Collaboration Counsel
Supporting Donor Conceived Families

Collaboration Counsel has been established as a social and informative hub for Donor Conceived Families. It is both a sanctuary for the South African Donor Conception community to actively support and engage with each other, as well as a forum to access information, advice, and research on the many aspects of being a Donor Conceived Family.

Collaboration Counsel is dedicated to working with Donor Conceived Families; couples and individuals who, as a result of medical or social infertility, have used Artificial Reproductive Technology and donor gametes to create their families. There is considerable emotional and psychological support available to the couple or individual at the fertility clinics as they go through the medical protocols and treatments, but very little support after the baby is born.

Donor conception can bring forth many complex issues, some present immediately and some that may only present down the line; both to the parent/s and the child. Some of the complexities a donor conceived family could face includes dilemmas over who to tell, when to tell, what to tell and how to tell or even if to tell the broader social environment. Possibly more complex, and often the cause of significant stress and distress, is when to tell and what to tell the donor conceived child. Given the current and prevailing legislation regarding the anonymity of the gamete donor, there are many genetic unknowns, and some of these may be a source of concern or anxiety to the parents, as well as to the child. There may be concerns about the child rejecting or dismissing the ‘social parent’ as being less of a parent given the lack of genetic ties. As the child gets older there may be struggles with identity and genetic lineage; where the likely unanswerable question of who fills the other half can become a source of tension for the family, and the child in particular.

These complexities are acknowledged and others yet to present themselves, and Collaboration Counsel is dedicated to serving as a collaborator, a guide, and a facilitator on the journey of the donor conceived family we find our way through them.

Collaboration Counsel has been founded by Sue-Ann Bright, a HPCSA registered Counselling Psychologist who has personal experience with Donor Conception.