It’s been a very mixed start to 2013 (which does not trip off the tongue in the same way as 2012 did). Apart from New Year’s Day which was blissfully blue, sunny and still, the rain has been relentless, the wind often wild and cold. But the wet weather did provide the puddles in which our gorgeous, now 16 month old, grand-daughter was able to stomp up and down in her little pink wellies…a more charming sight you cannot imagine. Walter and I looked after her whilst Peter and Emily went to a New Year’s Eve ‘do’ and stayed at friends overnight, giving them some time off from the mixed pleasures of parenting. Despite having to get up in the night it was wonderful to have S all to ourselves for a short while and we were honoured that she accepted us very comfortably and did not obviously seem to miss mum and dad, although her smile was a mile wide when they reappeared in the morning. As a parent myself I think I was too caught up in everyday life to really appreciate the miracle of each developing child. With S I could spend hours just watching her work things out…almost seeing her brain tick and learn. She’s such fun too. Totally besotted grandmother!
That’s the good bit. I am still unclear how to respond to more professionally based news. Information has leaked out over the last couple of days that the Department of Health has awarded the contract for the new National Gamete Donation Service combining NGDT and UK DonorLink to the National Gamete Donation Trust. In the end there were no other bidders. The reasons that UKDL did not bid are on their website http://www.ukdonorlink.org.uk/
The initial email from NGDT Chief Executive Laura Witjens to her Advisory Group/Trustees and some other interested parties stated that the Registrants Group of UKDL had endorsed the bid and attached an email statement from two of the registrants purporting to represent the others. But then it emerged that the whole group had not been consulted at all and that there was no overall endorsement…in fact some members were distressed and/or hopping mad at statements being made in their name. Laura Witjens was almost certainly not in a position to know that all the registrants were not on board with the endorsement, so circulated the message in good faith. Both the Registrants Panel and UKDL have now issued statements, the former denying that they as a group endorsed NGDT’s bid and the latter to say that whilst they regretted the misrepresentation of the registrants group, they were committed to working with NGDT to ensure a smooth transition of the service in the interest of all registrants. What the service actually consists of, no-one outside of NGDT staff and Trustee group and the DH actually knows. But UKDL is going to need details very quickly in order to offer options to all registrants (including Zannah and me) about whether or not they wish to have their DNA and registrant records transferred to the new operator.
Without details of the new service it is impossible to offer informed comment and I’m not going to speculate, but like many of the registrants I am concerned that the focus will be on donor recruitment (NGDT’s remit since inception) and that linking between donors and offspring will become a poor relation that has to be paid for, thus making it an elite service. I hope I am proved wrong. https://oliviasview.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/a-sad-and-bad-time-for-donor-conceived-people/
Happy New Year.