[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The creation of families by means of the new reproductive technologies has raised important questions about the psychological consequences for children, particularly where gamete donation has been used in the child's conception. Findings are presented of a study of family relationships and the social and emotional development of children in families created as a result of the 2 most widely used reproductive technologies, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor insemination (DI), in comparison with control groups of families with a naturally conceived child and adoptive families. The quality of parenting was assessed using a standardized interview with the mother, and mothers and fathers completed questionnaire measures of stress associated with parenting, marital satisfaction, and emotional state. Data on children's psychiatric state were also obtained by standardized interview with the mother, and by questionnaires completed by the mothers and the children's teachers. The children were administered the Separation Anxiety Test, the Family Relations Test, and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance. The results showed that the quality of parenting in families with a child conceived by assisted conception is superior to that shown by families with a naturally conceived child. No group differences were found for any of the measures of children's emotions, behavior, or relationships with parents. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding the role of genetic ties in family functioning and child development.
Child Development 05/1995; 66(2):285-98. · 4.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The question of payment to egg donors has recently focused the attention of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and licensed clinics. An acute shortage of egg donors and the rising costs of assisted conception treatment are matters of grave concern to many patients. To understand the emotional and social effects of egg sharing and egg donation, we conducted a survey of attitudes in a group of women who had some knowledge or experience of egg donation. A total of 750 questionnaires were sent out of which 217 were returned within the specified time limit. From these, 107 respondents had experience of egg donation and 110 had made enquiries about donation. The data from these questionnaires were collated and tabulated by the National Opinion Polls (NOP) Research Group. An analysis of the data produced the following key findings: (i) donating or sharing eggs is a social issue, 94% discuss it with partners/family/friends; (ii) altruistic motives are not the prerogative of non-patient volunteers-egg share donors felt that helping the childless was as important as having a chance of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for themselves; (iii) the treatment procedure causes the most anxiety for egg donors. The recipients were most concerned about delays, donor characteristics and how the eggs were allocated; (iv) most respondents (65%) with prior experience of egg sharing would do it again - 63% of egg share donors, 72% of egg share recipients; (v) cash rewards to egg donors and outright advertising for donors were rejected by 64 and 62% of the sample respectively; and (vi) counselling was highly valued and there were no instances of 'shattered lives' after treatment. The findings do not support the recently announced intentions of the HFEA to disallow payment to gamete donors on the grounds of devalued consent. There is no precedent in modern medicine for egg sharing. The patients surveyed drew a clear distinction between egg sharing and financial rewards. As long as egg donation is not covered by the National Health Service, it is fairer to offer egg sharing than to refuse treatment to those unable to pay.
Human Reproduction 01/1998; 12(12):2845-52. · 4.67 Impact Factor
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