Being an egg or sperm donor

Exploring the impact of donating on the everyday lives of donors and their families.

The 'Curious Connections' project is the first major study of egg and sperm donors since the move towards identity-release donation in UK clinics.

Project team

Funder

Resources

Leaflets, videos and other resources for donors, their families, counsellors and other professionals who work together with families involved in donor conception. 

Being an egg or sperm donor: The impact of donation on donors and their families

Going beyond the 'donor-recipient-child' connection, we explore how egg and sperm donation affects the family lives and relationships of donors.

How does it shape their relationships over the years that follow donation?

And what do donors' parents, partners, brothers, sisters, and other family members feel about their donation?

Connections with recipient parents

This leaflet explores an often-overlooked relationship: the connection between donors and their recipients, that is, the parent or parents of the child born from their donation.

Many donors in our research felt an important connection with their recipients, even when they had never met.

Balancing ‘being available’ and ‘knowing your place’?

How do donors balance their – sometimes conflicting – responsibilities to be open to any children born from their donation but without overstepping parental boundaries?

This leaflet explores what donors think their responsibilities to recipients and donor-conceived children are, and how they put them into practice in their own lives.

Talking to your children about being an egg or sperm donor

Event recordings 

Curious Connections: The social life of egg and sperm donation

Sperm and egg donors' feelings of connection with their recipients

Focusing on the connection that donors feel to the parents of the child/ren born from their donation.

How do known donors navigate this relationship, and what does it mean for clinic donors who have never met their recipients?

The pros, cons, and consequences of known donation

Petra Nordqvist presented our research and took part in the panel discussion for this event, organised by Progress Educational Trust.

An exploration of the process of known donation, with other panel members each with a different perspective and expertise on the topic. 

'Going Home' short stories about being an egg-share donor

Cover of Going Home short story booklet

These fictional short stories are based on interviews with women who donated their eggs during their own fertility treatment.

You might find them especially interesting if you are an egg donor yourself, considering donation, or working with donors as a counsellor or clinic staff. 

Alternatively, you can listen to recordings of the stories using the links below.

Something and Nothing

A short story about being an egg-share donor. A bout of decluttering prompts Caron to reflect on her experience of donating her eggs when she conceived her daughter Addie, who is now a teenager.

Pen profile

A mother reflects on her decision to donate her eggs during fertility treatment to conceive her son Kai. He has grown from a tiny baby to a strapping teenager and the families have never met.

Inside out

Two years later after donating her eggs to another woman during her own fertility treatment, Lucy reflects on the experience: it didn't work out for her, but her donation was successful. 

Academic articles

Longer articles, written for academic journals.

If you are blocked by a paywall, please contact the author who will be able to show you how to access a free version.