Workshops for heterosexual and lesbian couples and single women who are parents of DC children aged 0-7
Open to all - DCN members and non-members
Two couples’ experience:
'A huge thank you for Saturday's workshop. It was immensely useful and so good to feel able to talk about things in a safe environment. Both Jim and I feel more confident now in starting the telling process to our boys...it was brilliant to have time to focus on the issues and actually think things through...so nice to know we are not alone'
'Money well spent in relation to looking after my son's well-being, self-esteem and mental health'
"A fantastic course, I must admit I had a hesitancy with it being on Zoom but it was really good and really helpful, so being on Zoom was not an issue after all for me!"
"So well organised, Facilitators were incredible. Don't know how you managed to make everything run so smoothly remotely. I'm extremely glad we booked in. It has been so helpful and so reassuring to meet other parents."
One single woman's experience:
'It was great to meet others who have undergone what I did to have a child. I feel much better about dealing with questions as they arrive. A great opportunity to network with others who share my concerns, hopes and fears!'
Who are they for?
The workshops are for all parents of donor-conceived children aged 0-7 years (Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate babies or children at these workshops). They are equally appropriate whether you had treatment in the UK or abroad, with a known, identifiable or anonymous donor or if your treatment involved surrogacy. You may be wondering how to start talking to your child about their donor-conceived origins, or you may have already begun this process and would like to explore what may come up in the future.
We run separate workshops for heterosexual couples and single women & lesbian couples. If the number of people booked falls below a minimum for the workshop to be effective, DCN may choose to cancel the workshop. If that is the case, a full refund will be given or there will be an opportunity to rebook for a later date.. If this decision is made all workshop participants will be informed in advance.
If you are a heterosexual couple, experience tells us that you will get the most from the workshop if you attend after your child is born. If you are a single or lesbian woman, we recognise that your experiences are different from the time your pregnancy becomes public knowledge, and that attending our workshop even before your baby is born might be helpful for you. All of our single women and lesbian couples’ workshops have a small number of places for pregnant women. If you would like further information, please ring the office to find out more.
If you are part of a couple, we strongly recommend you attend together. If single, you can come alone or bring a family member or friend. The maximum number on each in-person workshop is 18 and for online workshops is 14.
Who runs the workshops?
Two facilitators run each workshop; a man and a woman for heterosexual couples and two women from solo mum or lesbian couple families for those family types. All facilitators are long-standing members of DCN, have donor-conceived children themselves, either from treatment in the UK or abroad, and in addition bring wider relevant professional and personal experience. A third admin facilitator assists with running the online workshops.
What are the workshops about?
The workshops provide a comfortable and confidential space to explore personal feelings and experiences, and how these impact on how we share information about donor conception with our children and with family and friends. We look at why it's important to feel comfortable with talking about this subject, and look at our hopes and anxieties about it. To enable you to grow in confidence there are opportunities to practise what you might say in these situations. You will also be able to watch a DVD featuring families speaking about their experiences of talking about donor conception. Many participants choose to share their email addresses or phone numbers with each other at the end of the workshop and remain in touch.
You will receive an email pack of information in advance of the workshop.
Where and when are they?
The in-person workshops are held on Saturdays from 9.30-4.30 so they are convenient for most working parents. Many are held at a venue near Kings Cross in London, with others taking place in regions across the UK and in Dublin. 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) as well as the Saturday session.
Please note times are UK times
How much do they cost and what's included?
The cost from July 2020 will be:
In-person workshops -single person £165
Online workshops -single person £155
We do not seek to make a profit from the workshops but we have to cover our costs. The in-person fee covers venue hire, facilitators' fees and expenses, daytime refreshments & lunch, training development and office administrative costs. The online fee covers facilitators' fees, IT administrator, IT costs, training development and office administrative costs. Unfortunately we are not able to provide childcare for the in-person workshops and it is not suitable for children to be present during the online workshops as the workshop is very busy. Please arrange childcare for your sessions..
A 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 for in-person workshops 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 7yrs & 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.
How do I book?
Choose a workshop from the schedule : T&T Booking Form and check availavability. If a workshop has free spaces, go ahead and book, spaces can go quickly. Or 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.
Online dates for 2021 have been released. We hope to release in-person workshops for 2021 when we are able.
Unsure which workshop is right for you?
Please contact the office on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.
Terms and Conditions of booking
For a full list of our terms and conditions, please click here.
What if I haven't conceived yet?
If you are thinking of starting a family using a donor or donors, we also run Preparing for Parenthood workshops – click here for further details.
What if my child is older than 7 years?
We run workshops for parents of children aged 8-12 year, please click here.
Just contact us by email: email@example.com and we will be happy to help.