Got a Question? Here’s An Answer!
If you decide to go ahead with DNA testing in the hope of making contact with a donor or donor conceived half sibling, you’re likely to go through many different emotions: anxiety, curiosity and excitement may all play a part.
Your feelings may change and perhaps become more intense after you have received the outcome of your DNA testing and it is important to bear in mind the implications of not finding, as well as finding, a link.
Being a part of the Donor Conceived Register will enable you to access to support from the team of counsellors as well as having access to valuable resources such as the Registrants Panel who run a closed Facebook group and provide newsletters.
The confidential counselling service comes with two free sessions (and costed at £25 thereafter) which gives you the chance to talk things through in a way, and at a time, to suit you. This service is available at any time.
Registrants' Panel meeting and DCR social events
The Registrants' Panel of the DCR meets up twice a year (normally in Spring and Autumn) in London and afterwards have a social event. We are trialling separate social events (without the formalities of having the Registrants' Panel meeting) in Winter and Summer as well. These provide an opportunity for people to meet other registrants (donor conceived people and donors) and the feedback from these have been really positive. Sometimes it's the only chance registrants have to meet other donor conceived people and donors and speak to other people who are able to understand the feelings involved.
Online Facebook Group
If you’re looking to join a welcoming and supportive online community of donors and donor-conceived adults then the DCR’s secret Facebook group might be just what you’re after.
The DCR Facebook group is an easily accessible but secret group that will enable you to discuss topics surrounding donor conception – something you might not otherwise have the opportunity to do with your family and friends. By joining it, members have reported that they’ve connected with some amazing people who’ve supported them with various personal issues connected to either being donor conceived or being a donor. In this safe space, firm friendships have also been forged.
What is it?
This steadily growing secret Facebook group is for donor-conceived adults and donors. That means it’s for anyone who donated eggs, sperm and embryos before 2005 and for anyone born following fertility treatment with donated gametes and embryos before 2005. At the moment the Facebook group has about 170 members and is growing.
The Facebook group is only for DCR registrants. The HFEA and HFC do not have access to the group and are unable to see what’s posted on its pages.
How can I join?
If you’ve signed up to the DCR and have decided that you’d like to join the Facebook group then email the service provider, the HFC at email@example.com with the email address used for your Facebook account. That email address will then be passed on to an admin member of the DCR Facebook team who’ll add you to the group.
Will I feel safe and secure when I join the Facebook group?
Understandably you might have some initial concerns about joining an unknown online community. Its members are keen to allay your fears. Here’s what they have to say and would like you to know about the group:
Emma: ‘For many there are few people who truly understand what it is like to be a donor conceived adult or indeed a donor. This group provides a welcoming safe and secure environment to meet each other and speak about topics with others in a similar situation. There are clearly set rules and etiquette with the sole aim of providing a safe and secure environment.’
Mollie: ‘…knowing that only people in my situation are on it helps because there should then be way less judgement.’
What do current active Facebook members say more generally about the DCR group?
Current DCR Facebook group users have found the group beneficial for all sorts of reasons:
Christine: ‘It’s an ideal place to ask DC related questions and get answers from people who understand the significance of what you are saying. No pressure is put on anyone to post anything, or join in with any discussion threads and members can contribute as much or as little of themselves as they wish.’
Mollie: ‘Information can be shared about the DCR easily and other knowledge about donor conception, as well as having a great place to talk about any issues.’
Emma: ‘A group of people with whom you have something uniquely in common. It is an easily accessible, always on hand network and link to others. A place where you can ask questions, share articles, thoughts and experiences of all things related to donor conception.’
What if there’s something about the Facebook group I think could be improved or something I’d like to change?
So far, the feedback from members about the group has been positive but the DCR Facebook admin team welcomes any comments or suggestions you may have about improvements and changes to the DCR Facebook group. If you do have anything you’d like to tell them then contact the Facebook admin team directly through the group’s page itself.
Register your interest in joining the DCR secret Facebook group today by emailing the email address associated with your Facebook account to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the members of the DCR Facebook group who’ve kindly taken the time to share their thoughts and experiences.
Other places online
The ISOGG has put together some information on support available for donor-conceived people and can be found below. Topics covered include:
For a list of all the articles in the ISOGG Wiki relating to donor conception, please click here.