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10 Years Since the End of Donor Anonymity: Have We Got It Right?

Progress Educational Trust
Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH
03 November 2015 Wine reception at 6pm, discussion 6.30pm-8.30pm
This public event was organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) in partnership with the National Gamete Donation Trust, was supported by the British Infertility Counselling Association, and was held at University College London's Institute of Child Health.
It has been a decade since a landmark change in UK law, which gave donor-conceived people access (upon reaching the age of 18) to identifying information about their donor. For many, this is a milestone to celebrate.
However, there are still differences of opinion about the way the law was changed 10 years ago. Some complain that the change went too far, while others argue that it did not go anywhere near far enough. Some donor-conceived people still struggle to come to terms with the circumstances of their conception, and how this relates to their identity.
Additionally, it remains the case that if someone does not know they are donor-conceived to begin with, they will not know that information about their donor exists and can be accessed. There are also people conceived with an anonymous donor from outside the UK, for whom no identifying information will be available.
This event will ask whether we have achieved an appropriate balance between allowing reproductive choice and considering the welfare of the child. Questions addressed included:
What has happened since the change in the law? How have attitudes towards donor conception changed? Are there sufficient numbers of donors?
Are there still myths about the identifiability of donors, that need to be dispelled? Do prospective parents have the right support, in understanding what donor conception might mean for a child and in navigating the emotional complexities of becoming a parent through donor conception?
What informs parents' decision as to whether, when and how to tell a child they are donor-conceived? Should more be done to encourage parents to tell?
Can the regulated sector in the UK do more to discourage people from having overseas treatment or choosing unregulated donors? Should it?
What should we celebrate about the last 10 years of donor conception? What needs to happen in the next 10 years?

Eric Blyth
Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield, and former Co-Chair of the British Association of Social Workers' Project Group on Assisted Reproduction
Susan Golombok
Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, and author of books including Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms and Parenting: What Really Counts?
Dr Jo Rose
Donor-conceived person and claimant in Rose and Another v Secretary of State for Health and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, a case which contributed to the decision to end donor anonymity
Venessa Smith
Quality Assurance and Patient Coordinator at the London Women's Clinic, the Bridge Centre, the London Egg Bank and the London Sperm Bank
Juliet Tizzard
Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and former Director of PET

Charles Lister
Chair of the National Gamete Donation Trust, and former Head of Policy at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Partners and supporters:
The National Gamete Donation Trust, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event '10 Years Since the End of Donor Anonymity: Have We Got It Right?', taking place in central London on the evening of Tuesday 3 November 2015
The British Infertility Counselling Association, supporter of the Progress Educational Trust's FREE evening event '10 Years Since the End of Donor Anonymity: Have We Got It Right?', taking place in central London on the evening of Tuesday 3 November 2015

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