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Donor Sibling Link (DSL)

Donor-conceived adults are able to exchange contact details with people who share the same donor through Donor Sibling Link. Find out more about Donor Sibling Link and how you can apply to join.

Donor Sibling Link allows people who share the same donor (donor-conceived siblings) to exchange contact details with one another.

Using information given to us by clinics we’re able to match you with your donor-conceived sibling(s) provided they’ve also joined Donor Sibling Link or they join in the future.

In order to be eligible to join, you need to be over 18 and have been conceived after 1 August 1991. 

The UK-based Donor Conceived Register (DCR) matches donors who donated before August 1991 and donor-conceived people conceived before August 1991 and/or donor-conceived people sharing the same donor using accredited DNA testing, and provides counselling and peer support.

The DCR has historically been intended for anyone who donated in a UK clinic or was conceived following treatment in a UK clinic before August 1991. Those that were conceived or who donated after 1 August 1991 may also find matches if their donor also donated before the HFEA was set up.

The registrants of the Donor Conceived Register also have their own website.

What is Donor Sibling Link and how does it work?

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Is there anything I should do before joining Donor Sibling Link?

We recommend applying to us first to find out if you do have any donor-conceived siblings. Not everyone will have donor-conceived siblings so it’s worth checking before taking the time to join Donor Sibling Link.

Apply for information

You might also want to think through some of the questions below to prepare yourself for potentially making contact with any genetic siblings:

  • Would you be disappointed if none of your siblings joined DSL? Many donor-conceived people may be unaware of their origins, may not know about Donor Sibling Link, or simply may not be interested in meeting other donor-conceived genetic siblings. 
  • Are you ready to potentially meet any donor-conceived genetic siblings? 
  • Are you prepared for the fact that your donor-conceived siblings may have very different lifestyles, attitudes and opinions to you?
  • What if you contact your donor-conceived genetic sibling(s) and they don’t respond?

We encourage you to talk these questions through with someone you trust, such as a family member or friend. Alternatively, we have a free and confidential support service where you can talk through all of these issues with someone experienced in donor conception.

Find out more about our free support service

Get support and advice

The information below may also help you to think through some of these issues:

We recommend talking to someone you trust before joining

I’m ready, how do I join Donor Sibling Link?

First, if you haven’t already, we recommend you apply to us for information on whether you have any donor-conceived siblings.

Then you’ll need to complete the online Donor Sibling Link (DSL) application form.

Please note:

  • The second email address that you provide on your application form must be different from your main email contact.
  • Your proof of address must be dated within the last three months.

If you need an accessible version of this form, please contact openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk

Permitted ID and proof of address

You'll need to provide one proof of identification and one proof of address.  The identity documents you supply must be colour scanned copies or photographs of original documents. They cannot be a scan of a photocopy. If you do not have access to original documents you may submit copies that have been certified by a solicitor (if you’re a solicitor yourself, you may not self-certify your own identity documents).

If you have already submitted proof of identity and address to us in the last five years as part of another information request, you do not need to resubmit these documents unless your name, address, email address or phone number have changed.

Identification

  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate (if your name has changed since this was issued, you also need to submit deed poll documentation or a marriage certificate)
  • Valid full or provisional UK driving licence photo card

Address (dated within the last three months)

  • Utility bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Bank statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Payslip
  • NHS card

 

Once we’ve confirmed your eligibility, we’ll confirm your registration and email you a letter confirming that you’re registered on Donor Sibling Link. This letter will tell you whether or not you have a sibling match. If you have a match, it will let you know what the next steps are. We’ll also send you a unique PIN number which you can use to update your contact details with us so that we always have the most up to date information for you.

Joining Donor Sibling Link is free of charge and is likely to take around 30 working days to process. We will update this page if there are significant changes to the amount of time you can expect to wait.

Who can I talk to if I have any questions?

We’re happy to help with any questions you might have. Drop us a line at openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How do I update my details on Donor Sibling Link?

You can use this form to update your details if you are a donor-conceived person registered on Donor Sibling Link and wish to update your name, address, email address or phone number.

Please note:

  • The second email address that you provide on your application form must be different from your main email contact.
  • Your proof of address must be dated within the last three months.

If you need an accessible version of this form, please contact openingtheregister@hfea.gov.uk.

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Review date: 3 November 2022

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