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All egg, embryo and sperm donation in the UK is tightly
regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

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Currently, all altruistic donors (including egg sharers) and recipients must remain anonymous to each other. Every care is taken to ensure that this confidentiality is maintained. However, regulations on anonymity introduced in 2005 now mean that all children conceived as a result of gamete or embryo donation have the right at the age of 18 to identifying information about the donor (full name, last known address, date of birth).

Donor identity
Donors must provide their information to the HFEA (via the clinic) at the time of the donation. It is the HFEA’s obligation to disclose the information (non-identifying if the donation took place before 1st April 2005) to someone who applies for such information.

The HFEA is also obliged to make a reasonable attempt to contact the identifiable donors and forewarn them before disclosing details to anyone born as a result of their donation. An egg donor/sharer may also request information about any live birth, year of birth and number of children born with her donated eggs.


The HFEA’s register of information about donors, patients and treatments is confidential. It was set up in 1991 and contains information concerning children conceived from licensed treatments from that date onwards.

A person conceived from donor treatment prior to April 2005 has the right to access:

  • Anonymous information about the donor and any donor-conceived genetic siblings from the age of 16
  • Information about the possibility of being related to the person they intend to marry or enter into a civil partnership with, at any age
  • Information about the possibility of being related to the person they intend to enter into an intimate physical relationship with, from the age of 16

A person conceived from donor treatment after 1st April 2005 may also access:

  • Identifying information about the donor (where applicable), from the age of 18
  • Identifying information about donor conceived genetic siblings, with mutual consent, from the age of 18.

The recipient will be responsible for any child born following the donation. The donor relinquishes all legal rights and claims over any offspring that may result from the donation, along with all duties towards the child. The HFEA Code of Practice permits a maximum of 10 families, including any subsequent siblings, as a result of donations from any single donor.

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