors

This outcome is from a Department of Health consultation - Donor information consultation: Providing information about gamete or embryo donors.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 set up a Register of Information managed by the HFEA which contains information about donors. 

Donors are paid a maximum of £15 and reasonable expenses.

For more information please see the press background briefing on Donor Anonymity.

The HFEA was set up in August 1991 as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The HFEA's principal tasks are to license and monitor clinics that carry out in vitro fertilisation (IVF), donor insemination (DI) and human embryo research. The HFEA also regulates the storage of gametes (eggs and sperm) and embryos.

For further information please contact the HFEA press office.

Page last updated: 12 March 2009

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HFEA Press Officer
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Email: press.office@hfea.gov.uk

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