U2D: Opening the donor register


Implications counselling for donation – Who? What? When? and Why?

Angela Pericleous-Smith, Fertility Counseller and Chair, British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA), UK

Presentation will cover:

  • Implications counselling for donation? Who, What, When and Why?
  • The first cohort of donor conceived children from identifiable donors turn 18 in 2023 – Why is implications counselling for donors an important part of becoming a donor?

Angela is Chair of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA), counsellor representative for British Fertility Society (BFS) and a Trustee for Fertility Network UK (FNUK)

Angela has specialised in fertility counselling within the NHS and private practice since 2004, currently working as Head of Counselling, offering counselling to those experiencing infertility, secondary infertility and those who are involuntarily childless.

Angela has written and spoken about the emotional impact of infertility and has co-authored BICA Guidelines for Good Practice in Fertility Counselling 4th Ed. 2019 and Counselling in Surrogacy in UK Licensed Centres (2021). Her recent research and writing have focused on The emotional, physical and psychological impact of infertility in the workplace, Covid-19’s impact on UK counselling provision and patients’ experiences and Counselling challenges associated with donor conception and surrogacy.

Angela is driven to improve professional standards in fertility counselling; the psychological support, provision and accessibility of information and fair treatment for patients.


Openness: What it means for parents, children and donors  

Nina Barnsley, Director, Donor Conception Network, UK

Nina is the director of the Donor Conception Network, a support organisation for people considering donor conception and parents who have donor conceived children. The charity was founded nearly 30 years ago and Nina has been leading the team at DCN for the last 8 years. She has a deep understanding of the particular issues that face families created through donor conception and regularly speaks and writes on the subject. Through peer support, the charity aims to break the isolation many people feel when navigating their complex and, often emotional, fertility journey. Nina and the DCN team, along with dedicated volunteers, offer personal, tailored support and connections both in-person and online. The charity publishes a range of books for both parents and children and runs a variety of workshops. With 30 years experience, it also aims to be a resource for academics and policy-makers as well as a much-needed voice for donor conception families more widely.


Opening the register service and 2023

Danya Harris, Donor Information Manager, HFEA, UK

Danya has been in the Opening the Register (OTR) team since 2017, working with applications for information from donor-conceived people, their parents and donors. She started managing the service in spring of 2020 and has been responsible for growing the size of the team over the last few years in response to increased demand. She is involved in the project to prepare the OTR service for 2023, when the first cohort of donor-conceived children will be able to access identifying information about their donors. Before working at the HFEA she organised events at the University of Cambridge. She has Master’s in Health Care Ethics and a degree in Philosophy, specialising in medical ethics. She is a Mental Health First Aider and has completed a 10-week counselling skills course as well as various training courses on managing difficult and sensitive conversations. Outside of work, Danya enjoys swimming outdoors and long bike rides.