Deciding whether to tell donor conceived children about their origins

Donor sperm and donor eggs have been used to help create numerous families in both the UK and worldwide. Through donor assisted conception techniques, this has helped an array of single women, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples fulfil their dreams of becoming parents.

Deciding whether to tell your child about their genetic origins is a big decision to make, and it has long been the recommendation of donor conception groups and our regulatory body the HFEA that this information should be disclosed to donor conceived children. In April 2013 the Nuffield Council Bioethics met to discuss donor conception, and from the findings of their report they also encourage parents to be open and honest with their donor conceived children. Their report concluded that this ability to be open favourably contributes to a child’s well being and enhances the quality of family relationships.

The recent Nuffield report supports previous guidance, which suggests that the optimal time to inform children is in their pre-school years. Much literature is now available to help guide and support individuals or couples wishing to disclose this information, in the form of books. Help and advice in regards to this is available from the Donor Conception Network www.dcnetwork.org/.

Deciding to tell a child they have been conceived with donor eggs or sperm still remains the choice of the individual or couple having fertility treatment. Here at the Herts & Essex Fertility Centre prior to commencing treatment with any donor gametes, you will meet with one of our fertility counsellors who will be able to discuss this with you in more detail and provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the donation process and choices available to you.

The Herts & Essex Fertility Centre is able to help create families for those individuals or couples requiring donor sperm or donor eggs. We also offer successful egg sharing and sperm sharing schemes, as well as surrogacy cycles. For more information please contact us on 01992 78 50 60 or register to attend our free open afternoon on Saturday 18th May 2013.

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