Finding out about your donor and genetic siblings
Thousands of people in the UK have been conceived with the help of donated eggs, sperm or embryos. If you're considering requesting information about your donor or donor-conceived siblings, we strongly recommend you get support first. Find out more about your support options on this page.
Before you request information about your donor or donor-conceived siblings or decide to contact them, you may want to think about the following:
What are you expecting to find out? Will you be disappointed, for example, if your donor has left very little information?
There is also a small chance that the donor you thought was anonymous has chosen to now be identifiable. If so, would you consider getting in contact with your donor?
Have you got expectations about the number of donor-conceived genetic siblings you have? 10 different families are able to use the same donor and have a number of children each, so it's possible that you could have over 20 donor-conceived genetic siblings. It's also possible that you have none.
Are you prepared for the fact that your donor or donor-conceived siblings may have very different lifestyles, attitudes and opinions to you? How would you feel if that was the case?
What if your donor or donor-conceived siblings want to meet your family or have a closer relationship with you? How will you handle that if it’s not something you’re expecting?
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.
The following pages can help you to think through some of the key issues before you request information from us about your donor or donor-conceived siblings, or before you decide to get in touch with them.
We encourage you to talk these issues through with someone you trust such as a family member or friend, or other people who have been through a similar experience.
If you’re over 16, we also recommend you take advantage of our free and confidential support service to help you think through these issues further. If you were conceived at a UK-licensed clinic, we can offer you a number of free sessions once we’ve confirmed your eligibility.
The Donor Conception Network is a supportive network of UK families with children conceived with donated sperm, eggs or embryos, those considering or undergoing donor conception procedures; and donor-conceived people.
The Sperm, Egg and Embryo Donation (Seed) Trust provides impartial advice, support and information to prospective donors, intended parents and surrogates.
The British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA) has details of counsellors with expertise in supporting people dealing with issues around infertility, including donor conception.
For advice about other counselling services in the UK, contact the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Your GP should also be able to refer you to a counsellor on the NHS.
The Counselling Directory is a comprehensive database of UK counsellors and psychotherapists.
Support and advice for donor-conceived families (Donor Conception Network)
Review date: 3 November 2023