Thanks to Emily, as always, for stepping in as the primary voice in the United Kingdom to help women find their way on the Choice Mom journey. For our start to building more resources for our non-U.S. community, she started us off with this list of United Kingdom fertility resources.
For practical details: clinics, treatments etc.
The Human Fertility and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is the regulator for the fertility industry and publishes an annually updated guide, where you can get the details of all the clinics near you and what they offer. You can see it online here or order a copy for free. Their website will also tell you about the latest events in the field, and about any consultation or public meetings they are holding. (Note as of January 2011: The HFEA is due to be broken up and dispersed into various other government departments as part of the strategic spending review in the near future.)
For support and networking
- You’ll find a busy U.K.-based online discussion group about fertility here. There is a lively single woman’s group, as well as sub-groups for different treatments, specific clinics and other issues.
- The Donor Conception Network (DCN) is a national charity with a significant group of single women. The DCN’s main focus is openness and the welfare of donor-conceived children. They publish a set of books for children in different circumstances as well as information for parents. The website is full of practical information as well as personal stories about the experience of assisted conception. There is a Forum and a SibLink register, where you can register your details in the hope of linking up with other families who have used the same donor. They hold national and local meetings and workshops on preparing for donor parenting, as well as Telling and Talking about donor conception. The website is free to browse, but the meetings and forums are for members only. There is an annual membership fee, with concessions for those in difficult circumstances. Single women will receive a Contact list of 100+ women all over the country who are willing to be contacted. You can also choose to be on a mailing list to receive all sorts of information by email.
- Celebration picnic, annually on the last Saturday in June, in central London. Check details with DCNetwork (above).
- Alternative Families show, organized by Citypink, mid-September, central London. Big exhibition with stalls, seminars and talks.
- The Fertility Show, an even bigger exhibition at the Olympia, November. Talks and seminars about fertility health.