01722 410664

If you are considering growing your family through donor conception or perhaps considering being a donor, then it is important to take into consideration that the law regarding legal responsibilities can be complex, especially if moving forwards outside of a licensed UK fertility clinic.  Who, how, when and where conception takes place can determine who the legal parents of the child will be. It is therefore important to seek legal advice specific to your circumstances prior to conception to ensure that it is understood and established who will be the legal parents.

Donor conception with an unknown donor

You may choose to go through donor conception using an unknown donor.  If you choose to move forwards with treatment at a UK licensed fertility clinic, then you will have sole legal responsibility for your child and the egg donor will have no legal rights.

If you conceive using an unknown donor at a UK licensed fertility clinic, then your child will have information rights in respect of the donor.  At the age of 16, your child can obtain non-identifying information about their donor and at the age of 18 has the right to obtain identifying information about their donor, such as their name and last known address.  There is also a register to obtain information about genetic half siblings.  If you conceive using an unknown donor at a clinic abroad then your child may not have access to information about the donor in the future.  For many of our clients these are important issues to consider when deciding on their wishes for the future and for their child.

Donor conception with a known donor

There are many different reasons why intended parents may wish to move forwards with a donor who is known to them, the main reasons tending to be that it is important to them that their future born child has a link to their genetic identity, or the concern about the associated costs of moving forwards with a fertility clinic.

If you are moving forwards with a known donor or you are intending to be a known donor, it is important to understand the legal position and how legal parenthood will be applied to your specific circumstances – who will be the legal parents?  The law is complex in this area, and it is worth obtaining legal advice specific to your circumstances.

It is also important that you and your donor fully understand each other’s expectations from the arrangement, such as, the extent of the donor’s role in the child’s life, financial expectations etc.  It is important to ensure that all involved have the same expectations so any potential future difficulties can be identified at the outset.

Donor Agreement/Preconception Agreement

If you are considering conceiving with a known donor or you are intending to be a known donor, then you may wish to consider having a donor agreement/preconception agreement prepared.  This will assist in ensuring that all involved in the arrangement understand their legal position and one another’s expectations and wishes for the future.  This document can be prepared whether or not the donor will have any involvement in the child’s life.