Gamete donors’ reasons for, and expectations and experiences of, registration with a voluntary donor linking register

Eric Blyth, Marilyn Crawshaw, Lucy Frith, Olga van den Akker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports on a study of the views and experiences of 21 sperm donors and five egg donors registered with UK DonorLink (UKDL), a voluntary DNA-based contact register established to facilitate contact between adults who wish to identify and locate others to whom they are genetically related following donor conception. Specifically, the paper examines donors’ reasons for searching for, or making information about themselves available to donor-conceived offspring. Their expectations of registration with UKDL, experiences of being registered and finally, the experiences of those who had contacted donor-conceived offspring and other genetic relatives are investigated. While most respondents reported largely positive experiences of registration, the study found significant issues relating to concerns about donation, DNA testing, possible linking with offspring and expectations of any relationship that might be established with offspring that have implications for support, mediation and counselling. Research that puts the experiences, perceptions and interests of gamete donors as the central focus of study is a relatively recent phenomenon. This study contributes to this debate and highlights directions for future research in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Fertility
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • DNA
  • donor conception
  • UK DonorLink

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