Heterosexual couples | Mum & dad families

Egg, sperm or embryo donation (possibly also including surrogacy)


Finding that you need to use donated eggs or sperm to have or add to the family you long for may or may not have come as a shock. You may have spent many years going through unsuccessful fertility treatment or you may have discovered quite quickly that donor eggs, sperm or embryos were going to be the only real hope for conception. Whatever your situation you are welcome at DC Network where there are many of us who have faced all the questions you are likely to have going round in your mind now. Browse the sections below to find the support, guidance and information that is right for you both. And join us to learn more and be in touch with others.

Alternatively, you may already be a parent to a donor conceived child or children and be looking for information and guidance around being open with your child and others or talking with your child as he or she gets older. This section of the website will cover various questions and topics.

Making your decision

  • Is donor conception right for us?
  • Each of us seems to be handling this differently.  Is this OK?
  • Where to have treatment
  • Treatment options
  • Choosing your donor
  • What about the child?

Being open with friends, family and others

  • Is openness right for us?
  • Who needs to know what and when?
  • How can we start to talk about it?
  • What sort of reaction should we expect?
  • How can we respect our child’s right to know first, whilst also being open with those close to us?

Telling your child

  • Reasons for telling
  • Are there any circumstances where ‘not telling’ is the right thing to do?
  • Is there a ‘right’ age to start telling?
  • What language should we use?
  • What reaction should we expect?
  • What happens if and when our child starts sharing what we are telling them with others?

Your child’s rights

  • Will my child be able to contact other children conceived with the same donor or children in the family of the donor?
  • Will my child be able to have information about their donor and/or make contact with her/him?

Does the donor have any rights?

  • What can donors know about the children they have helped create?

More for men

  • Can I love a child I am not genetically connected to?
  • Will that child love me?
  • What happens if my child accuses me of not being their ‘real father'?
  • Thoughts and feelings on contemplating fatherhood by egg donation

More for women

  • Can I love a child I am not genetically connected to?
  • Will that child love me?
  • What happens if my child accuses me of not being their ‘real mother?
  • Thoughts and feelings on contemplating motherhood by sperm donation

Parenting donor conceived children

  • Will I be able to bond with my child?
  • How do donor conceived children and adults think and feel about their origins?
  • I’m worried that my child is unhappy/not doing well at school/is being bullied. Could this be because s/he is donor conceived?
  • Where can I find information that will help me talk with my child as s/he gets older?

Personal stories

  • DC Network members recall the pain of infertility, the feelings on finding they needed donor conception, making the decision, treatment with donated eggs, sperm or embryos and parenting donor conceived children