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FAQs for donors

On this page:

I am considering egg sharing. Does that mean that I'm a 'donor'?

Yes.  Egg sharing involves donating some of your eggs to someone else for treatment.  This means that the rules regarding donation apply to you. For more information see For Donors and The HFEA Guide to Infertility.

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I donated before 1st April 2005 and now would like to be identifiable to any children born as a result of my donation – how do I do this?

You can contact the clinic where you donated, or the HFEA. if you wish to remove your anonymity retrospectively. Once you remove your anonymity you cannot then opt to become anonymous again. Your I.D information can subsequently be made available to you donor-conceived offspring upon request.

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Can I still donate my eggs, sperm or embryos anonymously?

No, on 1 April 2005, the law changed so that anyone who registers to donate their eggs or sperm after this date must give identifying information. This information will be made available to a child born from the donation if he or she requests it after they turn 18. To find out more about how the recent changes in the law can affect you and your family, see: 

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I’ve heard you can get compensated for sperm and egg donation. How much will I get paid?

Whilst payment for donors is prohibited, you may be able to receive a fixed amount of money to reasonably cover any financial losses you incur in connection with the donation.

Fertility centres can compensate egg donors a fixed sum of up to £750 per cycle of donation and sperm donors up to £35 per clinic visit, with the provision to claim an excess to cover higher expenses. Centres are however not required to compensate donors the full amount.

Centres may also offer benefits in kind, in the form of reduced-price or free licensed services (for example, fertility treatment or storage) or quicker access to those services, in return for providing eggs or sperm for the treatment of others.

These decisions follow a public consultation on sperm eggs and embryo donation held in 2011:

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What if I change my mind about donating?

When you donate, the law requires you to give your written consent to your sperm, eggs or embryos being used in treatment.  You can change, or withdraw, your consent at any time up to the point at which your sperm, eggs or embryos (or any embryos created from your sperm or eggs) are transferred to the person being treated. 

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Do I have any rights or responsibilities towards a child created from my donation?

Not if you donate through an HFEA-licensed clinic, which must conform to strict medical, legal and ethical standards. This ensures that everyone involved in the donation process is clear about their legal position and is protected by the law. 

You will have no legal obligation to any child created from your donation - you will not be their legal parent and you will not be named on the birth certificate. Neither do you have any rights over how the child will be brought up, and you will not be asked to support the child financially. 

You will be asked to provide information about yourself which a child born from your donation can access when they are 18 years old. Prospective patients and parents of donor conceived people can also access anonymous information you provide.

If you plan to donate outside a licensed clinic, for example if you are considering donating fresh sperm, you may wish to consult a solicitor first.  Where fresh donated sperm is used outside an HFEA licensed clinic, the donor is considered by law to be the child's legal father, with all the responsibilities and rights that involves. 

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Is there an age limit for egg or sperm donors?

Egg donors should be aged 35 or younger, because women's fertility begins to decline significantly after this age.  Sperm donors can be aged up to, and including, 45 years old.  In exceptional circumstances, a clinic may accept donors outside this age group.  No one under the age of 18 can donate sperm or eggs. For more information about donating, see the National Gamete Donation Trust website.

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Where can I go for more advice about donation?

Your decision to donate sperm, eggs or embryos is an important one, with life-long implications. There are many issues to consider, and some of them are complicated. There are a number of organisations which can provide further information about the issues involved.

You may also wish to discuss donating with the counsellor at the clinic where you are donating, as they will have experience in helping you explore the implications of decision, now and in the future.

Other helpful organisations include:

Page last updated: 21 October 2011