A single mother from north London is trying to lift the anonymity of her child's sperm donor.
The woman has been told her six-year-old son will never be able to trace his father because the child was conceived at a Spanish clinic. The case is understood to be the first of its kind and experts say it highlights the pitfalls for those who undergo IVF abroad.
It also has led to renewed calls for a system of cross-border regulations over fertility treatment. Under British law, children conceived in Britain are entitled to obtain the name and address of their biological donor when they reach 18. These details are held on a database run by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. But the HFEA has said it is powerless to act.
The mother, who is Jewish, used an English donor who was also Jewish and he provided sperm through the London Women's Clinic. But the clinic did not have any donor eggs, so the woman transported the sperm to a clinic in Marbella where her son was conceived in December 2005. This meant none of the sperm donor's identifiable details could be placed on the authority's database.
In a statement, the woman said she hoped "with all my heart" that the father of her child would still want to meet him. She said: "I still hope that one day, through my son, I may get to thank him after all for giving me this wonderful child, who brings such joy to so many people."
Article: 2nd August 2011 www.dailymail.co.uk
Read more about using a known sperm or egg donor at www.prideangel.com