I’m using a donor, what are some of the issues I need to consider?
There are several important issues to consider when using a donor abroad:
The law: In the UK, if you have treatment using a donor at a licensed UK clinic, the donor will have no rights or responsibilities to any children conceived. This might not be the case in other countries so it’s important to do your research and seek legal advice if you’re unclear about the situation.
Recruitment and health checks: Find out what the process is for recruiting and screening potential donors. They should be checked for infectious diseases and their family history should be assessed to ensure they don’t pass on any serious genetic diseases. In the UK, donors are also given counselling to ensure they fully understand the commitment they’re making.
Donor anonymity: Some countries allow people to donate anonymously. This means there would be no way of your child being able to trace their donor or potentially their donor-conceived siblings. In the UK, donor-conceived people aged 18 can request contact details for their donor and can make contact with their genetic siblings if both parties want to.
Donor information: Even in countries where donation is not anonymous, you should find out if the clinic can give you any information about the donor (for example, a physical description and medical history). Donor-conceived children naturally have questions about their origins so you may want to keep this information to share when the time is right.
Limits on donating: You may want to check if there are any limits on using one donor. In the UK, one donor’s sperm can only be used by 10 families, thereby limiting the number of children with a genetic connection to your child. That might not be the case in other countries meaning your child could be genetically related to many more families.