What does DC Network do?

We provide support, community, information and resources

Our aim it to be an authoritative and non judgemental space offering informaton, support, community and resources to anyone involved in donor conception, whether personally or professionally. We offer a range of services and resources to help people with decision-making and any issues relating to donor conception. We also aim to represent donor conception families in the wider world.

Membership

One of the main ways we offer our services is through a membership subscription. This supports the charity financially, but also means that the personal connections that we facilitate are done within a framework where we are putting members in touch with other members. This gives us confidence that we know who is who. Our team of volunteers are also members which, again, means they are part of the community, we know them and we can support them.

The background information we have about members' individual circumstances helps us to offer a very tailored and personal service which is something we really pride ourselves on. The digital world offers amazing opportunities and tools for connecting people quickly and efficiently, but we also know the value of the human touch.

To find out more about what is included in a membership subscription have a look here.

Or use the button below to sign up.

Join now!

Free online information sessions

We run regular free information sessions about membership and what it offers. Our next one is on Wednesday, 16 June '21   6:30pm – 7:30pm BST

These sessions are webinar style so you are not visible to others and can maintain your privacy if that is important to you.

Do join one to find out more and ask any questions you may have.

Book here

Books and resources

We publish our own books which we sell, alongside some other titles, in our shop. This includes a range of DCN books for children titled 'Our Story: How we became a family' including variations for almost every family situation and with twin versions too. We also publish and sell a series of books for adults titled 'Telling and Talking. These are aimed at parents of children at the different developmental stages (0-7yrs, 8-12yrs, teenagers and beyond). The series includes books to support people in talking to friends and family and a special book for what we call 'mixed' families, which is where there are children who were conceived both with and without the help of a donor.

Go to our bookshop

Choices and Challenges webinars

In 2021 we launched a new webinar aimed at people considering donor conception. These are webinar style events where people are not visible to each other and watch an listen rather than participate actively (unlike a 'meeting' style event). This means attendees can remain private and anonymous if they wish.

They provide an introduction to and overview of the things that people need to think about as well as some of the feelings people may be experiencing, focussing on the social and emotional implications. In addition to the information provided, attendees hear from a parent sharing their personal story. The webinars do not cover medical or treatment questions.

These short sessions are not the same as, and don't replace, our Preparation for Parenthood workshops. They are a starting point to get an overview of what this path to parenthood might look like and what to consider, and some people may go on to attend one of our workshops.

View Choices and Challenges

Workshops

Our workshops are open to non members and members. They offer a confidential space for people to explore hopes and fears in a structured, facilitated way. Numbers are restricted to ensure everyone can connect and get the most out of the event. Our facilitators all have DC children themselves as well as professional experience.

Our Preparation for Parenthood workshops are for people who are considering donor conception and want a dedicated, supported space to explore their feelings, concerns and hopes with other people at a similar stage. We know from feedback that these workshops can be transformative.

View Preparation Workshops

 

Our Telling and Talking workshops are for people once they have had children. These workshops are designed to help people consider the how, when and why of 'telling' young children. This is often something that parents can feel extremely anxious about and really want to 'get it right'. There is no one way to do it 'right' but we have decades of experience that we can use to help people work out the right time and the right way for them. These workshops are invaluable in the process of building confidence and feeling comfortable with how to approach things.

View Telling and Talking Workshops

Information and support

We run a helpline by phone and email. We cannot offer counselling or professional support or advice, but we can often direct people to other places for that.

Our website has a wealth of material for people to read and enjoy and we try to provide as much as we can for free, although as the charity receives no funding we also need to ensure we are financially stable. Donations, membership subscriptions and book sales all contribute to the work we do.

We have bespoke support for parents of children 12rs and older who are considering telling for the first time, as well as support for couples or individuals in difficult personal circumstances were donor conception issues are a factor.

We are also happy to offer help to family and friends, where appropriate, and have information for donors. We are seeing more donors coming to us for guidance on how to manage situatoins such as meeting up with donor offspring, reregistering with the HFEA as identifiable and more emotionally complex scenarios that can arise.

Our website has information for donor conceived people and we welcome them as free members to help us connect them with others. We want to hear from a wide range of DC people to ensure we are integrating their experiences and views into the work we do with families. As part of that wider commitment we also connect with professionals and offer resources and services to them to help them in their work creating and supporting donor conception families.

Representation in the wider community

We are connected with a wide range of other charities and organisations related to fertilty and donor conception issues. We meet with the HFEA and Department of Health and are a member of AFPO (Associatino of Fertility Patient Organisations). We have helped set up parent groups in many other countries including Germany, Belgium and Poland. Our Telling and Talking books have been translated into Japanese, German and Polish. We are invited to attend or speak at conferences and, if funds permit for a small charity, we are delighted to participate and bring our experience and expertise to these events.

We are regularly contacted by journalists for our views on related topics and for personal stories for articles reflecting family life. We also work with researchers and circulate research requests, as well as collaborate on research projects where appropriate.

Every membership, book sale or donation enables us to do this essential work.