Reprieve for UK Donor Link

In Genetics, News, Reproduction on September 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

UK Donor Link, the voluntary contact register set up for persons conceived with donor gametes, and those who had donated gametes pre-August 1991, faced closure due to a lack of funding, but this month was granted a temporary reprieve by the Government. It is now secure to continue its work until March 2012, and further funding options will be explored in the interim period. 

UK Donor Link was established in 2004 to enable donor conceived individuals, and gamete donors, and half-siblings, to exchange information and – where parties wish to – to have contact with one another. This is only for adults, who were conceived or who donated gametes pre August 1991 (when the HFE Authority was established under the auspices of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990).

The potential impact of the closure of UK Donor Link was highlighted by the screening of the BBC documentary ‘Donor Mum: the children I’ve never met’ (30 August) – as at a crucial time of increased public awareness of their activities, due to the lack of funding they could not accept any new registrations following the programme, leaving donors and donor conceived persons without a formal avenue to exchange information and/or to contact each other, where desired. Fortunately registrations were re-opened on 15 September 2011, but the future of the organisation arguably remains fragile until a more permanent basis of funding can be established.




  1. Great to hear that it will still exist till 2012. I guess this type of thing has a time limited, with anyone conceived after 1991 not needing the service?

  2. Yes, we agree, and hopefully funding can be found to secure it for the future beyond March 2012. But, that’s an interesting point on the timing – though given the youngest donor-conceived people who fall within UK Donor Link’s remit, if you like, would now be circa 20 years old, there is likely to be a need for this organisation for quite some time to come.

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