HL Deb 28 January 2003 vol 643 cc151-2WA
Lord Lea of Crondall

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether people conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation will be able to find out information about their donors in the future; and, if so, what information they will have access to. [HL1327]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Following a consultation exercise carried out between December 2001 and July 2002, we propose to lay regulations before Parliament, so that people conceived as a result of sperm, egg or embryo donation will be able to obtain more information about their donors in the future. The information will not identify the donors.

We hope that donor-conceived people are all part of loving families, but we also understand that at some point in their lives they may decide they want to know more about their genetic origins and we think it is right that they should be able to ask for non-identifying information.

We propose that the regulations enable the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to provide non-identifying information about donors to donor-conceived people aged 18 or over who request that information and who were born after the HFEA's register came into effect in 1991. In practice the information would be available from 2010 (18 years after the register came into operation).

To enable standardised information to be available in the future, we will seek approval for the regulations to require the HFEA to collect standardised non-identifying information with immediate effect.

We will also explore the possibility of setting up a pilot scheme for a voluntary contact register for donor-conceived people aged 18 and over.

The summary of responses to the consultation exercise is on the Department of Health's website at www.gov.uk/consultations.