For some people, egg, embryo or sperm donation is the only way they can successfully achieve a pregnancy. However, using a donor is a major decision and should not be taken lightly. You should take your time to think about whether or not becoming a donor is the right decision for you.
At TFP fertility clinic in Belfast, we are hugely proud of the work we do around helping our patients achieve their dreams of becoming parents. However, for some of our patients, this path is not straightforward, and they require some additional help in this complicated and eventful journey. That is why we have our own Donor Bank specifically for sperm donors. If you are interested in becoming a sperm donor, please visit tfpdonorbank.com.
People not producing eggs or sperm of their own
People whose sperm or eggs are unlikely to result in a pregnancy
Those who have a high risk of passing on an inherited disease
If you are using a donor through a licensed UK fertility clinic, there are very few risks to worry about. A licensed fertility clinic will ensure the donor is thoroughly checked for any serious genetic diseases that could be passed onto future children.
Checks will also include any infections, including HIV, Hepatitis B, syphilis, and gonorrhoea.
Every single donor is thoroughly checked, even if they are someone you know.
It is illegal to pay a donor anything other than expenses in the UK. This means that those donating sperm, eggs or embryos are doing so for reasons other than financial gain.
The amount a donor can be paid for expenses is limited to £350 for sperm donors (£35 each visit for 10 visits) and £750 for egg donors per completed egg donation cycle. This remuneration is paid to the donor by the clinic as part of the donor cycles.
Some clinics have a list of donors that you can choose from, or they will match your characteristics to a donor. At some clinics, the waiting lists can be very long, so it is important to view the current waiting times before committing to anything.
If you have a friend that you would like to use as a donor, it is important you are aware they will be subject to the same thorough tests and screenings as other donors. It is important to note that there are restrictions on mixing sperm and eggs between close relatives. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to talk to our experts.
It is possible to purchase donor sperm from accredited donor sperm websites and ship it to the clinic via a courier ready for treatment. These websites have a broad selection of physical characteristics to choose from. Before purchasing the sperm, it is important to check with your clinic that the sperm bank is fully accredited and meets our requirements.
It is also possible to purchase donor eggs from accredited donor banks or used a third party to assist with your search for an egg donor. Before commiting to either of these options it is importance you check the costs of these services and that they are fully accredited.
In the event that you achieve a pregnancy with donor egg and sperm, you may be wondering about any rights the donor has to future children. If you choose a donor through a licensed fertility clinic in the UK, they will have no legal rights or responsibilities to any children born as a result of their sperm, egg or embryo donation. This means that:
They will have no legal obligations to any children conceived as a result of their donation.
They won’t be required to financially support the child in any way.
They will not be named on the birth certificate.
They won’t have the right to say how the child will be raised.
It is important to note that if you do not choose a donor from a licensed clinic and try another route instead, there is a risk that they will be considered a parent in the eyes of the law. This means that they will have all the rights and responsibilities that parenting a child brings. As you can tell, how you find a donor and who you choose can have a significant impact on the future.
Many people wonder how much information they can find out about a donor before they go ahead with fertility treatment. In the UK, there is a limit to the information you can find out. However, your fertility clinic will be able to provide you with the following information about your donor:
The donor’s age
A physical description (height, eye colour, hair colour and weight)
Whether they have had any children already and how many
A sperm and egg donor’s anonymity is of the utmost importance in the UK. Therefore, you won’t be able to find out any personal information that may reveal their identity. If you choose to use the same donor in the future, you can reserve the sperm, eggs or embryos until you are ready to use them. However, this may include a fee.
At TFP, we provide successful donor sperm and egg programmes. We also have close links with a number of clinics worldwide for those wanting to receive overseas treatment. If you think that donation or donor conception will be a part of your fertility journey, we would love to talk you through your next steps.
Become a donor or sign up to use donor eggs and sperm today. The section below provides some very useful information about the donation journeys available to you.