Council holds factfinding meetings to hear first-hand about donor conception

Over recent months, the Council’s Working Party on donor conception has hosted a series of eight factfinding sessions, involving more than 50 people with personal experience of donor conception, or who work closely with those involved. These factfinding meetings aimed to provide a forum where the many different views about these issues could be heard, as part of a wider evidence gathering process undertaken for this inquiry.

The Working Party began its inquiry by holding sessions with donor-conceived people, parents of donor-conceived people, and donors; and then went on to hear from social work practitioners, healthcare professionals, academics who undertake research in this area; and those concerned with the law and regulation of donor conception services. A further factfinding meeting will take place in October exploring medical and genetic aspects of donor conception with healthcare professionals.

The key issues that the Working Party sought views on during these meetings included:

  • the concerns and interests of donor conceived people, recipient parents, and donors;
  • the responsibilities of parents, professionals and clinics;
  • the possible role of the state (and/or other forms of regulation) with regard to treatment with donor gametes; and
  • whether the current regulations relating to information disclosure might be changed in any way.

The Working Party has also received nearly 130 responses to a call for evidence which was open for submissions from both individuals and organisations from March to May this year.

Information and views obtained from factfinding meetings and the call for evidence, as well as the Working Party’s own reviews of academic literature in the field of donor conception, will contribute to a final report with recommendations for policy and practice, which will be published in spring 2013.

Find out more about our project on donor conception.

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Nuffield Council on Bioethics
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bioethics@nuffieldbioethics.org

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