The Donor Conception Network is twenty years old, and I was delighted to be invited to join members and friends last night to celebrate. I’m a huge fan of the DC Network which does so much to help anyone considering using donor eggs, sperm or embryos and their families. The network produces some fantastic information, but more than anything provides support for parents and their offspring – the film they showed about their work last night left a tear in many eyes as it was clear how they have helped people to feel proud and confident about donor conception.
The anniversary was also the opportunity to launch two new booklets produced by the Network and written by founder Olivia Montuschi. The first deals with telling friends and family for people who are considering using donor gametes, and the second is written for the family and friends of anyone using donor gametes. They are part of a series of books the network has produced called Talking and Telling which come highly recommended.
It is amazing how much things have changed since the DC Network was set up twenty years ago. At the time, using donor sperm tended to be something families kept a secret, and the decision to end donor anonymity was also very controversial when it was made. The members of the Donor Conception Network have played a key role in changing the way we view donor treatment as a society, and Olivia and Walter who have worked so tirelessly to help others deserve a huge thank you. It’s also the dedicated volunteers, and all the members who speak out about having donor treatment who are continuing to make such a difference. Well done to you all – and happy 20th birthday!