Donors using Clinics
Egg and sperm donation through an HFEA licensed clinic: for donors
If you donate your eggs or sperm to unknown recipients through a licensed fertility clinic in the UK, you will not be treated as a legal parent of any children conceived from your donation, and will have no legal or financial responsibility. If you donate to known recipients the law is less clear-cut (see the page for known donors).
What can my recipients and their child find out about me?
Whether you donate to known or unknown recipients, your details will be recorded on the Register of Information held at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and your offspring will have legal rights to access that information as they grow up. They will be only able to find out non-identifying information about you before they reach the age of 18. However, this is important to some donor-conceived children and their families, so do think carefully about giving a pen sketch or goodwill message when you make your donation which the families you help create can access.
Your donor-conceived offspring can, once they reach the age of 18, can apply to find out your name and address which they can use to contact you if they wish. They can also be asked to be put in touch with any other adult donor-conceived offspring who were conceived as a result of your donation (but only if they consent).
What other conditions attach to my donation?
The HFEA permits each egg or sperm donor to help create up to ten separate families via UK clinics (each of which may have more than one child if they wish). There are therefore legal limits on how many children can be born from your donation. You can also stipulate how you want your eggs or sperm to be used so you could, for example, set a lower limit in agreement with your clinic. Please note that UK fertility clinics have a legal duty not to discriminate against patient types and so if you want to set other conditions – such as a stipulation that your eggs and sperm should only be donated to certain family types – then your clinic may not be able to accept your donation.
For more detailed information, visit NGA Law’s free and searchable online Knowledge Centre www.nataliegambleassociates.co.uk/knowledge-centre
Page last reviewed: 12/6/2018