INFORMATION FOR DONOR CONCEIVED ADULTS

There are thousands of people who have been created with the assistance of donor sperm, eggs, or embryos. You may have grown up knowing you were donor-conceived or you may have recently found out. 

Recently found out you were donor conceived?

Right now you might be feeling a bit numb, strangely calm, hurt, betrayed, angry or you might just not know what to feel at all. Whatever you are feeling right, that's absolutely O.K. There is no right or wrong way to feel, but you are like to be in a bit of shock, which is completely normal. 

You may have wondered whether you were adopted or the child of an affair. You may need time to process this new information and what it means for you. It may be difficult to understand why you were not informed. Finding out at a time of conflict, from genetic testing, or from someone other than your parents – might make this discovery particularly difficult.

This new information may cause you to question all that you thought you knew about yourself and your identity. Learning something like this takes time to process and can be emotionally challenging. You may also question your family relationships. Who else knows? Who should you talk to? 

If you are thinking about seeking contact with your donor, there is no need to rush decisions. Allow yourself to time to think through this information first.

 

It is important you have support and understanding at this time and not everyone may understand the impact this information can have on someone. You may find it helpful to Contact the Liverpool Women's NHS and/or seek out support from other donor-conceived people.

Options to consider include: 

  • Do nothing for now. 

    • It is absolutely fine to do nothing and to just let the knowledge of being donor conceived sink it. It's a lot to process and takes time. Everyone is different, so there's no right or wrong way to respond. ​

  • Find out more about donor conception. 

    • One way that might help is to learn more about donor conception. It is true that donor conception has changed enormously since it was first developed, especially in regards to how it has been seen as part of society. ​We have a brief History of Donor Conception here. We also have some Links to other sites and Resources that have information as well that might be useful. 

  • Join an online support  group for donor conceived people. 

    • There are numerous online groups and some of them are described in the Resources section of this website. Some people find that talking to other donor conceived people very useful as they are in a similar boat and are able to better understand what other donor conceived people are going through. 

  • Join the DCR. 

    • Joining the DCR will ​give you access to counselling, the option to submit your DNA to the register to look for your donor and half-siblings and will also help to facilitate you joining the secret DCR Facebook group. You will then be able to get on the mailing list to receive the newsletters and get invited to the semi-annual meetings plus any social events that occur. See the Liverpool Women's NHS website for more information.  

    • Attending meetings and meeting other donor conceived people has been very beneficial for many of our members. Many say that they find talking to other donor conceived people to be very therapeutic and something they wish they had done earlier. 

    • The DCR DNA Register can only be accessed via the service provider, the HFC. While many donor conceived people and donors are on commercial DNA testing websites, some are not and are only on the DCR DNA Register. Any links made through the DCR are therefore only with other people who are aware of their donor conception origins. The same is not always true for the commercial DNA testing websites. 

  • Take a DNA test. 

    • You might be looking for answers to questions such as "who am I?" and "where did I come from?". You can get some answers to these from commercial DNA testing website such as Ancestry.com, 23andMe and MyHeritage.com. ​

 

Known for a while that you were donor conceived?

You may well have known for a while that you were donor conceived and done nothing about it. 

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.

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