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UK Donor Link receives temporary reprieve

19 September 2011
Appeared in BioNews 625

UK DonorLink (UKDL) has been offered a further grant from the UK Government while alternative funding options for the service are considered.

UKDL is the voluntary contact register for adults conceived with, or who donated, sperm or eggs before August 1991. This funding extension will allow them to continue providing services until the end of March 2012, but more permanent funding is being sought.

In a letter to UKDL, the Minister for Public Health, Anne Milton, said: 'I am keen for options to be considered in the next few months, bearing in mind the difficulties that have been encountered in sorting out a more settled future for the register'.

The Government was due to discontinue funding as of October 2011 and, as UKDL had been unable to secure an alternative source of funding, it was threatened with closure. The service, which closed to new registrants on 26 August 2011 due to a lack of funds, resumed business on Thursday 15 September.

UKDL was established in 2004 by the Department of Health as a voluntary registry for anyone over the age of 18 who was conceived from donated sperm or eggs, or who donated sperm or eggs, prior to 1991. This was the point at which the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act came into force and a statutory registry was created. It has attracted more than 400 people registrants, and was the world's first registry to use DNA to link genetic relatives.

UKDL received a surge of interest after a BBC1 documentary 'Donor Mum: The children I've never met' (reviewed in BioNews 263) was broadcast on 30 August 2011, which highlighted its services.

Furrther grant to keep UK Donor Link functional
UK Donor Link announcement |  09/11
30 August 2011 - by Dr Marilyn Crawshaw 
A BBC1 documentary 'Donor Mum: The children I've never met' is to be broadcast at 10.35pm tonight (30 August). The programme tells the extraordinary story of a woman - herself the single mother by choice of a donor insemination-conceived adult son – meeting with the twins born from her egg donation nineteen years ago....
22 August 2011 - by Dr Vivienne Raper 
UK Donor Link (UKDL) - the voluntary contact register for adults conceived with or who donated sperm or eggs before August 1991 - is threatened with closure...
3 July 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
Children born following the use of donor sperm or eggs in the Australian state of Victoria will now, from 1 July, be able to trace their biological parents when they reach the age of 18. Relatedly, donors of gametes will also be able to apply for...
25 May 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
Doctors have discovered that a sperm donor in the US has passed on a rare genetic disease to five children born to four couples who used his sperm to conceive. The disease, severe congenital neutropenia (SCN), can be fatal in children if untreated but is so...
23 April 2004 - by BioNews 
A voluntary register that enables people conceived using donated eggs, sperm or embryos to contact their donors and biological half-siblings has been launched in the UK. The registry, called UK DonorLink and funded by the Department of Health (DH), can be used by anyone over the age of 18 and...
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