Is egg donation anonymous in the UK?

Anonymity


In the UK, all egg, sperm and embryo donation is non-anonymous.

What does non-anonymous egg donation mean for you?


As an egg donor, there are a few things to consider when it comes to donor anonymity. They are all things which you can discuss in detail with one of our counsellors before you decide whether you want to donate.

At the time you donate, your donation will be 'anonymous' in terms of your identifiable information, such as your name and contact details. The couple who receives your eggs will not know who has donated them, nor will they ever be able to request this information. Neither the donor nor the recipient couple have any legal claims, rights or obligations to either party.

What makes any egg donation non-anonymous is the fact that all egg donors must consent to be identifiable to any person conceived from their donation once they reach the age of 18. This is because anyone conceived through a gamete donation (whether it's sperm, eggs or an embryo) has the legal right to find out the identity of their donor.

In the UK, the law to make all gamete donations non-anonymous was passed in 2005. Before this law was passed, both donors and donor-conceived individuals were consulted on a large scale. After this period of consultation, it was found that both sides, donors and those conceived from a donation, preferred to have the option to make contact if this is something they wished to do.

Today, in the case of egg donation, the donor-conceived person will need to submit an application to the HFEA in order to find out the identity of their donor. Before the HFEA handles their request, the donor will be informed. The donor can then choose whether or not you would like to be involved in the process from that point onwards.

Donor-conceived people also have the option of having a support worker to contact their donor on their behalf.

What personal information will I need to provide?


Prior to your donation, you will be asked to provide the following information in order to assess your suitability to become a donor, but also to be shared with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) only if you proceed to donate:

  • Name

  • Date of birth

  • Address

  • Ethnic group

  • Marital status

  • Physical characteristics, such as your weight and height

  • If you already have children, the number of children you have and their gender

  • Details of your medical screening tests and medical history


If you proceed to donate eggs, the HFEA will store your data safely. It will always be kept confidential in line with data protection legalisation.

Can I find out what happens to my eggs?
At any point after your egg donation, you have a right to find out:
  • Whether your donated eggs have been used
  • How many children have been born from your donation
  • The gender and year of birth of any children born from your donation
What are the legal implications?
All UK-based clinics licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) must conform to strict medical, legal and ethical standards. By donating eggs (even if you donate to someone you know), UK law states that:
  • You will not be the legal parent of any child born as a result of your donation.
  • You will have no legal obligation to any child born from your donation.
  • You will not be named on the child’s birth certificate.
  • You will not have any rights over how the child will be raised.
  • You will not be asked to support the child financially.
Informed consent
Before donating eggs, you will be required by law to give your informed consent. This ensures that you are fully aware of how the process of egg donation works, and the treatment you will receive. You must also understand how your personal information will be stored and used. We understand that becoming an egg donor is a big decision for many women. We encourage all of our donors to ask as many questions as they need to. Our dedicated team will give you plenty of time and opportunity to go through all your questions in detail.