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Counselling prospective parents

Diana Baranowski
Making babies in the 21st century
UCL
CRGH

What advice do prospective parents receive when using donated gametes in the UK? Diana Baranowski oversees the counselling of prospective donor recipients at a large London fertility clinic. Here, she explains the advice and support that they provide.

Diana highlights the positive change that has come about after the removal of anonymity in the UK, and the fact that children now have access to identifiable information about their donor.

Diana also makes reference to research, some of which we will cover in our learning for this week, which suggests that children who are told early about their donor-conceived status seem have the best outcomes.

However, decisions about disclosure are personal by their very nature, and many parents are worried about what it will mean for their relationship with their child.

That is why a sensitive discussion is needed at the outset, and why support in decision-making is vital to help donor-recipients to make the best choices for them.

For your discussion: What do you think are the main challenges to telling a child that they are donor-conceived? Many people say it is the right of a child to know their biological heritage. How would you argue for that principle if you were in conversation with someone opposed to it?

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Making Babies in the 21st Century

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