UCL Genetics Institute


Progress Educational Trust's public debate-'Receiving:The Recipient Parent Perspective', 24 January 2013

17 January 2013

You are invited to attend the Progress Educational Trust's FREE public debate 'RECEIVING: THE RECIPIENT PARENT PERSPECTIVE' at University College London on Thursday 24 January 2013. This event is taking place from 6.30pm-8.30pm, and forms part of the Wellcome Trust supported project 'WHEN IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO'.

The debate will see DR NICKY HUDSON (Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University), OLIVIA MONTUSCHI (Cofounder and Practice Consultant at the Donor Conception Network), SUE MOORE (Counsellor atKing's College Hospital's Assisted Conception Unit), DR PETRA NORDQVIST (Research Associate at the University of Manchester) and PROFESSOR MARCUS PEMBREY (Founding Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust) - chaired by SHEILA McLEAN (Emeritus Professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's National Donation Strategy Group) - give contrasting perspectives on questions including:

• What traits do gamete recipients prefer in a donor, and what are the scientific facts about the heritability of such traits?

• Does preferring a tall donor (height is a widely preferred donor characteristic) or deprecating a red-haired donor (the world's largest sperm bank closed its doors to red-haired sperm donors in 2011 due to a reported lack of demand) actually give recipients any assurance as to the height and hair colour of their children?

• What of more complex characteristics that frequently form the basis on which donors are marketed, such as intelligenceand personality?

• To what extent is it necessary or desirable to seek a 'matching' donor, whose looks resemble those of the recipient couple?

• Following donor conception, what are the challenges involved in raising donor-conceived children? Is it always incumbent upon parents to inform their children of the fact that they are donor conceived, in line with official support for the principle of openness?

• In what circumstances might parents inform family, friends, colleagues or teachers of the fact that their children are donor-conceived? And what if this is disclosed inadvertently?

• What are the specific challenges faced by non-traditional families, which involve same-sex couples and/or co-parenting arrangements, when it comes to donor conception?

Further details of this FREE public debate can be found online at http://www.progress.org.uk/receiving - if you should like to attend, please RSVP to me by email at sstarr@progress.org.uk

You may also be interested in a subsequent FREE evening debate that is being organised at University College London as part of the 'WHEN IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO' project - 'BEING: THE DONOR-CONCEIVED PERSPECTIVE', taking place on Thursday 28 February 2013. Further details of this debate can be found online athttp://www.progress.org.uk/being - again, if you should like to attend, then please RSVP to me by email atsstarr@progress.org.uk