More and more babies are born through fertilization techniques how can they be Artificial Insemination (AI) wave In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In some cases, due to problems in conception, couples must resort to donating gametes to achieve the desired pregnancy. Fortunately, there is the possibility of achieving fertilization thanks to a sperm or egg donation, as the case may be.
- 1 Types of donation
- 2 Is it convenient to tell children their origins?
- 3 Reaction of the children to know that the conception has been with a donor
- 4 Are there more conflicts in children because they know they are not genetically equal to their parents?
Advances in reproductive medicine since the birth of the first baby through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978, have resulted in more than 3 million children worldwide born alive thanks to assisted reproduction techniques. Many of these children are conceived using donated gametes (sperm or ovules), either through donor insemination or egg donation.
The donor insemination It refers to the insemination of a woman with the sperm of a man who is not her husband or partner. The resulting child is genetically related to the mother, but not to the father raising the child.
Egg donation is like donor insemination, since the child is genetically related to only one parent, but in this case it is the mother with whom the child lacks a genetic link.
Finally, with the embryo donation, the child lacks a genetic bond with both parents. In the event that an intra-family donation was made, in which the donation of gametes is made between family members, the father will have a partial genetic link with the child.
Is it convenient to tell children their origins?
According to various studies, people who become parents through assisted reproduction procedures that involve donating gametes they tend not to tell their children about their donor's conception and, therefore, most children conceived in this way do not know that the person they know as their father (in the case of sperm donation) or their mother (in the case of egg donation) is not Your genetic father.
Little is known about the psychological consequences of explaining to a child that has been conceived thanks to the donation of gametes in family relationships, as well as their child development, in large part because very few children have been informed about their genetic origins. However, from studies on the small number of people who know their donor's conception, and according to the child's age when counted and how to do it, this seems to have a strong impact on his reaction.
Reaction of the children to know that the conception has been with donor
The Small children They tend to show curiosity about their unknown donor and the desire to discover more about him. Similarly, the teenagers who have known about their conception of donor since childhood They want to know more about their donor, and many believe that this would help them learn more about themselves.. This is in line with the studies of adopted individuals seeking their biological parents, most of whom report that curiosity and the desire to acquire a more complete sense of identity are their main motivations for starting a search.
In contrast, those who discover their donor's conception later in life, particularly those who find out by accident or in adverse circumstances like the divorce of the parents, they seem show more negative responses, including anger towards their social parents and feelings of betrayal and distrust.
Are there more conflicts in children because they know they are not genetically equal to their parents?
There are not too many studies in this regard, but in an investigation of child rearing and adjustment of children in assisted reproduction families in the United Kingdom in which families were examined (especially lesbians and single mothers with 7-year-old children ) conceived by donor insemination, and it was found that children and their relationship with their parents were not different from the normal population mean, and their social functioning was perfectly adapted.
No significant differences were found between family types in terms of a bad maternal relationship, which shows that the conflict and hostility between mothers and children is not higher whether the origin of the child is revealed or not done in gamete donation families with respect to naturally conceived families.
Although the mother-child relations were no more negative due to the fact that they were conceived thanks to the donation of gametes in relation to natural conception families, these relations were less positive if there was no good communication between the parents and their children.
A perennial concern when using donated gametes in the treatment of infertility is the effect on the child and his family of the traditional anonymity of the donor and the secrecy of the procedure. In general, parents and caregivers want to maximize the "well-being of the child" born from the donation of gametes, but the lack of evidence on the consequences of secrecy or openness concludes that future parents are the ones in the best position to decide whether to do it or not, depending on family and social circumstances.
Anyway, it seems that Lack of communication about the child's genetic origins can interfere with the positive interaction between parents and their children. In general, the secret surrounding the conception of the child's donor is associated with a less positive interaction between mothers or fathers and children in families receiving gametes.
- Chan RW, Raboy B, Patterson CJ. Psychosocial adaptation in children conceived through donor insemination by lesbian and heterosexual mothers. Child development. 1998; 69 (2): 443-457
- Clamar A. Psychological implications of anonymous pregnancy. In: Offerman-Zuckerberg J, editor. Gender in transition: a new frontier. New York: Plenary; 1989
- Daniels K, Taylor K. Secret and openness in donor insemination. Politics and life sciences. 1993; 12 (2): 155-170.
- Golombok S, Jadva V, Lycett E, Murray C, MacCallum F. Families created by gamete donation: 2-year follow-up. Human Reproduction 2005; 20 (1): 286-293.
Do you want to help other women fulfill their dream of being mothers? Find out here for egg donation