Had a brilliant evening at the Nuffield Foundation’s elegant headquarters in London last night launching the new booklets about talking with friends and family and celebrating DC Network’s 20th anniversary. Very sadly Dame Suzi Leather was unable to be with us because of serious illness in her family but Marilyn Crawshaw stepped into the breach and because of her close involvement with the Network was able to give a knowledgable account of the role and place of the organisation on both the national and international stages. We were delighted to have present Melanie Johnson the Labour Health Minister who took the courageous decision to end anonymity for donors. It was interesting to hear from her that this was indeed a decision that was completely down to her and that she looks back on it as one of the highlights of her political career. Other important guests were Angela and Andy Mays and Jane and Neil Offord, who, together with Dr Sheila Cooke (also there with her husband Ian) wrote the My Story book for children which brought the founding members of DC Network (then DI Network) together.
The short film we showed truly captured the essence of DC Network and brought a tear to the eyes of most people in the room. The link to this is below and it will appear on the DCN web site soon. Although I have had pdfs of the booklets for a while, this was the first time I had seen them in print and it was thrilling. In the A4, clean cut style of the first four Telling and Talking booklets, they have distinctive covers featuring illustrations rather than photographs and look like a pair…as indeed they were meant to. They are now available to be bought singly or as a (discounted) bundle in pdf or printed form from DCN’s website http://www.dcnetwork.org
As I said last night, these booklets have been a long time in the making, it being 2009 when the idea of writing something about talking with friends and family was first enthusiastically welcomed by families and professionals alike. The expectations are high. I hope I have been able to go some way to meeting some of them.
Link to film: https://vimeo.com/68853857
Telling and Talking with family and friends about donor conception: A Guide for Parents
Our Family: A guide for the relatives and friends of those contemplating donor conception, undergoing treatment or parenting young donor conceived children