Exploring Donor Conception: A Look at BBC Documentary My Sperm Donor and Me

29th September 2023 in News

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BBC presenter, Tink Llewellyn,pictured  as an adult and as a child

We are thrilled to announce our participation in the eye-opening BBC iPlayer documentary, My Sperm Donor and Me. This thought-provoking documentary, produced by BBC Wales, delves into the personal journey of journalist and donor-conceived person, Tink Llewellyn, as she sheds light on the multifaceted perspectives surrounding egg and sperm donation and touches on how 2023 and donor anonymity laws will affect donor-conceived people and donors alike.

Where can I watch My Sperm Donor and Me?

Available now on BBC iPlayer, this documentary explores the profound impact that donors have on the lives of individuals and families and what donation means to different people. Throughout the programme, Tink engages in heartfelt conversations with other donor-conceived individuals and generous donors who have selflessly contributed their eggs or sperm to help others realise their dreams of creating a family.

To provide viewers with a deeper understanding of the donation process and the journey that follows, Tink and the documentary crew visited Manchester Fertility. This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour allowed viewers to witness the intricacies of the donation process firsthand. Jo Adams, the Andrology Services and Sperm Donor Bank Manager, and Helen Hunter, Head of Laboratory, played gracious hosts, guiding the team through our clinic.

What is My Sperm Donor and Me about?

The journey begins with a glimpse into the donation rooms, where male donors provide their donations to help others who want to start future families. The documentary then ventures into our state-of-the-art laboratory, where our skilled embryologists meticulously create and nurture embryos, embodying the hope and potential of new life.

Another integral part of the process is that viewers can see is the cryobank, where donor eggs and sperm are preserved, safeguarding them until they are needed for treatment. Our cryobank stores gametes that will one day become the building blocks of new families. Tink also watches the fascinating on-screen maturation of an embryo just before implantation, a process she considers 'a great privilege' to observe in our lab.

One of the primary goals of My Sperm Donor and Me is to dispel the misconception that fertility treatment involving donor gametes is purely clinical. Many donor-conceived individuals, including Tink herself, grapple with complex emotions regarding their conception. Jo Adams and Helen Hunter provide a human perspective on the process by taking the audience behind the scenes of Manchester Fertility. They share insights into how donor gametes and embryos are treated with care and compassion, highlighting the dedication of the medical team involved in every step of the journey.

Moreover, the documentary emphasises donors' remarkable impact on families struggling to conceive. Through their selfless contributions, donors offer hope, making it possible for others to experience the joy of parenthood. We believe the documentary shows the warmth and dedication of the medical professionals here at our clinic, highlighting just how much we care about the work we do.

My Sperm Donor and Me is timely as it coincides with a significant change in donor information release policy in the UK. Starting in October, donor-conceived children will have the opportunity to request identifying information about their donors. This marks a significant shift, as donor anonymity in the UK was removed in 2005. The documentary provides a platform to discuss the implications of this change, emphasising the importance of openness and transparency in the world of assisted reproduction.

We sincerely thank Tink Llewellyn and the entire BBC Wales crew for including us in this insightful and important documentary. My Sperm Donor and Me invites viewers to embark on a profound journey, exploring the emotions, challenges, and joys that are part of the donor-conceived experience.

If you are a donor-conceived person, a donor, or are considering treatment using donor gametes or donating, this documentary is a must. Please tune in to BBC iPlayer and join us in exploring hope, family, and the incredible generosity of donors who make dreams come true.

My Sperm Donor and Me is now available for streaming on BBC iPlayer. Don't miss the opportunity to be part of this enlightening and emotional journey.

Last updated: 7th November 2023