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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 08:54 GMT
'I don't know who my father is'
Shirley Brailey
'I felt incomplete not knowing who my father was'
Shirley Brailey, 53, discovered as a child that she had been conceived using donated sperm when her non-biological father was diagnosed with Huntington's disease.

She believes it is too late for her to find her own father.

But she tells BBC News Online she believes children should have the right to know about their donor parent.

"I didn't actually look into finding my donor father until the late 70s.

Anybody who donates needs to think about the fact that they are creating a human being
Sheila Brailey
"By then, the clinic had closed and the records had been destroyed.

"But then I heard about the Donor Conception Network.

"They put me in touch with other people who had been conceived at the same clinic as me.

"Tests have shown we're not related, but I got to meet people in the same situation as me.

"It's nice to have met people who've had the same experience.

"But I haven't known who my father is, who half of me is. I felt incomplete."

'Basic right'

Sheila says her views have changed as she has got older.

"I've realised that whatever I found out, I would still be the same person."

But she says children born now should have the right to know about donor parents.

"It's got to happen. We're not living in the 1940s or 50s. It isn't right that in the 21st century that they shouldn't know.

"People have got a basic right to find out about their biological father."

She said sperm donors should think about the consequences of what they are doing.

"Anybody who donates needs to think about the fact that they are creating a human being.

"No one would expect them to be emotionally or financially responsible.

"But morally, you have created a child. You can't back away from that."

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