Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsPart of the reason why we created Pride Angel was because we wanted it to be all about known donors. So having the ability to find a donor, choose a known donor, meet that donor. And then you have two options, so the two options are you can go a fertility clinic for the treatment, so quite often we say we are very pro-fertility clinics and we will work along side fertility clinics but we’re saying, isn’t there another route to actually finding a sperm donor and knowing ultimately about him and telling the child about him from a young age?
Skip to 0 minutes and 31 secondsAnd then you have the ability to take the donor for the sexual transmitted disease testing at the fertility clinic, or you can actually then opt for home insemination Now, obviously everybody has to have a choice and we don’t encourage people either way, it’s a choice. If they go for home insemination then they have to be aware that they have to get all the sexual transmitted disease testing performed themselves. So again they could take the donor to a fertility clinic for that, they can go to a GUM clinic, or they may go to the doctor, or a private clinic, so there are several different options.
Skip to 1 minute and 1 secondThey also have to look at donor agreements; we always recommend to have a donor agreement drawn up so everybody understands from early stages, the intent of the donor and the intent of the recipient. Now, obviously there is a lot of grey in terms of sperm donation but as long as you can talk about it, and I always say communication, communication, communication is the most important thing in donation or in the infertility world, everybody should always talk. Now, on Pride Angel what we try to do is we try to provide as much information, on the website, in almost like an umbrella format.
Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsSo there is all the information that you can go and have a look and scrutinise and ultimately it’s about making your own informed decision. We provide the information, you then have a choice of which avenue to go down. And I think that ultimately it would great and maybe if I could make an appeal out there for a, for us to have a registry whereby we could have the donors and recipients to actually register on an information portal whereby this information could actually be tracked, not just for the recipients but for the donors and for the children as well.
Skip to 2 minutes and 16 secondsAnd if we could work alongside the fertility clinics, surely it would be beneficial for the fertility clinics to know where these donors have actually donated beforehand. Because although you might say that a donor could use the fertility clinics for ten families, they can also donate privately outside of that clinic. So if we can have an information resource, whereby all this information is captured, whether or not it would be by a charity-funded portal or by the industry sector. I think if we could bring this together, we could make this very successful. One area that people often discuss about using a website connection service is, what about the genetic testing?
Skip to 2 minutes and 56 secondsBecause obviously fertility clinics do a certain number of genetic tests, now I think we should also think bout here and remember here is fertility clinics don’t always do all the genetic tests. And if I were to go out on a one-night stand tonight and meet somebody and have a baby, I wouldn’t necessarily have done genetic testing. I can tell you that, although I am in a lesbian relationship, if we were able to create a child together, would I have my other half genetically tested? No I wouldn’t. And if you were in a heterosexual relationship, would you have each other genetically tested before you had a child? No you wouldn’t.
Skip to 3 minutes and 36 secondsSo I think sometimes when people talk about genetics they go to extreme measures, and they are looking for too many genetics and are concerned about too many things where actually if you meet a known donor through somebody like a online connection service you get to meet and understand a lot more about them. And sometimes that is more than a genetic test will provide in terms of your own security and your own feeling about when you meet somebody, in particular a known donor.
The fertility matchmaker
The online fertility industry has several websites for individuals searching for fertility options. Pride Angel is UK’s largest fertility connection site. Erika Tranfield is the Co-founder and Director, and in this interview, she explains what she does and the services they provide.
During the course of the interview, she touches on a number of key issues, including health concerns, issues of consent and safeguarding, as well as donor anonymity and choice.
For discussion: When listening to Erika explain her motivations for working in this area, consider to what extent you feel this service is able to deal with the ethical and legal issues we covered before. What are the advantages and disadvantages of seeking fertility online, outside of the regulatory framework?