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Surrogacy still stigmatized, though attitudes changing among younger women
Date:7/6/2008

r, "to enable us to see whether the attitudes we found translate into actual behaviour. Interestingly, we found that the group who was definitely not interested in becoming a surrogate mother also scored significantly more negatively on advertising, inducements, and the consequences of surrogacy. They also rated reasons for not wishing to have a child such as 'parenthood restricts careers', and 'parenthood is not the most important goal in life', higher than potential surrogates." The researchers say that this would seem to imply that these negative feelings towards surrogacy and parenthood in general are held by that part of the population which is not involved with surrogacy. These factors are likely to influence the reports of stigma associated with surrogacy, and it is possible that this could be overcome by linking alternative means of becoming a family to positive (rather than negative) family values.

"We also believe that, as surrogacy becomes less stigmatised, families who have children born in this way will be more likely to disclose the means of conception, not just to their children, but also to their family and friends, leaving them in better psychological health," says Professor van den Akker.

"These findings will help de-stigmatise surrogate motherhood, and aid those who are already disadvantaged through being infertile to disclose use of assisted conception to others. We were pleased to find a more positive attitude towards the idea of surrogate mothers, perhaps because society as a whole is becoming more familiar with 'alternative' ways to have a family," she says.


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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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