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Donor Sibling Link (DSL)

Donor-conceived adults are able to exchange contact details with people who share the same donor through Donor Sibling Link. Find out more about Donor Sibling Link and how you can apply to join.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

 

Due to COVID-19, we cannot currently process any applications to join the Donor Sibling Link. More information is available below. 

What is Donor Sibling Link and how does it work?

Donor Sibling Link allows people who share the same donor (donor-conceived siblings) to exchange contact details with one another.

Using information given to us by clinics we’re able to match you with your donor-conceived sibling(s) provided they’ve also joined Donor Sibling Link or they join in the future.

In order to be eligible to join, you need to be over 18 and have been conceived after 1 August 1991. 

Donor-conceived people who were conceived before 1 August 1991 can access information from the Donor Conceived Register. Please contact openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk for more information about this.

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Is there anything I should do before joining Donor Sibling Link?

We recommend applying to us first to find out if you do have any donor-conceived siblings. Not everyone will have donor-conceived siblings so it’s worth checking before taking the time to join Donor Sibling Link.

Apply for information

You might also want to think through some of the questions below to prepare yourself for potentially making contact with any genetic siblings:

  • Would you be disappointed if none of your siblings joined DSL? Many donor-conceived people may be unaware of their origins, may not know about Donor Sibling Link, or simply may not be interested in meeting other donor-conceived genetic siblings. 
  • Are you ready to potentially meet any donor-conceived genetic siblings? 

 

 

  • Are you prepared for the fact that your donor-conceived siblings may have very different lifestyles, attitudes and opinions to you?
  • What if you contact your donor-conceived genetic sibling(s) and they don’t respond?

We encourage you to talk these questions through with someone you trust, such as a family member or friend. Alternatively, we have a free and confidential support service where you can talk through all of these issues with someone experienced in donor conception.

Find out more about our free support service

I’m ready, how do I join Donor Sibling Link?

Due to COVID-19, we cannot currently process any applications for to join Donor Sibling Link.

We’re keen to restart the Opening the Register and Donor Sibling Link services as soon as possible. We appreciate the impact that suspending the service has on individuals who are waiting to access information, and we thank you for your patience.

In order to provide you with accurate information from the HFEA Register on the year of birth and sex of any children born from a particular donation, we contact the fertility clinic where a donor was registered to verify this information.

These services depend on a series of quality assurance checks being completed, which involves support from clinics. As such, we cannot restart the service until clinics are fully operational. We estimate it will be several months before sufficient support is available across the sector to enable the OTR and DSL services to restart.

Please keep checking our website for updates of when we are able to start processing applications again.

If you have already submitted an application, you will need to contact us when we reopen using the below details to confirm that you’d like your application to be processed.

Should you have any further enquiries, about this or any other donor related matter, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7291 8200 or by emailing Opening.TheRegister@hfea.gov.uk.

Permitted ID and proof of address

You'll need to provide one proof of identification and one proof of address, which are submitted electronically through the secure application process. We can only accept scans, colour photocopies or clear photographs of your original documents.

Identification

Valid passport

Birth certificate (if your name has changed since this was issued, you also need to submit deed poll documentation or a marriage certificate)

Valid full or provisional UK driving licence photo card

Valid old style paper UK driving licence (containing your date of birth)

 

Address (dated within the last three months)

  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Bank statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Payslip
  • NHS card

 

Who can I talk to if I have any questions?

We’re happy to help with any questions you might have. Drop us a line at openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Review date: 19 May 2022

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