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Donor conception: how to apply for information through the HFEA

As the first young people affected by landmark changes to UK donor anonymity law in 2005 become eligible to find out who their donor is, our OTR team discuss the things to consider before applying and what information can be requested from the HFEA.

Before applying

Choosing to apply for information about your donor, donor siblings or people conceived from your donation is a big decision.

Accessing information about your donor, donor-conceived genetic siblings or people conceived from your donation can raise unexpected feelings. Before you decide whether to apply, you may wish to think about what effect this could have on you and your family.

To prepare yourself, you might wish to find out what information you are likely to receive, and think through some of the questions on this page that could help provide an insight into some of the issues that can come up. These include, how you would feel if there were more people conceived using the same donor than expected, or if you find out that your donor is still anonymous. You may feel differently when you receive the information, but it still may be useful to think about what you want to do with it – are you just curious or are you hoping to contact your donor and any donor-conceived genetic siblings, if you find out you have any?

Finding your donor

If your donor is identifiable, then you can find out their full name, place and date of birth and last known postal address. What you plan to do with this information is your choice, but if you do choose to make contact, consider using the expert support available via the Support and Intermediary Service which can help prepare you for this, and exchange messages with your donor anonymously at first.

As we are receiving a high number of applications, the request for information that you submit will be in a queue to be processed. Applications are processed in the order in which they were received. We are working through the requests as quickly as possible, while keeping the highest levels of accuracy.

To view the current wait time for receiving information, please visit this page of our website: Apply for information. Applications are processed in the order in which they were received.

You can find out more information on this page: Finding out about your donor and genetic siblings.

Finding information about your anonymous donor

Not all donor-conceived individuals conceived after 1st April 2005 will be able to receive identifiable information about their donor (unless these donors have reregistered). This is because:

  • There was a transitional period in which clinics were able to use up any anonymous donations they had already collected
  • Patients could use donor eggs, sperm or embryos if they wanted a full genetic sibling for a child they already had and
  • Patients who created and stored embryos using an anonymous donor prior to the law change could use these after the law came into force.

If your donor is anonymous, then you can find out non-identifying information about them such as their physical characteristics, year and country of birth, ethnicity and whether they had any children at the time of donating.

Contacting your donor-conceived genetic siblings

Donor Sibling Link (DSL) puts donor-conceived adults who share the same donor in touch with each other, providing they have also applied to join DSL.

Joining DSL is easy – you just need to fill out an online application form. We recommend applying first to find out if you have donor-conceived genetic siblings, via the HFEA website as some people will be the only person born from their donor, however, it’s not compulsory and you can join without accessing sibling information first.

Finding out the outcome of your donation

Understandably many donors are curious about whether any children have been born as a result of their donation. Donors can apply for this information by completing a short online form. This information consists of the number of births, sex, and year of birth for each individual born as a result of your donation. Donors can’t find out any other information about the children born or their parents, or contact them.

What information can be released about me as a donor?

If you donated after 1st April 2005 or have chosen to remove your anonymity, anyone born from your donation will be able to apply for identifying information about you. This includes your full name, date and place of birth, and last known postal address, and an unredacted copy of any message to the child or additional personal information you provided for this purpose when you donated. If you’ve moved since you made your donation and haven’t updated your address, please contact the clinic you donated at, or if they are no longer open, you can update your details by scrolling to the end of this page. You can now also choose to provide a phone number and email address in addition to your postal address, and specify your preferred method of contact (although it can’t be guaranteed that the donor-conceived individual will use this method).

You can find out more on the HFEA website: preparing for possible contact from someone conceived from your donation.

To apply for any information via the HFEA you need to provide proof of ID and for some applications proof of address, so please make sure you have this available when applying.

Review date: 11 October 2025