Woke up feeling rough today. No over indulgence of any sort (went to the theatre last night, not the pub) but just seem to have a bug. Despite this, wanted to take the first opportunity to let you know that on August 30th there will be a film on BBC1 at 10.35pm about families that have made connections with each other via UK DonorLink. The news is so new that the film doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have this viewing slot. Those who have seen an early cut say it is very well done, very respectful and manages to convey some of the complex emotions involved.
The tragedy is that unless there is a change of mind on the part of the government, UKDL will not be able to allow people to embark on registering with them after the programme – which is bound to bring a raft of new registrants – because the process would almost certainly not be completed before their scheduled closing date of end of October. They will log ‘expressions of interest’ and guarantee to contact everyone immediately that the Minister makes a final decision about the organisation’s future.
Dear readers, if you have not yet written to Ann Milton, Public Health Minister, please do so NOW. Every letter adds to the pressure and it is important that this is kept up. UKDL has proved that it is impossible for them to find funding from other sources – and DC Network knows only too well how difficult it is to find funding from outside of government as our cause (and that of UKDL) always falls outside the criteria of grant making bodies. The register of donors and offspring held by the HFEA is a statutory one. Those seeking contact via this register do not have to pay. Why should those who happened to be conceived before 1991 have to do so, other than contributing to the costs of DNA testing as happens now. This register should be put on a statutory footing as well to remove the constant threat of closure and annual acute anxiety over sufficient funding.
Please see my blog of July 21st The Fight for UK DonorLink for a copy of the letter Walter and I have sent and join us in saving this vital service for donor conceived people.