Donors and recipients have rights - knowing yours will help your donation experience

14th July 2016 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

There are many misconceptions surrounding the use of donor sperm or donor eggs to have a baby, like: 

  • Is it true the donor is responsible for the child?
  • Is it true your donor can specify ‘no contact’ with your child?
  • Is your donor able to find out about your child, or who you are?

To help address these questions, our Donation Team explains your rights as the recipient patient, and those of your chosen donor, when you come to us for treatment using donor eggs or donor sperm.

Your rights as the recipient patient

When you have treatment using donated sperm or eggs in a licensed clinic setting you (and your partner) are the legal parents of any child born.

Your donor has no parental rights to your child.

Your donor cannot find out who you are.

Neither you nor your chosen donor is given any information at any stage, which could lead to either of you being identified.

It’s why we place such emphasis on egg and sperm donor profiles at Manchester Fertility.These profiles are the basis on which you make your decision about which donor is right for you – so it’s vital we make them as detailed as possible.

Our profiles include information such as a goodwill message and a personal pen portrait written by your donor, so you get a good understanding of their personality and interests and not just what they look like.

The rights of your child

Your child has the right to apply to the HFEA when they turn 18 for identifying information about their donor if they wish to know who he or she is.

You are not able to apply for this information as the recipient.

Counselling is key to consent

As you’re using donor eggs or donor sperm in your treatment, you’re automatically referred to our counsellors to discuss the implications.

Your sessions are designed to address all the issues relating to the use of donor eggs or donor sperm to have a baby, including how and when to tell your child about donor conception.

You can find out more why counselling is such an important part of your treatment journey with us here.

Consent is a vital, necessary part of your treatment. You’ll be given all the relevant consent forms by our team, who will ensure that both you and your partner complete these as required.

The rights of your donor

Your donor has no legal, moral, financial or parental responsibilities to any child you have through treatment at our clinic.

However, the law outside a licensed clinic setting is complex. So if you’re thinking of making your own private arrangement with a willing sperm donor for example, it’s vital you seek specialist legal advice.

All egg and sperm donors are identifiable by law to any child they help to create, and must agree to this to be accepted as egg or sperm donors.

Donors cannot specify ‘no contact’ as a condition of their donation. But it’s important to note that it’s entirely up to your child, when they turn 18, to decide to apply for details about their donor.

Being prepared for future contact is something we discuss with all our egg and sperm donors as part of their mandatory counselling. 

Although your donor isn’t ever able to find out about your child, he or she is entitled to find out how many children they have helped to be born, along with the gender and year of birth of each child.

Your donor must give his or her consent for their sperm or eggs to be used in treatment to help others.

As the donor, they have the right to vary or withdraw this consent at any time, unless their eggs or sperm have already been used.

Your donor’s eggs or sperm can only be used to create up to 10 families. There is no limit within these ‘families’ however, which means you’re able to potentially use the same sperm or egg donor to have a sibling in future, subject to availability.

At Manchester Fertility, we’ve been helping people to become parents through the use of donor eggs and donor sperm for many years, no matter what their circumstances.

From same-sex couples and single women to those with male factor fertility problems and age-related infertility, if you need an egg or sperm donor you can start treatment with us straight away.

We offer a choice of fully-screened, HFEA-registered and UK-based egg and sperm donors through our highly-successful programme, with the full support of our dedicated Donation Team, expert fertility consultants and innovative personal treatment plans to give you the highest chance of success.

If you’d like to find out more treatment with us, speak to a Patient Advisor on 0161 300 2737.

You can also reserve your place on our next free open evening or request a free one-to-one to discuss treatment in private and in confidence.

Last updated: 21st January 2020