About DOE

Welcome to Donor Offspring Europe (DOE)!

We are an association of donor offspring from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. A ‘John’ or a ‘Jane Doe’ is a synonym for a person of unknown identity – for almost all of us, such unknown identities apply regarding our donor and half siblings.

The aims of DOE are:

To protect the interest of donor conceived persons: In particular the right to information about your ancestry. Donor conception is regulated in different ways across the countries of Europe, although there is a common legal frame with the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. In some states, donor offsprings’ right to information about their ancestry is protected by law, while in others the law provides strict anonymity for donors. We strive for a general move towards more openness and respect for the human rights of donor conceived people to have all information they request about their origin. Legislation should encompass all parties – donor offspring, donors, parents and doctors – and must provide a clear and protected status that is in accordance with the European Charter of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To put pressure on policy makers at a European level: As policies regarding donor conception differ all over Europe, we want to contribute to establishing a common and better policy that grants every European DC offspring their human right to know their genetic origins and therefore respects the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Charta of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To inform the public about donor conception and particularly the objectives of donor conceived persons: We want to illustrate that more openness is possible and, with it, more donor conceived persons, families and donors will benefit. Although we come from different countries and speak different languages, we share similar experiences – which is that our genetic ancestry is a relevant part of us, and that family secrets are harmful. We also feel that we need to share these experiences in order to encourage policy and individual families to move towards increased openness.

To promote contact amongst donor conceived persons: We wish to provide a point of contact for donor conceived persons from countries in which no network of donor conceived persons is of existence yet. We feel that it is vital to have a trans-European exchange of experiences regarding policy and legal initiatives as well as looking for relatives. Due to the geographic proximity of other states in Europe, donations used to be sent across borders, and parents received treatment abroad for a long time. Some national organizations of donor conceived persons have already started DNA testing aimed at identifying half siblings and donors.