Donor Conception:

Connecting through Conversations

Real life stories, workshops, Q&As with special guests

Saturday 21st May, 9.30am-4pm

Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London

I’m delighted to host a day dedicated to forming connections through conversations as we explore using a donor to build your family

Recipient Parent Panel  •  ‘How Your Family Came To Be. What’s Your Story?’ Workshop with Fertility Counsellor Gerry McCluskey  •  Donor Conceived Panel  •  ‘All The Losses We Bear” Workshop with Perinatal Psychologist Julianne Boutaleb  •  Includes lunch & lots of connection opportunities

Tickets are now sold out but register for the waiting list to be the first to hear if any tickets become available

This whole day has been designed to help you navigate donor conception as a path to parenthood, at whatever stage you are at.

With many opportunities to make connections, listen to stories, ask questions and gain insights, my hope is that you will come away feeling better equipped and informed, comforted and less alone.

The day will be made up of four elements, all of which you’ll have the opportunity to attend. Between each of these sessions there will be lots of opportunities to meet each other as attendees as well as our speakers both over break times and lunch, which is provided for you.

Event Schedule

Recipient Parent Panel Stories and Q&A

Bringing to life experiences of those who have walked this path and are now parenting. Our panel will share their journey to parenthood through egg donation, sperm donation, double donation, surrogacy, as a mixed family. We’ll talk about their reflections and experiences parenting now, with the opportunity for you to ask questions.

Allie
Allie is originally from the US but now lives in the Netherlands. She’s a professor and proud mother of one miracle baby (MB) with another on the way all thanks to the generous gift of eggs from an old friend. After 5+ years of trying to conceive with multiple failed IVF and DEIVF attempts, Allie still pinches herself that her dream came true. She shares her experience using a known donor on instagram as @thebunlessoven.
Jocelyn
Jocelyn is a 42 year old solo mum to a little boy conceived through double donor IVF. In 2015 she decided to freeze her eggs as a back up plan until she found a partner, but discovered that she had premature ovarian failure and her fertility was ‘shockingly poor’. After a few fairly dismal egg freezing attempts, Jocelyn realised she faced a choice; wait for a relationship or get on and try for a baby by solo. Two years and two unsuccessful donor sperm IVF cycles later, she turned to egg donation, and a wonderful unknown woman helped her become a mum.
Kreena
Kreena is the Mum of a mixed family. She has one daughter conceived using her own genetics and triplets sons conceived through donor conception. Kreena’s children are all born through surrogacy. She lost her fertility and ability to carry a pregnancy due the her own Breast Cancer and Heart Failure diagnosis.
David & Eleanor
David and Eleanor are parents to Delaney, who was conceived using donor sperm after David received a diagnosis of azoospermia caused by childhood surgery. They also required PGD due to Eleanor having a balanced translocation. Delaney was born in October 2020, 5 years after their journey began.
Keeley
Keeley is 43 and a donor egg mummy to gorgeous one year old Freddie after a long 7 year fertility journey. She finally became a mum after 8 failed own egg IVF cycles followed by donor egg IVF cycle success in Russia in 2019. Some of you might know fabulous Keeley from instagram as @_tryingtobeamum_, she’s incredibly open and honest about her experience.

“How Your Family Came To Be: What’s Your Story?” Workshop

Gerry McCluskey

Led by fertility counsellor Gerry McCluskey. Offering the first steps in developing your family narrative for you, your child/ren and loved ones. A chance to reflect on the narrative you have of your own journey to parenthood and practical steps on how to begin to develop that story to share with your child and others who may need to know.

Donor Conceived Panel and Q&A

Bringing to life experiences of those who are donor conceived – we’ll hear their individual stories and consider what can we learn from their experiences to help us in raising our own donor conceived children.

Hayley
Hayley lives in Wales with her wife of 8 years. They have two beautiful children via donor sperm IVF where Hayley’s wife carried and used her eggs. In a twist of fate, Hayley is also a donor conceived person after discovering late in life that her parents used an anonymous (sperm) donor as part of pioneering IVF treatment in the 1980s. In 2019 Hayley DNA tested herself and has so far located her biological father and 3 other donor siblings.
Freya
Freya was born in the early 90’s to two mums who used an anonymous sperm donor to conceive. So far she has found four of her 13 half siblings, and despite the anonymity laws she managed to connect with her biological father/donor in 2020 and now shares a wonderful relationship with him. Freya also conceived her daughter via an open-ID sperm donor with her wife in 2019, and will soon be trying for number two!
Alice
Alice was born in 1997 via egg donor IVF. She is a theatre maker, performer and producer and began to use theatre to explore her relationship with donor conception in 2020. After her graduation Alice set up Happy Accident Theatre and used her story to create her wonderful debut show ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Get, Baby’, using the arts as a way of processing and expressing donor conception experience.
Lou
Louise McLoughlin is a donor conceived journalist and host of the chart-topping podcast ‘You Look Like Me’. The podcast was a 2021 Guardian Podcast of the Week and focuses on the stories of donor conceived people around the world, as well as Louise’s own journey to find out her donor’s identity. She found out she was donor conceived at 13 and has since found a half-sister and her biological father.
Natasha
Natasha was born in 1992 to her mum Carol who is the first single woman in Scotland to access IVF. Natasha has always known she was donor conceived. She has spoken openly about her experience of being curious about her donor and half siblings and proud to be part of a single parent family. Since 2011 Natasha has spoken to the media and written articles about her experience, most recently with the BBC about DNA testing. Natasha connected with her half-sister via 23andme in 2018 and shares a lovely relationship with her. Natasha lives in London with her partner and works in politics.

“The Losses We Bear” Workshop

Julianne Boutaleb

Led by perinatal psychologist Julianne Boutaleb of Parenthood In Mind. Whilst donor conception offers hope to many wishing to become parents, it is also true that this path to parenthood is often considered after multiple losses. From fertility diagnosis through to genetic loss, this workshop will help you reflect on these experiences. The focus will be on helping you better understand and cope with the feelings that come with these losses, and the potential impacts on you, your partner (if partnered) and your DC child.

Venue:

Mary Ward House,
5-7 Tavistock Place,
London

Join the waitlist!

Tickets are now sold out but register for the waiting list to be the first to hear if any tickets become available

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