The fertility watchdog has launched a questionnaire to understand how it can best support donor-conceived people in the future
The anonymous survey by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is open to anyone over 16 personally impacted by providing post-donation support services in the UK.
These services are mainly for donor-conceived people who have accessed information about their donor or thinking about doing so.
Support is also offered to donors considering their anonymity or if the donor-conceived person has requested their donor’s identifying details from the HFEA.
The questionnaire is open to egg, sperm and embryo donors who donated at a licensed centre, genetic and gestational surrogates, those close to them, donor-conceived people and those to close them, people who have had or are considering having treatment using a donor egg, sperm or embryo, or treatment with a surrogate.
According to the HFEA, the survey is to gain insight into what people who may access the post-donation services want or need from what is available
The HFEA said in survey information: “Since 2019, the HFEA has funded the Hewitt Fertility Centre at Liverpool’s Women’s Hospital to provide post-donation services.
“2023 is a landmark year for the donor-conceived community. The law changed in 2005, which allows most people conceived from donations made after April 1, 2005, to request information from the HFEA about their donor after they turn 18. The first group of people affected by this change in law becomes eligible to request this information this year.
“As more donor-conceived people turn 18 and can find out who their donor is, we expect demand for support (from donors, donor-conceived people and others impacted by donation) to increase. As a result, the HFEA is looking at ways that the demand could be met in the future.”
The HFEA is considering a multi-layered support service, which could involve specialist counselling or peer support groups
Although, the fertility watchdog has pointed out that it is unlikely to be able to pay for the support offered due to not having the resources available for what is expected to be an increase in demand.
To take part in the questionnaire, click here.