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Opening the Register (OTR) and Donor Sibling Link (DSL) services reopening

Following the suspension of the Opening the Register (OTR) and Donor Sibling Link (DSL) services in April 2020 we are pleased that from Tuesday 20 October 2020 we will be reopening for new applications.

We apologise to those individuals who have been waiting to access information about their donor and half-siblings, but we have been working hard to ensure we are ready to start dealing with applications again as soon as possible.

Initially we suspended the service due to fertility clinics being closed because of the impact of the pandemic, but during this time there have been other issues that have affected the service and caused further delay. These have included staffing changes to the Donor Information team and proposed changes to our internal systems. Both have now been addressed and we have been able to process the backlog of applications which were paused in April.

We have also taken the time to set up new electronic systems for the service to ensure all processes can be done online. Whilst all application forms were online already, the ability for anonymous pre-2005 donors to remove their anonymity was still handled manually. Donors need to be able to remove their anonymity (become identifiable) before donor-conceived people and their parents can apply for their information, so we needed to make removing anonymity an online service. This has now been done which means we now have a fully electronic system.

The service is now fully operational again, but due to the service being closed for six months we expect a high number of applications. This will mean that it may take us longer than usual to process the applications so we ask that people bear with us and are assured that we are working hard to deal with all applications as quickly as we can while providing accurate information and a supportive service. We will keep applicants updated about the progress of their application.

Should you have any further enquiries, about this or any other donor information related matter, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7291 8200 or by emailing Opening.TheRegister@hfea.gov.uk.

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Publication date: 30 November 2020

Review date: 30 November 2022