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FAQs

Some clinics have donors available, so speak to your clinic first. If your clinic is unable to help, it may be worth considering contacting other clinics to see if they can help you. Donors are out there, so be proactive and spread the word that you are looking for a donor! Here at the NGDT, we can help support you in your search for a donor and we are happy to provide free posters and to work with you if you contact the local media. We also have up-to-date information on clinics which are successfully recruiting donors and which may have donors available.

You might also find it helpful to approach the National Sperm Bank and Pride Angel.

This is called ‘known donation’ and many clinics will be able to help you. Your friend or family member should be aged between 18 and 41, and be in general good health. Ask your clinic for a joint initial appointment to talk through the process and the implications involved. Counselling will be offered to all parties and most counsellors would recommend at least one counselling session with all parties and partners. If you choose to go down the known donation route then we would encourage you to do so in an HFEA licensed treatment centre to protect all parties’ emotional and physical health, and also to ensure that the legal parenthood status is clear. Using a known donor outside of a fertility clinic setting could have a range of adverse consequences.

Sperm donors are men from all walks of life aged between 18 and 41. A sperm donor can’t just go into a clinic and give a one-off donation. Sperm donation is a relationship between a donor and a clinic which could mean a year between the first screening and the last blood test. It involves regular blood tests, screening and donations. Compensation of £35 is paid for each clinic visit to cover expenses.

How you order donated sperm depends on where you are getting it from. It is possible to buy more than one sample at a time and this is something your clinic can help you with. Depending on the availability of samples from the same donor, it might also be possible to reserve samples for future use and have more than one child from the same donor.

Anonymous donation no longer takes place in the UK (it stopped in 2005). All donors in HFEA-licensed treatment centres now have to agree to be identifiable when the donor-conceived person reaches 18. If you have treatment with donated eggs, sperm or embryos abroad then depending on which country you go to might mean that your donor is anonymous.

Sperm donors can receive up to £35 in compensation for each clinic visit. A sperm donor isn’t being paid for donating sperm but is receiving remuneration for expenses and inconvenience he may have incurred, such as childcare, travel expenses and time off work.

Like all aspects of family life, how any family handles the subject of donor conception is unique to that family. While all donors now have to be identifiable, there is no law that says all donor-conceived people must know of their genetic origins. Some families are very open with their children about their genetic heritage while other families don’t tell at all.

Many families join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals.

While the number of donors has increased in this country so has the number of patients needing treatment with donated eggs. This means that demand for donated eggs can outstrip the number of available donors.

Many clinics are proactive recruiting their own egg donors and their waiting lists are generally shorter. Contact us here at The Seed Trust as many clinics contact us when they are looking for recipients because they have donors available.

You can find out more about the information available to you and your donor-conceived child about your donor on the Donation and The Law page.

The UK is one of the most heavily regulated fertility sectors in the world. Donors have to undergo rigorous physical and emotional health screening and testing to be accepted as a donor. This includes checks on current and previous health. Details of the donor prerequisites can be found on the Donor Criteria page.

Not necessarily. Having their own children proves fertility, but many clinics accept non-parents as donors.
At any time a sperm donor can ask the clinic to let them know:

  • if a pregnancy has resulted following their donation
  • if there have been any live births
  • the number of children born
  • years of births
  • gender of any children.

Your donor will not be given any identifiable information about you or your children.

All clinics will offer counselling as part of the treatment. This counselling is with an independent trained counsellor and will give you the opportunity to talk through any issues and questions you may have.

Many families join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals. The charity also runs workshops that provide you with a safe space in which to meet other people who might be considering egg donation and to explore your own issues around using an egg donor.

One way of meeting other families who have used donors and have donor-conceived children is to join Donor Conception Network, a highly experienced charity offering an extensive range of help, support and guidance to potential and actual parents of donor-conceived people, and to donor-conceived individuals. Donor Conception Network also organises conferences and workshops, and provides other informal opportunities to meet up with other families in your local area.
Yes. You can ask your clinic to approach your donor directly to ask them if they would be willing to donate again.
This is a personal choice. You and your clinic counsellor could explore the options and implications with you. It’s possible to ask the clinic to approach the same donor to ask if she would donate again.