These workshops are for heterosexual couples - who have not yet conceived through donor conception (although you may have children who are not donor-conceived). You may be contemplating egg, sperm, double or embryo donation with or without surrogacy or you may be currently having treatment. The workshops are equally appropriate whether you plan to have treatment in the UK or abroad, with a known, identifiable or anonymous donor. Couples will get most out of the workshop if both partners attend. The maximum number on each in-person workshop is 18 and for online is 14.
'[the Preparation workshop]...was a hugely positive experience for us...finding people who were experiencing the same issues and having the opportunity to talk to people who'd been through it and come out the other side meant a great deal to both of us. The videos are informative and gave us a great insight into some of the issues that are likely to come our way. The two sessions we had on medical matters and social/psychology also gave us a great opportunity to answer many of the niggling questions that have been bugging us. However, the main benefit was the chance to meet others who are going through this and just share our thoughts, fears, knowledge and hopes…'
'The course did not in any way try to sell the concept. I felt I was provided with a very authentic view.'
'An absolutely fantastic course which helped me work through a lot of questions and issues I had around our decision to use a donor egg. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted'
Who runs the workshops?
Two facilitators run each workshop; a man and a woman for heterosexual couples. All facilitators are long-standing members of DCN and have donor-conceived children themselves, either from treatment in the UK or abroad. They bring wider relevant professional and personal experience. A third admin facilitator assists with running the online workshops.
What are the workshops about?
First and foremost, the workshops are a comfortable and confidential space to think about what it means to you to create or add to your family using a donor. You may have already decided this is the path you are going to take but want to understand a bit more about the implications or you may not yet be clear that donor conception is right for you. It is a chance to gain information and to share your hopes, fears and concerns with others. This can feel daunting in prospect but the sense of release, support and solidarity gained is often seen as one of the greatest benefits. Specialist speakers, on the clinical and social and emotional aspects of donor conception, will be available to discuss issues and answer your questions. In addition two DVDs of parents and children talking about their thoughts, feelings and experiences will be shown with the opportunity for discussion afterwards. Talking with others in small and large groups throughout the two days plus an optional but recommended evening meal together in a local restaurant helps to break the sense of isolation felt by so many people contemplating donor conception and friendships are often formed. For the online workshop, there is an evening social session to replace the evening meal, come with a glass of something cold and some snacks!
You will receive an information pack by email in advance of the workshop.
Where and when are they?
The in-person workshops are held over a weekend in London. They run from 11am on the Saturday and, as an integral part of the course, include a recommended evening meal together until around 9pm. The workshop finishes around 2pm on the Sunday. Lunch and refreshments during the days are included in the price. Due to the current situation, we are not planning to run any in-person workshops until April 2021.
The online workshops have a 1 hour introductory session on the Friday evening (7.30-8.30pm) and then run from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday with a social session from 7.30-8.30pm and 10am to 3pm on the Sunday.
The fee covers venue hire, facilitators' fees and expenses, refreshments and 2 sandwich or soup lunches, training development and office administrative costs.
The online fee
£230 per single person
£460 per couple
The fee covers facilitators' fees, IT administrator, IT costs, training development and office administrative costs.
One month before the workshop date we will decide whether the numbers of booked attendees are sufficient, and will either confirm or cancel. If we cancel a full refund will be given. Cancellations received 5 weeks before the workshop date will be refunded in full. Cancellations notified 3-5 weeks before the date will be refunded at 50%. We are unable to refund cancellations received with less than 3 weeks’ notice.
It is wise not to book travel or accommodation until we have confirmation of the numbers for each individual workshop.
We offer two main workshops open to members and non-members, Preparation for Parenthood (for people considering donor conception) and Telling and Talking (for those with children 7 yrs & under).
These workshops are very important in helping participants explore the issues related to donor conception relevant to their stage of parenthood. The prices we charge for these workshops reflect the costs of providing them and we do not make a profit. They are specialised, highly sensitive, professionally run events where we limit the numbers who attend to ensure everyone attending has a really personal and valuable experience. This makes them a little more expensive than some other workshops but we consider them to represent extremely good value for money and the feedback from those who attend confirms this.
We appreciate that finding the money in one lump sum can be hard, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss instalment payments if that would be helpful.
'I wish I still had the workshop to look forward to, it was so uplifting!'
'It was such a good balance of getting to speak to others on a difficult journey, listening to the speakers, getting chance to ask the speakers questions, and watching the film clips.'
'I am blown away by the feelings of kindness, support and love - despite it all being conducted online.'
If a workshop has free spaces, go ahead and book as spaces can go quickly. If there are no suitable dates or available places you can go on the waiting list or fill in this form selecting "Please contact me when new dates become available"
Your booking is only secure once we have received payment!
Following confirmation of your booking by email, and about two weeks prior to the workshop, we will ask you to complete a short survey online. This is a requirement of your attendance, and must be completed by each person (rather than each couple). You will also complete a short feedback form before you leave the workshop. Anonymised evaluations from these workshops may be used in DC Network materials or for funding applications.
Booking Terms and Conditions
For a full list of our terms and conditions, please click here.
What if I have already conceived through donor conception?
We also run Telling and Talking workshops for parents of donor conceived children aged between 0-7 years.