Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_146739

Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation

Progress Educational Trust
Venue: Amnesty International, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA
18 March 2020 6.30pm-8pm

Dr Petra Nordqvist, Researcher at the University of Manchester's Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020Sarah Norcross, Director of the Progress Educational Trust (PET) and chair of PET's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020 A free-to-attend public event in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020. To reserve places, register here.

This event is produced by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) in partnership with the University of Manchester's Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, with funding from UK Research and Innovation.

The discussion will be chaired by Sarah Norcross, with speakers including:

Natalie Gamble, Solicitor at NGA Law and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020 Nina Barnsley, Director of the Donor Conception Network and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020 Donor conception was once routinely kept secret in families, while donors were kept a good distance away through anonymity laws, regulation and standard clinical practices.

In 2004, a change in the law brought an end to complete donor anonymity within the UK. Even so, the separation of donors from recipients remains standard practice in licensed UK clinics.

Most clinic donors are now 'identity release'. This means that donor-conceived people are entitled to access identifying information about the relevant donor, but only upon reaching the age of 18.

However, recent social and technological developments appear to undermine policies separating donors from recipients. One much-debated example is the growing availability and use of genetic tests, which means that donors can potentially be identified without their involvement, consent or knowledge.

Another development, which will be the focus of this discussion, is the rapid growth of 'known donor' arrangements. These offer an alternative route to being or finding a donor, and are often facilitated online - sometimes using social media (such as Facebook Groups) and sometimes using more specialised platforms (such as Pride Angel).

At this public event, speakers with contrasting perspectives will explore questions including:

  • Erika Tranfield, Founder and Director of Pride Angel and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020 Hamish Reid, donor-conceived person and speaker at the Progress Educational Trust's FREE-to-attend public event 'Known Unknowns: The Pros, Cons and Consequences of Known Donation', taking place at Amnesty International in London on the evening of Wednesday 18 March 2020 What can we learn from recipients and donors who know each other? And from donor-conceived children who know the donor?

  • Why do some recipients and donors choose to use online platforms instead of - or in addition to - approaching clinics?

  • What support - if any - should society offer to recipients and donors who form such arrangements? And to children who are born as a result?

In the PET tradition, much of the event's running time will be devoted to letting the audience put questions and comments to the speakers.