The film…and the irony of UKDL’s threatened closure

Here is the latest news from After Adoption Yorkshire, the organisation that runs UK Donor Link, about the film featuring UKDL registrants that is to be shown on BBC1 on 30th August.  Please do watch it and then go on to UKDL’s web site afterwards so that they can log the response.  And if you haven’t done it already, let Ann Milton the Minister for Public Health know how you feel about the possibility of UKDL having to close the door to so many donor conceived people.                                                                                                                                 
The documentary ‘Donor Mum: The Children I’ve never met’ (provisional title) is due to be broadcast on BBC1 on TUESDAY 30TH AUGUST AT 22.35PM (subject to any last minute changes) and we have been delighted to play our part in the making of it.

The documentary tells the story of an egg donor who became a single mum by choice through a UK clinic in the autumn of 1990.  Delighted by her own experience, she decided to donate eggs and did so via a Harley St clinic the following year.  The documentary explains the very unusual circumstances in which she came to know the identity of the twins that resulted from her donation from their early years.  When the twins reached age 18, she decided to approach the family to make herself available to them should they want any more information from her or to have contact.  UK DonorLink helped with this – a most unusual request in our experience to date but one with very important messages.  The documentary charts their contact and brings us up to date.  It’s a very positive story and one that presents sensitively and respectfully the complex emotions that can surround donor conception and its aftermath.

Your members will be aware of the threatened closure of UK DonorLink.  We are still awaiting a decision from the Public Health Minister as to our future and have therefore had to start the closure process as our funding will run out at the end of October.  With great regret, we had to make the very difficult decision to stop taking registrations ahead of the showing of the documentary as we simply could not guarantee to complete the DNA testing and matching process within the time that we have left.  Neither could we cope with the anticipated demand alongside closing down the service.  We will, however, invite anyone visiting our website from FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST to register an ‘Expression of Interest’ and will let all who do so know the Minister’s decision as soon as it is made.  If it is good news, then we will start registering them straightaway.

It is heartbreaking that at a time when our service and the opportunities it presents is receiving mainstream media coverage that we cannot respond from the security of a permanent service.

We are grateful for the massive levels of support that we have received both nationally and internationally.

Freda Atherton                                                            Marilyn Crawshaw
Chief Executive After Adoption Yorkshire                   National Adviser to UKDL
Manager, UKDL                              


About oliviasview

Co-founder and now Practice Consultant at Donor Conception Network. Mother to two donor conceived adults and a son conceived without help in my first marriage.
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One Response to The film…and the irony of UKDL’s threatened closure

  1. Rhona Crawford says:

    I just watched the film that you made and was extremely moved by it. It was beautifully and sensitively made and gave me another perspective to look at. Having had experience with others who have been adopted or put into an orphanage, I am very aware the effects this can have on anyone who does not truly know their full identity. Knowing one’s roots, whatever they are is so important for one’s peace of mind. Let’s hope with the showing of this remarkable film tonight, can encourage the government to make a reversal of their decision and keep the network still active, by providing the necessary funding. I am aware there has to be cutbacks, but not where it affects the deep seated needs of individuals gaining a peace of mind of who they are. Please let the UKDL stay open. I can see from the film, it is doing a very valuable service to many lives. It’s all part of “Who am I?”

    Seeing the faces of the two families when they met, says it all. Keep going UKDL!

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