What can my children find out about their donor or donor-related siblings?
It’s natural for some people who have been conceived with the help of a donor to want to know about their donor or siblings. They might want to see what characteristics they’ve inherited from their donor, or what similarities they share with their siblings.
When your child reaches 16, they’ll be able to ask us for the same information that you can find out about a potential donor at the time of the donation (see full list above).
When they’re 18, depending on when the donation was made, they can ask us for their donor’s name, date of birth and last known address and it’s up to them if they want to try and get in touch. They can also join our Donor Sibling Link and if any of their genetic siblings also join, they’ll be able to find out their contact details.
It’s also now possible for home DNA testing and matching services available online, to be used by your child’s donor or by their donor-conceived siblings to identify and contact your child, or for your child to be able to identify and contact them by using such a service, provided your child is both a user of such a site and is part of their matching service option. Some sites may require their users to be 13 years old or above, while others have age limits starting at 18 years old and above.
This identification of individuals could also potentially be inferred, even if your child is not signed up to any such genetic matching services (ie, it may be possible to infer a child’s identity if a close genetic relative of theirs is signed up to a matching service and this can be combined with other publicly available information about your child).
We would recommend that if your child wishes to seek information about their donor or donor-conceived siblings (and was conceived through a licensed UK clinic) and is aged 16 or above that they contact the HFEA and take advantage of the advice and emotional support that may be available to them through this route.