The attitudes of 234 anonymous couples undergoing in vitro fertilization toward sperm and oocyte donation were explored by questionnaire. All the questionnaires were returned of which 222 (95%) were complete and analysed. A high proportion of couples found the use of donor sperm acceptable for therapeutic, diagnostic and treatment purposes (77%, 90% and 97% respectively) and 72%, 84% and 90% respectively were willing to donate oocytes for these purposes. Of potential oocyte donors 41% would agree to nonanonymous donation, 12% would wish to meet the recipient couple and although only 4% wanted to choose the recipient, a quarter of the couples would prefer a relative or friend as the recipient. Provision of nonidentifying information about the donor to the recipient couple was acceptable to almost 70% whereas 40% found giving the same information to the child acceptable.