This policy document is part of a response submitted by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's Consultation on its 8th Code of Practice and Revised Consent Forms.
What information do you think should be made available to parents of donor conceived individuals about the donor?
Parents of donor-conceived individuals should have the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the donor. This is in line with the broader principle that it is wrong for the authorities to withhold information from parents, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. There is no such compelling reason here.
Providing parents of donor-conceived individuals with all available donor information is sensible because it is consistent with the UK Government's recent policy of encouraging greater openness about donor conception. This policy informed the 2005 removal of entitlement to donor anonymity, and continues to inform initiatives such as the 'Telling and Talking' workshops that have been organised by the Donor Conception Network with the support of the Department of Health.
Once availed of all non-identifying donor information, it is then the prerogative of parents of donor-conceived individuals to choose if, when and how they give this information to their offspring. It is vital that the parents of donor-conceived individuals are availed of non-identifying donor information in its totality, so as to reduce the risk of unintentionally misleading the child about the donor. It would also be helpful if the HFEA provided clear guidance, to ensure that donors are fully aware that the individuals created as a result of their donation could potentially be appraised, at a very young age, of all the non-identifying donor information they provide.