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Unlocking genetic heritage: Fitting into our Genes event marks 18-year milestone for donor-conceived individuals

Hayley King, a panellist at Life's fertility speakeasy, alongside her two donor conceived twins.
Life's iconic logo is featured at the entrance to the science centre.

Life communications


A donor-conceived woman who also used a donor for the birth of her six-year-old twins, is part of an adult-only event at Life that marks a milestone in donor legislation.

Hayley King is a panellist at ‘Fitting into our Genes’ on Thursday October 5, which will examine genetic heritage in light of legislation in 2005 ending the anonymity of sperm, egg and embryo donors.

The timing of the event coincides with the first generation of donor-conceived individuals turning 18 since the law change, and gaining the right to discover the identities of their biological parents.

Hayley, who is the LGBTQ+ Director at Paths to Parenthub, an online support platform, said: “Whilst donor conception can be an incredible path to parenthood for many, it also comes with its complexities which are often overlooked within mainstream society.

 “The question of ‘does genetic heritage really matter within the modern family?’ can come with nuanced answers – but as a donor-conceived person and a parent who has used a donor to build my family, I welcome the opportunity to explore this question with knowledge and compassion.”

Speakeasy Attendee Asking A Question With Microphone.

The event is the latest in Life’s Science Speakeasy programme – a series in which important and controversial topics are debated in a quirky and often irreverent way.

Other panellists include Nina Barnsley, director of support organisation Donor Conception Network as well as some of the team from the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year.

Tickets for the Speakeasy, which are £8, are available on our website. The event starts at 8pm and there will be bar facilities on the evening.

“While infertility affects one in six couples, many people suffer in silence and feel unable to share their feelings on an issue which is even more topical, given changes in the law and the impact that will have this year on a generation of adults.

“Our series of Speakeasys aim to address this disconnect – moving hushed conversations into open entertaining discussions, underpinned of course by science.”

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of Life


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