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Support and intermediary service

Our support and intermediary service offers donors and donor-conceived people affected by post-donation issues the opportunity to access a number of free support sessions with a qualified professional. Find out more about the service, who's eligible and how you can apply for sessions. 

What is the support and intermediary service?

This service provides support and intermediary services for people affected by post-donation issues, where treatment has been carried out at a UK licensed clinic.

If you are a donor, or a donor-conceived person aged 16 or over (where treatment was provided at a UK-licensed clinic), you are entitled to some free sessions. For further information please see the section about eligibility.

The service is provided by PAC-UK on our behalf. PAC-UK provides:

  • Professional support to anyone affected by post donation issues, in cases where a donor-conceived person is seeking (or considering seeking) information about a donor or donor-conceived genetic sibling.

 

 

 

  • Intermediary services to facilitate contact between an identifiable donor and a donor-conceived person or between donor-conceived siblings linked via Donor Sibling Link (DSL).
  • Information and professional support for donors who donated or whose sperm, eggs or embryos were used in treatment between 1 August 1991 and 31 March 2005 (when donors were automatically considered anonymous) and who are considering re-registering to become an identifiable donor.
  • Signposting to other services should PAC-UK’s services not be appropriate.

Who can access this service?

Donor-conceived people and some donors affected by donation issues can access the service, as long as the donation or treatment took place at a UK-licensed clinic after August 1991.

Family members (such as parents, spouses and non donor-conceived children) or friends can also pay to access the service if they wish.

If the donation or treatment took place before August 1991, you should contact the Donor Conceived Register.

We fund sessions for eligible individuals only - see the section below 'Am I eligible for free sessions?'

If you think you might be eligible for some free sessions please complete the application form or contact us at: openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk or on 020 7291 8200.

Application to confirm eligibility for free access to the HFEA support service

If you are not eligible for free sessions, please contact PAC-UK’s advice line. They will be able to offer services which you pay for.

Am I eligible for free support sessions?

 

If you are a donor, or a donor-conceived person aged 16 or over (where treatment was provided at a UK-licensed clinic), you are entitled to some HFEA-funded sessions.

If you are a donor, this will apply if:

  • you are considering re-registering to be an identifiable donor
  • you are aware that a donor-conceived person has applied for your identifying information.

If you are a donor-conceived person, this will apply if:

  • you are 16 or over and have applied for non-identifying information about your donor/donor-conceived genetic siblings
  • you are 18 or over and have applied, or are considering applying, for identifying information about your donor or donor-conceived sibling(s) linked via the HFEA’s Donor Sibling Link (DSL)
  • your donor has re-registered and you are considering making contact with him or her
  • you have been linked with your donor-conceived genetic sibling(s) (via DSL) and are considering making contact with them
  • you are over 16, thinking about starting a physical relationship with someone and have applied to find out if you're genetically related. 

 

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Self-funded services

If you do not fall under any of these categories but wish to access the service (for example, if you are a relative, a partner or close friend who has been affected by these issues), you will need to be pay for the service yourself, or receive funding from elsewhere.

Please contact PAC-UK for details.

Individuals who are eligible for free sessions could, if they wish, decide to invite you to attend some of their sessions with them.

For additional support you could contact the clinic where you were treated, or the Donor Conception Network.

How many free sessions will I get?

If you're a donor, who donated after 1 August 1991 but before 1 April 2005, and are considering re-registering, you're entitled to two sessions to discuss the implications of this decision.

If you're a donor-conceived person (aged 16 or over) seeking non-identifying information from the Register, you're also entitled to two sessions to discuss the implications of this decision.

If you're a donor or a donor-conceived person potentially having intermediary services (ie, which might result in contact between yourselves), you're entitled to:

  • Two sessions, separate from any meeting with your donor or people conceived from your donation.
  • If desired, one further session with both of you present if you both agree to a face-to-face meeting.

Similarly, if you are donor-conceived siblings (linked via DSL) potentially having intermediary services (ie, which might result in contact between yourselves), you're entitled to:

  • Two sessions each, separate from any meeting with your donor-conceived sibling.
  • If desired, one further session with both individuals present if you both agree to a face-to-face meeting.

This means that a maximum of five funded sessions are available for each intermediary case.

There may be situations where a number of people have been born to different families as a result of donation from the same donor. The same allocation of funded services will be available every time a different donor-conceived person seeks identifying information about him/ her.

The same applies to donor-conceived people who have been linked with more than one donor-conceived sibling or more than one sperm or egg provider where the donor-conceived person was born following double donation (i.e. both sperm and egg donation) or embryo donation.

If you think you might be eligible for free sessions, please contact us at: openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk  or on 020 7291 8200. 

What can I expect?

The service gives you an opportunity to explore issues with a specialist support worker, through:

  • face-to-face meetings
  • telephone contact
  • other methods of communication, such as email and Skype.

Before you take up any sessions, we strongly recommend that you read the leaflets above, to prepare you for some of the issues that could come up in a session and give you the opportunity to think about them beforehand.

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Review date: 5 June 2019