Embryo donation

Donating embryos to help create a new family

Embryo donation is possible when surplus frozen embryos remain after a couple's IVF cycle. Permission is given by the couple for the embryo's to be released for research or someone else's IVF treatment.

What is Embryo donation?

If you have had successful treatment with us (or any other UK fertility clinic*) and have completed your family, you may need to decide what to do with any extra embryos you have in storage. One option is to donate the embryos for the purpose of research. This enables scientists and embryologists to increase their knowledge about disease and aid in developing new treatments. There are no eligibility criteria to donate the embryos for research purposes.

Alternatively, you may like to donate your embryos in order to help another person to create a family. We can guide you through the process to help you to decide whether this is a suitable option for you and provide you with the information you need and the relevant consent forms.

What does donating my embryos involve?

If you decide to donate your embryos to help create another family, the egg donor must have ideally been between the age of 18 and 35 at the time the embryos were created. You and your partner will be asked to come to the clinic to have an assessment of your personal and family history which will include some blood testing. This is to reduce the risk of passing on medical conditions to children born from donation.

What about the emotional impact of donating my embryos?

You will need to attend a counselling session so you understand the implications around embryo donation, discuss ethical and legal issues and to make sure you are entirely happy with your decision.

How much will it cost?

There is no cost to yourselves to donate the embryos and we can provide you with up to £35 (£70 per couple) compensation for each visit you have to make to the clinic for example to cover costs of travel for assessment and screening tests.

FAQs about donating embryos

Can I donate my embryos anonymously?

The donation will be anonymous at the time of treatment however any child conceived with the help of a donor will be able to identify their donor after they reach the age of 18. It is possible the child may not want these details nor want to contact them.

Do I have any responsibilities for the child?

You will not have any legal rights or responsibilities over any children born from embryo donation and you can decide if you would want to have any kind of relationship with them if they contact you after the age of 18.

You can leave the child a personal description and good-will message if you choose to and we can provide information about how to organise this.

Will I know the outcome of the donation?

If you decide to donate your embryos you are entitled to find out whether the donation was successful, how many children were born from the treatment, their genders and their year of birth.

What will happen if I change my mind?

You can withdraw your decision to donate your embryos up until the point the embryo is transferred to another woman even if you have given written consent.

Can I transfer my embryos from another fertility clinic for donation?

*If you have embryos stored at another UK clinic and would like to donate your embryos to help create another family, you can contact us to help you to transfer your embryos to the Lister Fertility Clinic for this purpose.

Our locations

From complex fertility treatment and surgery to diagnostic tests and scans, we provide access to exceptional fertility and reproductive care across our network of fertility clinics.

Contact us

Please email our donation team for more information or if you have any questions related to embryo donation.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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