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Families with children without a genetic or gestational link to their parents are functioning well
Date:7/5/2008

culties Questionnaire as completed by their mothers. However, when the teachers completed the same exercise, a significant difference emerged. "The teachers reported a higher level of emotional difficulties among the assisted reproduction as opposed to the naturally conceived children, although these were not abnormally high," said Miss Casey.

The children's own assessments showed no significant difference between family types for self-esteem. In assessments of family relationships, there was no significant difference between the assisted reproduction children and the naturally conceived children in the location of their mother or father in the family maps, with 85% of assisted reproduction children and 88% of those naturally conceived placing their mother in the closest circle, and 73% of assisted reproduction and 76% of naturally conceived children placing their father in the closest circle.

"However," said Miss Casey "at the time of the child's seventh birthday, only 39% of egg donation parents, 29% of donor insemination parents, and 89% of surrogacy parents had told their children about the nature of their conception. This is markedly less than the proportion of parents who, when their child was one year old, reported that they planned to disclose this information 56%, 46% and 100% of egg donation, donor insemination and surrogacy parents respectively," she said.

There are numerous and complex reasons for parents deciding not to inform children, the researchers say, including a desire to protect the father, since the mother may not want others to know about his infertility, and the fear that a child may feel less love for the non-genetic parent. "Previous studies have shown that parents want to protect their child, fearing that disclosure may upset them and have an adverse effect on parent-child relationships," said Miss Casey.

Analysis of the differences in the quality of parent-child relationships and the psychologica
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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