From the very first year the charity was founded, nearly 30 years ago, the organisation has always run a conference twice a year to give members the opportunity to spend a day together, meeting in person and sharing their hopes and fears and stories in a confidential and supportive space. The event includes presentations from speakers focussing on a range of DC-related subjects as well as small discussion groups.
We know how important and valuable these events are, not least because we offer a creche at our full day events, so those with children can bring them too. The sense of it being a 'family event' really helps bring hope to those who are yet to conceive and normality to our families. It's also lovely for children to have a space to meet other children made 'just like them'. We know some long term friendships are forged at the conferences. Not only that, but the event often acts as a prompt for some important and valuable conversations within the family.
If you haven't been to a conference before you may be wondering whether to attend.
For those who haven't had children yet, our conferences can be inspirational. Hearing parents share their personal stories as well as meeting and chatting with others at a similar stage (and further along) can be incredibly helpful with decision-making and confidence-building.
For parents, meeting other parents can be invaluable. There are particular issues that come up for DC families and this is a great opportunity to check in, make connections and talk about shared experiences.
If you would like to attend this event, you'll receive all the booking details on the member's emails. If you are not yet a member, do consider joining and attending.
'We were a bit apprehensive about attending as we have just started on our DC journey. The conference helped us understand more and gave us more to think about!'
'We have a one year old who was conceived using both egg and sperm donors. The conference made us feel like we are part of something bigger, it's not just us who have a donor conceived child. Plus, it just normalized the whole issue. I feel less concerned about the fact that I have a donor conceived child - I feel much more relaxed about the whole thing - thank you!'
'I always wonder if it will be worth going time/travel wise, but never disappointed, and always finish looking forward to the next one.' (solo mum)
DCN Member Support Groups
We have various smaller groups within the network to support families in specific situations. For example, we have a group for solo mums, lesbians, older mums and those who have used a family member as a donor. We also run online DCN Chats. DCN Chats are volunteer-led online meetups. They offer a space for peer support and connection. We have a regular schedule of events, which is expanding and offers something for everyone. To see a list of our DCN Chats you will need to become a member. Members can see full details of the Chats by logging on and going to the DCN Chats section of the website in the members-only menu on the right..
DC Network volunteers organise local events and meetings around the country. To see a list of our DCN local groups you will need to become a member. Members can see full details of our groups and events here. If we don't have a group near you, you could start one. We have lots of things we can do to support you in getting a new group up and running. Contact us by phone or email to find out if there is a local group near you. Many of these groups have an online presence also.