Making your decision
There are several things you can do –
- Join DC Network. We still think the most important part of our work is breaking the isolation by putting people in touch with each other who share similar experiences. See Benefits of Membership
- Read one or more of the books in our library that are recommended for your situation. If you are a UK member you can borrow them free of charge.
- Also, buy the PDF or hard copy of the Telling and Talking booklet for parents of children aged 0 – 7. The beginning sections are essential reading when making your decision.
- Research the current regulations governing the the legalities around surrogacy arrangements or talk to a reputable agency or law firm.
What can help is –
- Joining DCN and coming to local meetings or national conferences where couples can meet other members in the same situation.
- Talking with a counsellor. They can help it feel safe to talk about things that feel scary to say. Every UK clinic has at least one counsellor available, but you can also find someone outside of your clinic by getting in touch with DCN or via the British Infertility Counselling Association www.bica.net
What can help when choosing a clinic is –
- Contacting your GP surgery to find out about funding for fertility treatment
- Checking out the Human Fertilisation and Embryology site www.hfea.gov.uk and then personally contacting the clinics that interest you. Have a pre-prepared list of questions to talk with the donor co-ordinator about.
- Making a spread sheet of the agencies and clinics that interest you and comparing waiting lists, prices, accessibility, availability of donors, surrogates etc.
- Talking with others who have made these decisions before you. Forums like the private one on this site for DCN members or social media ones can be a way of getting unofficial information and impressions from others going through treatment. But you need to remember you are only getting individual experiences and points of view this way.
What can help with making the decision about the type of donor –
- Imagine the story you might tell your child at different ages about your choice. Can you feel proud, comfortable and confident about your decision? If not, your child may not either.
- Join DCN to be in touch with others who have considered all these options before you. We have a group of members who are using a donor from within their family and we have other members whose donor is a family friend. Most members attending UK clinics have used donors unknown to them but (from 2005 only) identifiable to the child from age 18.
- Read the section in the Telling and Talking booklets about Using a Known Donor.
- If you are seriously considering using a known donor from within or outside the family, talk this over with the counsellor at your clinic or have some independent counselling sessions as well as consulting a solictor. These can be helpful in challenging you with difficult thoughts and feelings that may be avoided when talking as a couple or with your potential donor. All good clinics will want all parties to the donation, including the partner of the donor, if there is one, to have counselling before going ahead with treatment. The British Infertility Counselling Association www.bica.net can help you find an appropriately qualified counsellor.
- Read our document about going abroad for issues to consider when choosing a clinic outside the UK.
What can help in keeping the child in mind –
- Join DCN in order to talk with other parents of donor conceived children in same-sex couples and in other family types, about how they made their decisions and what life is like in a DC family.
- Read the Telling and Talking booklets for insights into how children change in their understanding of their beginnings as they grow up.