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Research shows surrogacy fears unfounded

Dr Kirsty Horsey

Progress Educational Trust

04 July 2002

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[BioNews, London] Research presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Vienna indicates that the parents of children born following the use of a surrogate have better parenting skills and show more warmth towards their children than those in non-surrogacy families.

The research shows that children born to surrogates show no differences in emotional and psychological well-being when compared to other children. Additionally, there appeared to be few problems when surrogates handed over babies to their intended parents. The new research, carried out by a team from the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London, will allay some concerns about the effects that surrogacy may have on the family.

The initial phase of the study, looking at children aged between nine and 12 months, compared forty-three families with children born following surrogacy with 51 families with children born from donated eggs and 86 families with naturally conceived children. Commissioning parents were questioned about their relationship with the surrogate and feelings about her involvement in the pregnancy, her feelings at handing over the child and her continued involvement in the life of the child.

Fiona MacCallum, leader of the research team, said 'it is often assumed that surrogate mothers will have difficulties handing over the child following the birth. In fact, we found only one instance of the surrogate having slight doubts at this time'. The majority of commissioning mothers reported that they maintained a good relationship with the surrogate after the birth, and 70 per cent of them saw the surrogate 'at least once every couple of months'. Ms MacCallum added 'There is no evidence so far to support the concerns that have been voiced about the practice of surrogacy. However, these children were still in infancy and it remains to be seen how these families will change as the children grow up.'

© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 04 July 2002   Date Updated: 12 September 2004
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