Making your decision
Things that can help
- Reading the appropriate letters, aimed at would-be parents, which address this topic
- Joining our network and coming to local meetings or national conferences where couples can meet separately in groups of 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 via the British Infertility Counselling Association www.bica.net
What can help when choosing a clinic is –
- Contacting Infertility Network UK to find out if you are likely to get funding in your area -http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/FundingforFertility/?id=5216
- 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.
- 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.
- Making a spread sheet of the clinics that interest you and comparing waiting lists, prices, accessibility, availability of donors, surrogates etcetc.
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.
What can help in keeping the child in mind –
- Join DCN in order to talk with other same-sex parents of donor conceived children 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.